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 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.

Opening ceremony

Before you get started on the activities, think about holding an opening ceremony. You could make masks or hats. 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.

    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.

      Egg and spoon race

      Get everyone to balance a boiled egg on a spoon then race to a fixed point. If you’re short on preparation time, you can use a small potato instead of a boiled egg.

      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.

      Other races

      Organise some different types of races. Use string or 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.

      Medal ceremony

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

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      This advice was written by our experienced Parent Talk coaches. Parent Talk is a free online service for parents and carers, provided by the charity Action for Children. For more advice, message our parenting coaches with our online chat.

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