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The Silly String Castle Siege Game For Teaching 21st Century Skills

We had a whole lot of kids at our house last night for a sleepover, and we decided to try out a new activity that I’ve been working on for Camp for this summer. My goal was to make a game that was a ton of silly fun, unlike anything our kids had participated in before, and something that actually helped them work on developing their 21st century skills (vital skills like creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and leadership). I call this game “Silly String Castle Siege”. 

The preparation was pretty simple. Earlier in the day we went to our local grocery store and asked if they had any empty boxes we could take. After filling the trunk of our SUV with cardboard we then went to our local party store to buy 8 cans of silly string, and 2 rolls of duct tape. I think we spent $16. 

After dinner we split the kids into two teams and gave them their instructions. Using only the cardboard and duct tape we provided, they had 30 minutes to construct castles or forts that had to stand up on their own. From behind their fortifications they would each have a can of silly string, which they could shoot across the room at the other team. No one could leave the safety of their castle during the “battle”. 

And from there they were off! As I had hoped, Silly String Castle Siege really challenged them. Both teams immediately huddled up and began to discuss ideas and strategies. Leaders on each side emerged. Ideas were tested, and often discarded when the actual constuction began. Wanting to create the ultimate cardboard castle, they came up with creative solutions and collaborated well. The only help that I offered was to do the cutting of the cardboard when a team wanted to make a structural modification. Otherwise, the kids (ranging in age from 6-8) did it all themselves. new-program-ideas2

They were very proud of their creations. One group decided that their team needed a special name, and combined 2 letters from each of their first names. The other group actually wrote a song in support of their team, which they sang moments before the battle began in an attempt to psych out the other side. I loved the team spirit!


And then came the craziness. With an “on your mark…get set…go!” they pulled the tops off of their cans and let the silly string fly! As you can hear and see in the video it was a ton of fun. They howled and shreiked and laughed as their forts, and each other, got covered in multi-colored foam. There was no arguing, no name calling, and no claims of winning or losing. They simply had fun, while working on important life skills. That’s pretty much what life is like at Kenwood and Evergreen every day of the summer.

Our campers have incredibly fun summers with us in New Hampshire, but the learning that takes place during activities like this is so much more impactful than just having a good time. In the midst of these crazy fun moments that make up a summer at camp, our campers are also living in an incredible laboratory where they have real moments to try being leaders, teammates, problem solvers and out-of-the-box thinkers. It’s through this sort of intentional playing that they learn how to innovate, collaborate, and adapt to the challenges of life. This is how Kenwood and Evergreen is redefining summer enrichment

So I’m curious: what do you think about this game? Should we try playing Silly String Castle Siege at our summer camp in New Hampshire this year? Do you have any modifications that you recommend, or other new ideas that we should try? Please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below! 

Camps Kenwood and Evergreen in New Hampshire is the 7-week summer home for children from around the world interested in playing sports, making lasting friendships, creating incredible art projects, and mastering the 21st century skills they will need to succeed in life.

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