20 Field Day Activities: How to Plan the Perfect School Event -Tips, Guidelines and Field Day Themes
Field day is an exciting event that takes place in many schools, and it is a great way to promote physical activity, team building, and healthy competition among students. Children and teens can showcase their physical abilities, teamwork, and sportsmanship while enjoying the company of their classmates. It provides a unique opportunity for students to participate in a variety of activities and games, both outdoor and indoor. Field day can be organized for the entire school or just for certain classes or grades. The events provide memorable experiences for kids and adults that foster camaraderie, sportsmanship, and learning.
Field day is also fantastic way to bring your entire school community together in a fun, positive environment. By hosting a field day event, a school can open its doors to parents, members of the community, and volunteers who are willing to lend their support by helping organize the event and volunteering their time to run activities. Implementing field day at a school requires careful planning, organization, and coordination to ensure that it runs smoothly and is enjoyable for all participants.
Get ready for the ultimate field day by following these 10 steps to plan a wildly successful event! Plus, check out 20 captivating filed day games and activities that will have your students engaged all day long. Don't forget to explore some fun themes too - they'll make sure your school's field day really stands out from the crowd. Let's get planning!
Pic by Jake Zanetti @JZAthletics
Planning a Field Day
The first step in implementing field day is to plan the event. It is essential to involve teachers, administrators, parents, and students in the planning process to ensure that the event is inclusive and enjoyable for everyone. Below are some steps and ideas for organizing a successful field day at a school:
Step 1: Set a date and develop a schedule
The first step in organizing a field day is to determine the date and time of the event. It is important to choose a date that does not conflict with any other school events, such as testing, school events, or holidays. Start planning for field day well in advance to ensure everything is in order.
Once the date is set, a schedule should be created for the day's events. The schedule should include the start and end times, as well as which activities will take place when. Make sure the schedule is realistic and takes into account the time needed for setup, cleanup, and transitions between activities. If you have a large school, you may want to consider breaking the event into two days or more.
Step 2: Incorporate a theme
Creating a theme for your field day can make it more fun and engaging for the students. Some popular themes include: Olympics, Superheroes, Pirates, Space Adventures, or Under the Sea. Incorporating a theme into field day activities helps to create an exciting atmosphere that will engage the participants and motivate them to get involved in all of the activities.
Step 3: Determine the field day events (activities and games)
Field day offers an opportunity for students to engage in a wide range of physical activities and field day games. The activities and games can be tailored to suit different age groups, interests, and abilities.
Pic by Callen Martin-Fowler @MsPhysEduDP
Outdoor activities, such as tag games and relay races, are always popular choices for Field Day. Other ideas include water balloon tosses, sack races, tug-of-war, obstacle courses, three-legged races, egg and spoon races. Indoor Field Day activities can also be a fun way to get kids moving and having fun. Ideas include scooter board games, scavenger hunts, indoor volleyball or basketball lead-up games.
Step 4: Gather resources and materials
Once the schedule is set and the activities have been chosen, it is time to start gathering the resources and materials needed for Field Day. This includes PE activity equipment (ring toss, hula hoops, etc.), water bottles, cones and markers, first-aid kits, refreshments, etc.
Step 5: Recruit volunteers and assign responsibilities
Organizing a field day requires a team effort, and it is important to recruit volunteers to help with the event. This may include parents, teachers, and older students who can help with setting up the equipment, running the games, and providing assistance where needed. Assign responsibilities to staff, volunteers, and students for various tasks such as setup, registration, and running activities. Make sure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities and has the resources they need to do their job effectively.
Step 6: Plan for inclement weather
Plan for inclement weather by having a backup plan for indoor activities or postponing the
event if necessary. Ensure that everyone is aware of the plan in case the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Step 7: Ensure safety
Safety should be a top priority for field day. Make sure all activities are age-appropriate, and that students are wearing appropriate footwear and clothing. Have first aid kits on hand and ensure there is adequate supervision at all times.
Step 8: Provide clear instructions
Provide clear instructions for all games and activities, and ensure that students understand the rules and expectations. Visuals (signs and posters) with simple text work great to post at each event, activity or game. This will help to avoid confusion and prevent any accidents.
