Bus Game ideas - Camp Riverbend

Bus Rider Activities
1. To easily divide campers into two teams or groups, split down the middle of the bus,
so that the campers on one side of the aisle are one team, and those on the other side are
the second team. But if you have all older kids sitting on one side, you might have to
divide the bus in a different way so the teams will be equalized.
2. Setting up a “batting order.” Many of these games require campers to do certain
things in a specific order. Before you start, create a bus “batting order.” The simplest
ways to do this is to go in the order in which the campers are picked up by the bus in the
Before you start a game, practice the batting order once or twice by having the campers
call out their names in the correct order.
3. For all games, campers MUST REMAIN SEATBELTED IN THEIR SEATS! The
seatbelts must be tight!
1. Develop a bus chant or song—you can perform it with your bus at an assembly
2. Sing Off: Counselor picks a common word, such as “blue,” “sun”, “love,”” rain”.
Divide campers into two groups. Each group must think of as many songs as possible
with the word “blue”, and sing at least two lines of the song. The winning group can sing
the most songs. If a group sings a song that another group has already sung, they are out,
so must listen carefully. Or, you can select a specific topic for each round, ex sports,
candy, etc.
3. Indian Chief: 1 camper closes his/her eyes and the bus rider picks another camper to
be the “Chief.” The Chief begins a movement, such as patting the head. All the others
echo his/her movement. The chief periodically switches the movement. The camper
who had his/her eyes closed opens them and has to figure out who is the chief.
4. Around the World: One camper is selected by the rider as the “World Traveler.” The
rider then starts with the first camper on the batting list, and asks a trivia question. If the
Traveler can correctly answer the question first, s/he goes up against the next camper. If
any Traveler can answer all the questions before all the other campers, in turn, he or she
has “gone around the world” and wins the game. If one of the campers on the “batting
list” answers correctly before the Traveler, the Traveler is out and another camper is
picked for that role.
5. Alphabet Dramatics: Divide the bus into two teams. The counselor picks a letter from
the alphabet (ex., “R”). The first camper makes up a line of dialogue that starts with the
letter R. The next camper says a line starting with the next letter in the alphabet (in this
case, “S”). And so on. The team has to do a dramatic scene, working their way through
the alphabet until they get back to the starting letter.
Bus Rider Activities
page 2
6. Virtual Spider Web: The first camper tells something about him/herself and then calls
the name of another child. The second child tells something about him/herself and then
calls the name of a third child. Continue until everyone has a turn. Variation: After the
first camper calls the name of a second child, the first camper tells something about the
second child. This is good once the group has gotten to know each other a bit.
7. Pick a topic such as “fruit.” Each camper names a fruit until someone can’t name one.
If you can’t name it, you are out. The last person who can keep naming each category
wins. Do this with other topics like boys and girls names, types of cars, camp activities,
Variation: First player’s word has to start with A, second player’s word has to
start with B, etc.
8. Story Telling: First person starts a story and must tell it for a certain amount of time
(30 seconds to 1 minute), then the next person picks up and continues. The faster
everyone goes, the crazier the story will be.
9. Hands Up: Anyone can hold their hand up whenever they want, but cannot keep it
there longer than 5 seconds. Aim of the game is to have exactly four hands up at one
time. Campers can’t speak to each other to coordinate their movements.
10. Concentration: Everyone hits their knees once, claps hands once, snaps right hand
once, snaps left hand once. Keep going with this rhythm. A subject is chosen (food,
kinds of cars, etc.) and you go around with each person naming something in that
category in the rhythm of the beat.
11. Team Spelling bee. Set up a “batting order” (see above) Counselor chooses an ageappropriate word. The first camper says the first letter of the word, the second camper
says the second letter, etc. If a camper says a wrong letter, s/he is out. When a camper
correctly says the last letter of the word, the camper after him/her has to say the entire
word. Then, the next camper says the word “sparkle”. Then the next camper is out.
Continue until only one person is still in the game. Variation: set up two teams and
have each team designate a speller. Ask a word of both teams. The first team to spell it
correctly gets a point. Continue until each camper has a turn, then total the points.
12. Favorites: The bus rider will call on each child and ask him/her to name a favorite
food, TV show, sport, camp activity, etc. If that child can’t name something from that
category in 3 seconds, that child is “out”.
13. Alphabet Game: Goal is for campers to find all the letters of the alphabet that
objects in the bus start with, in alphabetical order, ex. A for aisle, B for brakes, C for
counselor, D for door, etc. Each object can only be used for one letter.
14. Name Game: First person says his/her name with an adjective that describes
him/herself that starts with the same letter as their first name (ex. “super Sammy”). Next
person adds their own name and repeats the name and adjective of the first person (ex.,
Bus Rider Activities
page 3
“jumping John, super Sammy”) etc. Continue until the last person in the group names
15. I Packed My Bag: The first person says: “I’m going on a camping trip and I’m going
to bring...”and chooses something, example “socks.” Then the second person says I’m
going on a camping trip and I’m going to bring socks and ...” and chooses something, ex.
“potato chips.” Then the third person says “I’m going on a camping trip and I’m going to
bring socks and potato chips and...” Continue until everyone has a turn. Variation: Each
item has to begin with a certain letter of the alphabet, or subsequent letters.
