Submitted by Claire Annette Noland
What day of the school year do children most look forward to celebrating?
That’s easy –
Just because kids are now staying safe at home doesn’t mean that they can’t celebrate the end of the academic school year. Since so much learning is happening online these days, everyone is ready to get out of their chairs and move around. Kids can’t wait to take a break to play games, get wet, and have fun.
We can all challenge ourselves to create a fantastic At Home Field Day. There are a few things that make it different at home than at school.
Group activities need to be scaled to the family size. That means parents, you get to play, too. Games can be adapted to different ages.
None of us want to make extra trips to a store. The challenge here is to use what you have. Improvise!
Since there are fewer participants, scoring needs to be creative. Try using a timer or do the best out of three.
Involve your kids in creating the games. I’m sure they will come up with some great ideas.
Keep it simple and be flexible. The goal is to get outside, play, be good sports, and have fun!
These suggestions are easy, fun, and kid approved!
1. LONG JUMP
Equipment: chalk, sidewalk or pavement
Mark distances on the cement with chalk Player runs and jumps as far as possible. Try again to see if they can go even farther.
2. SPOON RACE
Equipment: kitchen spoons, buckets, 10 objects such as water balloons ping pong balls, limes, marshmallows, or potatoes.
Create Start and Finish lines with buckets
When they hear, GO, the first person picks an object, balances it on their spoon, walks, and puts it in the bucket. Then they run back to the beginning and get another object and walk to put it in the bucket. Repeat until the objects are all in the bucket. If the object drops, the player must pick it up, go back to the beginning and start over.
3. MUSICAL HOOPS Equipment: hula hoops, music
Place hula hoops in a circle on the grass Start the music and kids jump from hoop to hoop Stop the music and take away a hoop Play the music and the kids jump from hoop to hoop. When the music stops, they must be in a hoop or they are out. Last one in a hoop wins
4. SPIDER WEB Equipment: Painter’s Tape, paper
Attach tape across the doorway in the shape of a spider’s web. Children crumple up paper to make “insects” and throw them at the web. How many bugs will get caught in the spider web?
5. BALLOON BOUNCE Equipment: Fly swatter and balloon
Bounce the balloon on the fly swatter. Time how long it is kept up or count the number of bounces.
6. SACK RACE Equipment: one pillow case per person, cone or marker
On the GO! signal,children get into their sack and jump as fast as they can to the cone, circle it, and return to start.
Equipment: chalk, a wall or fence
Draw a goal post on the fence. Divide it into three sections. Give each section a point value. Child kicks a ball and tries to hit the highest value section. Each child has five kicks. The one with the most points wins.
8. WATER BALLOON TOSS
Equipment: balloons filled with water
Number of players: at least two
Players stand across from each other and toss a water balloon. With each successful catch, they each take one step back. Continue tossing until the balloon drops and pops. How far can they go?
9. BLIND OBSTACLE COURSE Equipment: whatever you have around to make an obstacle course. (Balls, bean bags, chairs, etc.)
Number of players: at least two
Set up equipment in the game area. Blindfold one player. The other player leads player #1 through the minefield. Player #2 gives instructions like “forward, left, right, over, under” to help player #1 get through the course without touching any of the items. If they bump into something, they go back and start again. After successfully navigating the course, switch places with player #2 blindfolded and #1 guiding. (The goal of this game is for the players to work together and give good directions.)
10. FOLLOW ME CHALLENGE Equipment: imagination
Players demonstrate a skill and challenge others to do it too.
11. BONUS EVENT
@HOME TARGET THROW Equipment: table, toilet paper rolls or cans, tennis balls
Stack the toilet paper rolls on a table Mark a throw line. Players get three tries to knock over all the rolls. Everyone wins because there’s toilet paper!
My book, Evie’s Field Day – More Than One Way to Win (illustrated by Alicia Teba) will be released on May First, 2020.
Please share your own suggestions for games to play on #AtHomeFieldDay in the comments. I hope you’ll join us!