Step 9: Promote the event...spread the word
To ensure that all students are aware of the event and excited to participate, it is important to promote the event ahead of time. This can be done through posters, announcements, and social media posts. It is also a good idea to create a buzz by sharing pictures and videos of past field day events to get students excited about the upcoming event. By promoting Field Day in advance, more people will be aware of the event and may offer their support by volunteering their time or donating resources.
Step 10: Have fun and celebrate!
The most important part of field day is to have fun and celebrate together. Make sure that everyone knows they’re appreciated and celebrated, and recognize their efforts with certificates, awards or other tokens of appreciation. Field day can be a great opportunity to boost morale, promote teamwork and foster new relationships among students, staff, parents
20 Showcase Field Day Activities
Get ready for a day of adventure with the following field day activities, relays and games that are sure to keep everyone engaged! The highlighted field day event categories listed below provide a wide selection of fun, including outdoor events on both the grass and hard surfaces, water activities, indoor gym-centered options - even some that can be enjoyed in the classroom or remotely from home. Whether you prefer individual tasks or a fun game to build team spirit - there's something here for everyone!
Pic by PE with Mike Bohanon @mbohannon4
Outdoor Field Events
Field day, "outdoor field events" are typically a series of physical activities, games, relays or challenges that take place outside on a grassy field or large, open space area.
Field Events at Pickett's Mill Elementary School
1- Obstacle Course
Equipment: Hoops, Hurdles, Cones, Ropes, Balls, Buckets. Description: In relay lines, students take turns going through a course of hoops, ropes, hurdles and a toss challenge.
2- Soccer Dribble
Equipment: Soccer Balls, Tires, Polyspots. Description: In relay lines, students take turns dribbling a soccer ball, and taking it in and out of a tire using only their feet.
3- Tire or Hoop Roll
Equipment: Polyspots, Tires or Hoops, Cones. Description: In relay lines, students take turns rolling old tires or hula hoops around an end cone and back.
Equipment: Large Tug-O-War Rope, Marked Lines. Description: Students pull in small or large groups - two teams on either side of a rope, attempting to pull the middle flag past their pull line.
There are many other events that work well on a grassy field. From hula hoop ring toss, beach ball swaps and hippity hop relays to hurdle runs, sack races and three-legged races - not to mention kickball games or a friendly game of beach volleyball; the possibilities for fun in an outdoor open space area are endless!
If you need outdoor field event visuals click here for an engaging set of 20!
Outdoor Hard Surface Events
Field day, "outdoor hard surface events" are typically physical activities, tasks, or games that take place on a hard or solid surface, such as a bus port, paring lot, basketball court, tennis court, or running track.
5- Jump Rope Relay
Equipment: Short Jump Ropes, Cones, Polyspots. Description: In relay lines, students running and jumping rope as they travel to an end cone and back.
6- Tricycle Relay
Equipment: Tricycles, Cones, Polyspots. Description: In relay lines, students take turns riding a tricycle down and around an end cone and back to the starting line.
7- Frisbee Fling
Equipment: Frisbees, Hula Hoops, Polyspots. Description: In relay lines, students take throwing a disc/Frisbee multiple times until it lands inside a hula hoop.
8- Sweep it Up
Equipment: Brooms, Balls, Cones, Polyspots. Description: In relay lines, students take turns sweeping a ball (dribbling) around an end cone and back.
Other outdoor activities that are guaranteed to be a hit on hard surfaces include cup stacking relay races, ball toss game, egg and spoon competitions, bubble-blowing stations, golf ball searches, four square games, sidewalk chalk art, and the limbo.
If you need more outdoor hard surface events click here for an exciting set of 20!
Outdoor Water Events
Field day, "outdoor water events" are typically activities, or games that involve water tasks and take place outdoors near a reliable water source. Water events are fun but require additional procedural and safety precautions.
Water Events at Pickett's Mill Elementary School
Equipment: Large & Small Buckets, Cups, Polyspots. Description: In relay lines, students take turns dipping a cup (with holes in it) and running it to a small bucket to fill it up. The first team to fill up the bucket to the top wins.
