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What’s the most anticipated day of the school year? (Hint—it’s not final exams, the spring program, or even the last day of school...) It’s FIELD DAY, that glorious day at the end of the school year filled with games & healthy competition, sunshine & laughter, popsicles & hot dogs, no pencils or papers...and did we mention games? This important day gives kids of all ages a chance to celebrate the school year coming to a close, show some class pride, and spend a whole day being active (after all, the US Dept. of Health and Human Services recommends kids get at least an hour of moderate-to-vigorous exercise a day—what better way to make that happen than through FUN and GAMES?).
Pulling off a successful field day is a large undertaking; but with the right amount of planning and organization, this end-of-the-year celebration will be an event that your children will remember for years to come! So how do you approach planning a Field Day to Remember?
To host a successful field day, you’ll need an army of volunteers...the more, the merrier! Be sure to clearly assign and explain each volunteer’s roles and responsibilities to keep everything running smoothly:
Do you want competitive games where teachers are tracking and adding up points for a prize—student vs. student or 5th grade vs 4th grade? Or will you opt for a more collaborative style with all classes working together towards an end goal? Both options add value to kids' play: reinforcing teamwork and sportsmanship, encouraging kids to do their best at every task they undertake, and cheering on their team-mates. Here’s a few helpful ideas for affordable prizes and trinkets to offer your "winners":
No matter how you decide to play the day away, your activities need to have structure—and there are several ways you can organize this time. Use a timed schedule and Station Activities where kids or classes rotate through stations; opt for a Festival-Themed play day reminiscent of a carnival (go big with extras like dunk tanks, concession stands, and Giant 7-Foot Inflatable Bounce House and Climbing Cube if your budget and space allows); if you have access to a track, use the track and infield for Track & Field Style races, relays, and field events. Helpful hint: no matter how you style your Field Day, be sure to plan lots and lots of water, snack, and rest breaks—both for students AND volunteers.
In the remaining days before the big event, make sure everyone involved has their game face on, and is ready for a full day of fun:
Now that we’ve got the planning essentials down, we’ve come to the fun part: what are the best field day activities and games? We have a mix of DIY classic along with timeless, modern games for you to purchase and keep on hand forever!
Traditional: Chances are, we all remember a few staples from our grade-school days. Here’s a list of classic oldies-but-goodies (including suggestions for fun, modern updates!):
Sprints & Relay Races: With just a few extra supplies (balloons, batons, eggs & spoons), set up a series of sprints and relay races that encourage teamwork (and quick footwork):
Water Games: Everyone looks forward to cooling off with a little water play on Field Day!
Festival-Themed: Just add kettle corn, cotton candy, and food trucks...
Collaborative Games: Work together as a team, and win BIG!
One-on-One Challenges: Grab an opponent: the challenge is on!
Backyard Games: Have a few games and activities set out for siblings, parents, or kids who need a little “time away” from the competition:
Tiny Tots: Be sure to have games and activities on hand for the littlest gamers and players:
Share your fantastic field day fun with the HearthSong family @hearthsong!