We probably all have fond memories of traditional field day activities such as the egg and spoon, sack races, wheelbarrow and three-legged. While these activities may still be incorporated into our field days now, they often look quite different from field days of the past.
Track and field days, where children compete at running, jumping and throwing activities are often replaced with stations, allowing all children to be involved and included. Kids rotate to different games and activities, throughout the day. With stations the emphasis is on teamwork, fun and sportsmanship and competition is often optional. Our field days have shifted from a focus on competition to an emphasis on exercise being fun and enjoyable. Let's enjoy a day for celebrating what our bodies can do and building relationships in a more relaxed setting.
- Set the date early so field trips and summer activities don't interfere with the planning
- Have an indoor plan or rain date ready just in case
- Recruit parent volunteers
- Take the great opportunity to build community relationships, invite your community police officer or community leaders
- Have resources (list of stations and adult supervisors, map of stations, rotation order) ready so everyone feels organized and ready to help
- Snacks or freezies are always a hit and having enough for adult helpers makes everyone happy
Station Activity Ideas:
- Flying disc (frisbee) golf, like mini golf but with flying discs
- Basketball shooting
- Basketball bounce and catch challenge (how many bounce catches can you make in two minutes)
- Cone Flipping (a timely take on the water bottle flipping craze) can be seen here
- Ring Toss, an oldy but a goody
- Set up on asphalt or indoors with a bowling challenge
- Hula Huts are a wonderful team building activity
- Cross the river with spot markers
- Fun challenges with the Co-operative Catch and Balance Band Set
- Tug of war
- Team Obstacle course with the Fleece Cooperation Band
- Car wash relay (using sponges, teams have to move the water from one bucket to another)
- Speed 100 meters
- Backwards race
- Egg and Spoon Set
- Hula hoop course (do a different activity in each hula hoop)
- Noodle relay (balancing a pool noodle on hands or between legs)
- Sack races
- Jump ropes
- skipping challenge/races
A non-competitive option for field day is to make a necklace from beads, (gratefully borrowed from How to Plan a School Field Day) and is a wonderful way to celebrate success and participation. Children are given beads for each activity they take part in during field day and character beads can also be given for supportive behaviour or good sportsmanship. Necklaces or bracelets can then be worn as a symbol of participation and achievement.
However you choose to plan and action your field day, embrace the energy it brings and have fun.
Written by Chris, an elementary school teacher in Pembina Trails