Ten Favorite Field Day Games

There are many ways to structure field day. Here are three common ways: Make it competitive by placing every participant on a team. If using this method, I recommend dividing the students as evenly as possible among 4 to 6 teams depending on population. I do not recommend playing class against class because this format leads to over the top type of competition. The teams compete in several events and a winner is declared at the end of the day. A second way is to have individual competition where everyone keeps his or her own score. The individual students can still be part of a team to participate in team events, but only the individual score counts. For example, in a no relay relay type race (see below), students are part of a team, but they count their own points rather than a team total. A third way is to divide the whole into very small teams of three to six students. Those students work as a team accumulating points throughout the day.

The next step is to set up different activities. I favor the station approach. Spread out as many stations as you need to keep things moving, but still have enough help. Make sure you have trained volunteers leading each event. Give out a time schedule to each volunteer and each team. The teams rotate through the events making sure that the competing teams are as equally formed as possible. It is also helpful to have enough volunteers or leaders at each station to insure that each team has one adult to enforce rules and count points. Field Day is a great opportunity to involve your whole school community. Get as many volunteers as possible. Many physical education teachers also like to teach the games and activities to their classes before field day. Understanding how to play the games before the actual field day makes for smoother transitions. Finally, remember to get out to the field early, make sure you have all your equipment, permits if necessary, first aid kits, emergency contacts, permission slips, cleanup plans, and volunteers.

Ten Favorite Field Day Games

  1. Cone on Cone Off
  2. Strategy Frisbee Golf
  3. Pass and Run No Relay Relay
  4. Hide the Pennies or Golf Tees
  5. Ball Transfer
  6. Marble Grab
  7. Hula Hoop Roll for Distance
  8. Long Rope
  9. Rainbow Run
  10. Cone Toss

Cone on Cone Off

This is a simple no relay relay game No Relay Relay . It is easy to play, has a lot of movement, and is fun. Each team is lined up directly opposite a traffic cone. Make sure the cone has a hole on top. Give the first player on each team a ball. Make sure the ball will not easily fall off the top of the cone. On the "go" signal, the person with the ball runs (you can substitute other locomotor skills) and places the ball on top of the cone. The ball must stay on. That player runs back and tags the next player on line. That player runs to the cone and removes it. S/he runs back to the line and hands the ball off to the next player on line. Play continues in this way for a designated amount of time. Each team gets one point every time the ball is placed on the cone. At the end of the time period count each team's points. If playing for individual points, each time a player returns to the line, s/he scores one point. Variation: Give the runners something else to do. For example, they can keep a balloon in the air while running back and forth.

Strategy Frisbee Golf

Divide your teams into foursomes. Give each player a Frisbee. Set up various targets throughout the golfing area. The targets may be trees, cones, tennis ball cans, buckets, etc. Set up a starting point for each hole (tee area). Each person flies his/her Frisbee toward the target. The object of this game is to be the first player to hit the target. Here is where the strategy comes in. After everyone's first toss, the person who is furthest away goes next followed by the next furthest and so on. Continue in this manner until someone hits the target. So lets say you are furthest away. You have to decide whether to try to hit the target, or play your next shot so that you may still be furthest away. If you attempt to hit the target and miss, you will probably not win the hole. Variation: use other kinds of equipment. Rather than being the first to hit the target, count the number of strokes for each hole. Lowest total score is the winner.

Pass and Run No Relay Relay

See this link: Pass and Run Use variation 2 for field day, but the field day coordinator should set up the distance between poly spots.

Hide the Pennies or Golf Tees

Obtain 50 to 100 pennies or golf tees. Before the students enter the play area, hide the coins or tees throughout the designated area. Just spread them out on the ground. They should not be invisible. On the go signal, the students run into the field and find the pennies or tees. They may only pick up one at a time. They take the found object to a designated counter and then pick up a chip to show they found something. When all the objects are found, give one point for each chip the students have. Variation: you can allow the students to pick up as many objects as they can find. Play for a designated amount of time. The students get one point for each object they find. If the total coins or tees found do not add up to the original amount, let the students continue to look for the missing objects and give 5 points for each additional object found.