10- Little Squirt
Equipment: Water Spray Bottle, Chairs, Cups, Ping Pong Balls. Description: In relay lines, students work together in a fun and creative way to knock off a ping pong ball from the top of an upside-down cup - taking turns running to the line and spraying water.
11- Sponge Relay
Equipment: Sponges, Buckets, Milk Jugs, Ping Pong Balls. Description: In relay lines, students run a wet sponge to a milk jug (with the top cut out), squeezing it to eventually make a ping pong ball pop out the top.
12- Water Plunger Relay
Equipment: Cups, Buckets, Chairs, Plungers. Description: In relay lines, students take turns dipping a cup in a bucket, filling a plunger with water and then traveling to a bucket to fill it up
Field day is perfect for a variety of water-based activities. Other water events include the water balloon toss, fish in a bucket, net the fish, sponge over and under relay race, rain and ride challenge, Slip 'n Slide, wet laundry relay race - or any other game your imagination can think up!
If you need more outdoor water events click here for a wet and crazy set of 20!
Indoor Gym Events
Field day, "indoor gym events" are typically physical activities, tasks or games that take place inside a gymnasium or other indoor space. They are a great way to keep kids active when the weather isn’t ideal or you have a large group and need the extra space to house the field day activities. So much fun for the younger kids!
Hard Surface and Gym Events at Pickett's Mill Elementary School
13- Basketball Shoot
Equipment: Basketballs, B-Ball Goal, Polyspots. Description: In relay lines, students take turns shooting baskets from a shooting line attempting to get 8 baskets with their team.
14- Hoop Course
Equipment: Hula Hoops, Polyspots. Description: In relay lines, students take turns running around, stepping through and twirling hula hoops.
15- Row Your Boat
Equipment: Scooter Boards, Cones, Plungers, Polyspots. Description: In relay lines, students take turns “rowing” themselves on dual scooter boards using plungers to propel themselves.
16- Parachute Fun
Equipment: Parachute(s). Description: Using large group or small group parachutes, students work cooperatively to raise and lower parachutes.
From the alphabet relay to the limo scooter board scoot, there are a variety of other activities perfect for indoor gyms or large spaces. Try out the bowling bash, boxer shorts relay, scooter board dog sled race, javelin throw using pool noodles and hula hut construction for some major fun without going outdoors! And don't forget about the climbing wall challenge, and wheelchair roll – they're sure to provide your group with hours of FUN!
If you need more indoor gym events click here for a dynamic set of 20!
Indoor Classroom or At Home/Remote Events
Field day "classroom challenges" or activities can be fun, educational, and competitive activities that take place inside a classroom. They are great for young children who are not as coordinated or physically able to participate in outdoor activities and can also be used to break up the Field Day into smaller, more manageable segments for both students and teachers.
17- Table Toss
Equipment: Polyspots, Table, Balls and/or Beanbags. Description: Students take turns tossing a ball or beanbag underhand from a marker so that it lands and comes to rest on a table without sliding off in an effort to earn points.
18- Plunger Plunge
Equipment: Ball, Plunger, Polyspots. Description: In a relay line or in partners, students take turns gently placing the ball or other object atop of a plunger, stabilizing it before making their way down to the finish line (wins) and traveling back to where they began.
19- Hit the Target
Equipment: Polyspots, Laundry Basket, Bin, Balls or Beanbags. Description: Students take turns throwing a ball or beanbag into a basket and/or a bin to earn points.
20- Run and Stack
Equipment: Polyspots, Plastic Stacking Cups. Description: Students take turns racing to and from a designated starting point to a set of 6 stacking cups, where they must carefully stack 6 cups in the form of a 3-2-1 pyramid. The next person in line then runs back to the cups to downstack the cups.
When space is limited, many other enjoyable events can be implemented! Consider the balloon jump, beach ball volley relay, circle run and zig-zag weave. Then there's flip the bottle, fill the basket task and hopscotch. Don't forget about Ziplock juggle or toss & travel either - plus the balance walk and cup stack challenge are always fun too!
If you need more classroom/remote field day events click here for a FUN set of 40!