16. Riverbend Spirit: Pick a popular song and change the lyrics to be a spirit song for
Camp Riverbend or your bus.
17. We Love Our Driver: Each camper has to think of a nice thing to say about the bus
driver. Variation: Each camper has to same something nice about each other camper.
18. Slap Happy: Set up your batting order. Go down the order, with each camper
slapping their seat once at their turn. Two slaps change direction, and a clap skips the
next person in the batting order. If someone pauses too long or slaps at the wrong time,
then they are out. Last two players in win.
19. (a variation of Slap Happy) Zip Zap: “Zip”--pass up the batting order, “Zap”-- pass
down the batting order. Campers have to pass “it” around by either saying Zip or Zap.
To make a more challenging version, campers can throw “it” directly across the aisle by
saying “Pow”. After “it” is thrown, it must be passed with a Zip or a Zap. This game
should be played at a fast pace!
20. Bird, Fish or In-Between: A counselor silently thinks of an object on the bus and
notes whether it is high up (“bird”), low down (“fish”), or in-between. Then the campers
will ask “Is it a bird, fish or in-between?” The counselor will give the correct hint and
the campers will start looking for the object. When the object is guessed, the game is
21. Bust a Rhyme Baseball: Counselor acts as the pitcher. S/he throws out a rhyming
word for the “batters” (campers). 1 syllable rhymes are singles, 2 syllable rhymes are
doubles, etc.
22. Wind, Rain and Thunder: The counselor asks the campers to duplicate whatever s/he
is doing. The counselor rubs her hands together (wind). After everyone is doing this, the
leader begins slapping her thighs (rain). As the group is all slapping their thighs, the
leader begins stomping her feet on the floor (thunder). Then the group follows. The
leader can speed up the process. If the group is ready for a bigger challenge, they do only
the movement that the person sitting on their immediate right is doing, so a motion can be
“passed” around the circle. To finish the game, the leader indicates thunder, then rain,
then wind, and then silence, until the whole group is silent.
Bus Rider Activities
page 4
23. Animal Alphabet Game: First player has to think of an animal that begins with the
letter A. The next person has to think of an animal that begins with the last letter of the
first animal. (Example: first person says “ant,” so second person has to think of an
animal that begins with the letter T. If the second person says “Tasmanian devil,” the
third person has to think of an animal that begins with L). Continue the pattern until a
player fails to think of an animal. You can use places, fruits, vegetables, cars or any
other topic.
24. Two Truths and a Lie: Campers take turns telling three statements about themselves--two are true and one is a lie. A little imagination goes a long way in this game.
Everyone tries to figure out which statements are true and which are not.
25. Choreography: Campers make up hand movements for popular songs.
26. Sing Camp Songs
27. Twenty Questions: The counselor silently picks an object in the bus. The campers
can ask 20 yes/no questions to guess what it is. Make sure that each camper gets a turn to
ask a question. The camper who guesses the object gets to be the leader and pick an
object for the next round.
28. I Spy: One camper picks out an item on the bus and says “I Spy with my little eye
something …” (blue, heavy, metal, etc). The other campers can ask yes/no questions to
try to figure out what the object is.
29. Green Glass Doors: The rule of the game is that only certain words can “go through
the green glass door.” Example the MOON can go through but not STARS. A PUPPY
can go through but not a DOG, a BOOT but not a SHOE (the trick is that words with
double letters are allowed, but you want to see if the campers can figure out this rule!)
30. What Am I Holding?: The campers take turns reaching into their backpacks and
touching 1 item. (without seeing it or letting others see it). They have to describe it to
the group. Questions can be asked by the other members of the group. When the group
guesses, it’s someone else’s turn to pick.
31. Human Connect Four or Tic Tac Toe: Select two campers as players, one as X and
one as O. Everyone else is the “board.” The first player calls on a camper by name, and
then that camper makes an X or an O with their hands and holds them up. The players try
to get 4 in a row of their mark, either across a row, on the diagonal or in a column. You
can also do this as tic tac toe (3 in a row)
32. The Vegetable Game: Each player picks a different vegetable. This is now their
“name.” Take a minute to make sure each player knows every other player’s new
“name.” Select one player to start. That person says their own vegetable name, then
calls out the name of another player, example, “Carrot, Celery.” Then the second name
player says his own vegetable name and then calls out the name of another player,
Bus Rider Activities
page 5
example, “Celery, Artichoke.” Player 3: “Artichoke, Cucumber.” And so on.
Encourage players to talk quickly and use silly voices. Variations: Pick another
category, like US states, candy, TV shows, etc. for names
33. True or False: Counselor reads off certain statements. Campers hold thumbs UP if
they think a statement is true and DOWN if they think it’s false. Examples of statements:
Is the sky blue? Does it snow in the summer? When you drop a ball does it go up? Do
birds have whiskers? Do fish have scales?
34. License Plate Game: Players try to spot license plates from as many states as they
can. Whoever spots the most states wins.
35. Alphabet Spotting: Find the letter A on a sign that you pass by, then a B, then a C,
etc. See how long it takes to complete the whole alphabet.
36. The Question Game: Ask open-ended questions such as "If you won a million
dollars, what would you do with it?" "If you could pick only one food to eat forever, what
would it be?" “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Download PDF