Ball Transfer

Each team has 2 facilitators, 2 hoops, and 2 playground type balls. Teams line up relay style. Divide each team in half. Place the hoops opposite each other. The distance between hoops is optional, but should be the same for each competing team. Each facilitator has a ball and stands next to one of the hoops. On the "go" signal, the facilitator places the ball between the first two players on each line. Some choices include, but are not limited to, back to back, shoulder to shoulder or stomach to stomach. Each team must place the ball the same way. Once the ball is placed, each pair attempts to transfer the ball to the opposite hoop. Each team has two balls working at the same time. If the ball falls, pick it up and go back. After two tries go to the end of the line. If successful, the facilitator takes the ball, the pair goes to the end of the new line, play continues, and the entire team receives one point. If playing as individuals, the pair receives one point for each successful ball transfer. Play for a designated amount of time. Count all successful points.

Marble Grab

Place marbles in an inflatable pool. Teams form lines around and facing the pool. First person from each team picks up one marble with bare foot. Next person goes. Play continues for a designated amount of time or until all or most of the marbles are gone. Count one point for each marble the team is able to grab.

Hula Hoop Roll for Distance

Each team has one hula hoop. Teams line up relay style facing a large area. On the go signal, the first person from each team rolls his/her hoop. As soon as the hoop falls down, the next person on line runs to the hoop and rolls it. As soon as the hoop falls down, the next person runs out. Play continues until one of the hoops passes a designated line. That team receives a point. Begin again from the start. Play for a designated amount of time. If playing for individual points, each person races the other students who started at the same time. S/he rolls the hoop and must wait unit the hoop falls. At that point, s/he may run to the hoop and roll it again. Play continues until one of the hoops crosses the line.

Long Rope

Each team has one long jump rope. On the "go" signal, the turners begin to turn the rope. The other team members are lined up next to the rope on one side of the turner. As the rope is turning, they go through - no jump - one at a time. Each team gets points in one of the following ways: total number of players going through without touching the rope, most consecutive players going through without touching the rope, most consecutive players going through without missing a turn of the rope and without touching the rope. As the players go through, they line up next to the opposite turner. As the last player goes through from one side, the first player begins to go through from the other side. Variation: add one jump and exit. Play for a designated amount of time. Play again with new turners.

Rainbow Run

Each team begins the game with one hoop and one index card. Before the game begins, hide different color crayons under cones or poly spots, which are spread out throughout the play area. You may have more cones than crayons; you may also hide other colored crayons that may not be needed. The teacher or leader holds an index card. Draw different colored straight lines on this card, one under the other. For example, on your card the top color might be red, then blue, then brown, then purple, then orange, then green. Try to have as many colors as there are competing teams. At the beginning of the game, give each team one color to look for. The matching colored crayons are hidden under the cones. The idea is for the teams to find all the colors in the correct order. The teams must stick together. They must all hold on to the hoop while moving. If a team is looking for red, when they find the red crayon, they draw a red line near the top of their card, then go back to the leader. The leader will tell them to find the blue crayon. If they began looking for the brown crayon, when they return to leader, s/he will tell them to look for purple. Always have them look for the next color down on your card. If they started with green, they would finish with orange. If they started with red, they would finish with green. If they started with blue, they would finish with red. Try to have each team begin the game by looking for a different color. Remember, you are only telling them one color at a time. Therefore, they will have to report to you after each find. Also remember to tell them to leave the crayon under the cone so that the other teams will be able to use it. The first team with all the colored lines drawn on their card in the correct order is the winning team.

Cone Toss

Give one small traffic cone to each team. Give one beanbag to each team. Line up 3 hoops for each team three to five feet apart at the opposite end of the play area away from the starting line. Competing teams line up relay style behind a starting line. One person from each team holds a small traffic cone at the end of the play area near the hoops, and at least 5 feet beyond the last hoop. On the "go" signal, the first person from each team runs out and chooses one of the hoops to toss from. The furthest hoop from the catcher is worth 3 points, the middle hoop is worth 2 points and the closest hoop is worth 1 point. The tosser attempts to toss the beanbag so that his/her teammate can catch it inside the cone. After tossing the beanbag, whether successful or not, the tosser runs and retrieves the beanbag from the catcher and runs it back to the next person on line. Play for a designated amount of time. See which team accumulates the most points.