A word about field day themes
One way to make your school field day more engaging and exciting is to use different themes or concepts for each year's event. These themes can help create a sense of excitement and add an extra level of fun to the day's events. This can help to keep things fresh and interesting for students, while also providing opportunities to explore different types of physical activities and challenges.
Super Hero Field Day at Pickett's Mill Elementary School
One popular theme for a school field day is a sports theme. This theme could include various sports-related activities such as relay races, tug-of-war, basketball, soccer, and volleyball lead-up (small group) games, tasks and relays. Students could also dress up in their favorite sports team jerseys or colors to add to the excitement of the day.
A superhero or movie theme is also a great option for a school field day. This theme could include activities such as a superhero obstacle course, movie trivia, and superhero or movie-themed relays. Students could dress up as their favorite superhero or movie character and participate in the activities.
Another popular theme for field day is a carnival day. This theme typically includes activities that are inspired by traditional carnival games, such as ring toss, balloon darts, and bean bag toss. You can also include activities such as face painting, a photo booth, and a cotton candy machine. This theme is perfect for younger students and can create a fun and festive atmosphere.
During Olympic years, an Olympic Field Day is a great theme to organize for a school field day. This theme could include activities such as a relay race, a long jump competition, and a javelin (pool noodle) throwing contest. Students could also dress up in their favorite countries’ colors or “Team USA” apparel to show their spirit for the Olympic Games.
Other field day theme ideas that you might consider include: Circus, Beach, Hawaiian (Luau), Farm, Medieval, Wild West, Safari, Pirate, Ninja, Patriotic, Survivor, Adventure, Space, and Swamp themes!
These are just a few ideas to get you started. When choosing a theme, consider the interests and age groups of the participants, as well as the location and resources available. A well-chosen theme can help to make your field day event more engaging, fun, and memorable for everyone involved.
Field day is a fun and exciting event that can promote physical activity, teamwork, and healthy competition among students. There are many different types of activities that can be incorporated into field day, and careful planning and preparation are necessary to ensure that the school-wide event runs smoothly and is enjoyable for all participants. By following the tips and guidelines offered in this blog article, schools can implement a successful and memorable field day that students will look forward to every year.
Field day provides a much-needed break from the academic routine and can help students recharge and refocus. It can be a fun and exciting way to end the school year or semester, and provide students with a positive and memorable experience. So, don’t hesitate and start planning your Field Day today! Try out some of the ideas, activities, and themes provided in this article and let us know how it goes!
What are some of your favorite field day events, activities, tasks, relays, and/or games that you have done in the past? Comment below and share some of your field day experiences with all of us! I truly hope you have fun implementing your Field Day this year! Good luck and have a blast!
Need Free Resources?
Do you need some indoor field day events to use during your big field day? Do you need something that has top of the line graphics and font? If so, Cap'n Pete's Power PE has you covered! Many of these events could also be used outside on a field or hard surface as well so be sure to check them out!!
Fill in the form below to download this FREE Indoor Field Day Event Cards - 12 Visual Set: with 12 signs designed exclusively for field day with activity instructions and top-notch graphics. Just download, print, laminate, and use the set for years!
This fun set of field day visuals was designed to be implemented with a wide range of ages.
A Field Day Power Pack for your School or Church!
If you're looking for several events for your special day, look no further! Cap'n Pete has the ultimate field day resource - Field Day Power Pack- 80 Event Card Bundle. Inside the Mega-Bundle packet are 80 Field Day Event Cards to be used on grassy-type fields, hard surfaces, with water and in the gym. Perfect for any age too!!
Download 4 Engaging Field Day Sets that will give you several years’ worth of events for your school, church, or camp. The Ultimate Field Day Event Power Pack- 80 Event Cards resource is a Mega-Bundle, visual package of signs that can be used during large group field day events. The cards serve to help field day volunteers, teachers, leaders, and students easily understand all of the events by delivering specific instructions and providing attractive graphics depicting the events. Without having to provide a great deal of verbal explanation to volunteers and teachers, your field day event can run easily and efficiently.
What Resources are in the Field Day Power Pack- 80 Event Card Mega-Bundle?