How to hold a family sports day

Organise a sports day with your family to spend time together and get some exercise. Exercise can boost your child’s mood and burn off extra energy. Having fun with family and friends improves wellbeing and self-esteem.

Playing outside also supports children’s personal, social and emotional development. Events like running races can help young children develop gross motor skills. These are large movements with our arms, legs, or torso. An activity like an egg and spoon race can build fine motor skills (the ability to make smaller movements).

Find some space big enough to move around in and set up some activities.

Family sports day: a child playing in the woods

Ideas for sports day activities

Before you get started on the activities, think about holding an opening ceremony. You could make masks or headdresses. Listen to a soundtrack of songs from different countries around the world. Or invent a dance routine to get into the spirit before you start.

Activities could include:

  • Egg and spoon race. If you’re short on preparation time, you can use a small potato instead of a boiled egg.
  • Welly wanging. Take turns to throw a wellington boot as far as you can. After each turn, place a marker with the person’s name on it where the welly landed. When everyone has had a turn, compare the markers. Whoever has thrown their welly the furthest wins.
  • Obstacle course. Try crawling under a picnic or coffee table. Create a tunnel with an old duvet. Make a zigzag of hula hoops. Or put hats on your heads and try to make it the end without them falling off. Anything goes as long as it’s safe.
  • Organise a race. Use string or even shaving foam to mark out a race track on the grass. This could be a three-legged race or a wheelbarrow race. Try a sack race, if you can find some hessian sacks. Mark the finish line with a ribbon or object.

At the end, hold a medal ceremony. Everyone gets a homemade medal and a round of applause for joining in.

    Go back

    5 benefits of playing outside


    Activity ideas for children aged five to 12


    Activity ideas for toddlers


    Activity ideas for teens


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