Elementary Field Day Events

Authored by Alana J. Tutwiler in Child Education 
Published on 08-20-2009

Field Day, or Play Day, as it is sometimes called, refers to the end of the year activities held outdoors at many elementary schools. Students compete individually and as a class in a variety of fun, physical activities and parents are invited to come out and cheer their children along. Field Day events are a great way to motivate children to participate in physical activities and there are a variety of simple games that can be set up.

Potato Sack Race

One classic activity is the potato sack race, in which children line up at the starting line to race. The catch is that each child is wearing a burlap potato sack so that instead of being able to run, they are actually hopping in the sack towards the finish line. The results are often hilarious, with children falling and rolling all over the field. The key to competing in this race is to take your time, because if you rush, you will most likely find yourself on the ground!


This is an activity for the entire class. A line is drawn in the grass or on pavement, and each class lines up on either side of the line. When the referee blows the whistle, students grab the rope and tug as hard as they can. The goal is to pull the other class over the line first. This game is a test of strength and endurance.

Egg Race

Another fun idea is the egg race. Contestants line up at the starting line and each person has a spoon holding an egg. The idea is to reach the finish line first without dropping your egg. This race teaches patience as well as sharpens concentration skills.

Fifty Yard Dash

This is a running race with one person selected from each competing class. Usually, the teacher from each class selects the fastest person to represent their class. This is easily determined by having the students race during regular recess and timing them. Speed and endurance are the keys to winning this race.

Relay Races

In this event, three or four students from each class are selected to compete in a relay. At the start, the first person runs to a set point. In some variations, they have to complete an activity when they get to this point, such as jumping rope five times. Then they run back, tag the next person, and they repeat this until each person has raced. The class whose group finishes first is the winner.

Carnival Games

Some elementary schools add a carnival-like atmosphere to Field Day by offering games like darts, ring toss, etc. Prizes are offered such as stuffed animals. These activities sharpen mental focus and concentration and in most cases, parents can play along with their child.

Field Day offers a wonderful opportunity for children to become more physically active and for parents to celebrate the end of the school year with their sons and daughters.


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