I plan on helping out at my barn's summer kids camp. What are some of the memorable activities, games, crafts that you remember doing? (I will not be doing the teaching riding portion.)
Topics to explore:
Safety, parts of the horse, history of horse, riding (or course!)
Thanks for any suggestions, memories, or "what NOT to do stories!"
I help out at my barn's summer camp every year and we do some really fun things. We've painted horseshoes, had pictures taken (one of the trainers is a photographer) and then made frames for them (popsicle sticks or paper horseshoes over cardboard/wood/cardstock), made horse treats, played in the sprinklers in the arena (loved that), horseless horse show (complete with wrapped legs, boots, crops, etc), farrier demonstration, coat colors by going around the barn and asking them to name one horse of each color, parts of tack (didn't love that but it was necessary), bathing, PONY PAINT (HUGE hit), and musical stalls. We have a sleepover one night and they get to stay and help us do the barn the night before. Surprisingly, they love doing barn work. We have a pretty awesome camp, if I do say so myself!
They don't like to be quizzed on things... partially because some of them can't write. haha.
"Many are riders; many are craftsmen; but few are artists on horseback."
I remember older posts about this, I think a search on summer camp may give some results. Some ideas I may recall: parts of the saddle and bridle (disassemble a few bridles, split into teams and have a race-for older/more advanced riders you could throw in an extra cheek piece in a wrong size to make it slightly harder). You could make an empty stall/paddock chart and all the horses' names on pieces of paper and see which team remembers the most (best for a large barn).
Decorating horse shoes
Painting a very kind pony - some others may know what medium to use that's the safest, but I remember seeing horses with the skeletal system painted on, very cool!! You could do that then a lunging session to show it in motion, or have them decorate a pony themselves (again, a saint of a pony!) If there's a gymkhana day planned, ponies could all get a little symbol painted on their rumps... And of course have them bathe it all off later :-)
Sometimes water games are the best to keep kids happy and going during the hot days. On the other hand, when my Campers were waaaay hyper on day, taking them to the ring and having a hunter/jumper competition was easy! (You could make it organized or just let them loose to go crazy haha)
Have fun and bring your camera! Pictures will be fun to post in the barn after camp week is done, and for updating and barn website if there is one!
(A decidedly unhorsey) MrB knocks over a feed bucket at the tack shop and mutters, "Oh crap. I failed the stadium jumping phase."
(he does listen!)