Use Old Camp Mattresses to Put a New Spin on the 4th of July

Fourth of JulyWhether you have energetic campers at your summer camp this week, or a restless camp staff who doesn't know what to do with their Fourth of July, we have some great ideas for making America's birthday a memorable day at your camp!

How are we so sure that our ideas are memorable? They involve camp mattresses! (Honestly, are you surprised?)

Here's what you need:

  • OLD camp mattresses. You do NOT want to use camp mattresses that are in good condition for these activities because these games we're about to suggest are the opposite of what it means to care for your mattresses and will most certainly destroy them. Instead, grab mattresses that you don't plan to use again. Perhaps you have some lying in the warehouse or shed waiting to be recycled. Those are perfect.
  • Campers, counselors, or anyone who's ready to have fun! These activities are for a group, so grab your most enthusiastic team players and let's go!

Let the games begin!

Iditarod Mattress Race

You've heard of mattress surfing, but what about mattress sledding? Use your old camp mattresses as sleds with one rider and one person who pulls the sled. If you only have one mattress, you can have your sled teams race against the clock, but if you have two or more old mattresses, it's much more fun to watch the teams race against each other at the same time.

Ready, set, mush!

Mattress Dodge Ball

Everyone loves a competitive game of dodge ball. This unique version of the game follows the same rules of dodge ball, but with a new challenge -- mattresses.

The mattresses are piled in the middle of the dodge ball field along with the balls. Begin the game as you would any game of dodge ball. Each team lines up at the end of their boundary ready to sprint toward the balls and mattresses in the middle as soon as the whistle blows. 

The team that can drag the most mattresses across the back boundary on their side wins!


  • If a ball hits you or your mattress, you're out.
  • Players who are hit must drop the mattress where it is.

Happy dodging!

Obstacle Course

Try using your old camp mattresses as obstacles in an obstacle course. Here are some creative ideas:

  • A landing pad for a big jump
  • An obstacle to throw, carry or push over
  • A slippery surface to run across (Check out these recipes for making slime and spread it across the mattresses) 
  • A bridge to crawl under

Team Building Games

There are countless team building activities you could try by incorporating an old camp mattress. Use these suggestions as inspiration to spark some cooperation games of your own:

  • Get the mattress from point A to point B without using your hands or feet.
  • How many people can you fit onto one mattress? (Use this one only if your group is large enough to be challenged by it.)
  • Flip or balance the mattress without using your ______.

When you need new camp mattresses to replace your old ones...

If you broke rule number one in this blog and used your current camp mattresses to play these games, then you're probably going to be shopping for new mattresses sooner than you had anticipated. Or, if you've had old mattresses lying around and haven't had time to replace them, now is a great time. Check out our camp mattresses and replacement mattress covers below, and ask us for a quote!

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