Games for Your School’s Sports Day

Sports day is one of the most popular days in the academic calendar, with children eager to impress their onlooking friends and family, making a change from spending the afternoon in a maths lesson.

Sports day allows children to have fun and let their hair down, especially once exam season is over. Usually, sports days take place at the beginning of summer at some point in the final few weeks of the academic year, though some schools choose to hold their sports days in the spring and autumn when the weather is cooler.

While they are a bit of fun, there is the obvious edge of competition with children keen to do their best and win their events. There are several different ways in which schools choose to organise sports days, with some having children compete in their classes while others simply allow pupils to compete individually for medals and trophies.

Regardless of whether children compete as teams or not, there are some established school sports day favourites that you cannot ignore, as well as some other games that we thoroughly recommend adding to your schedule.

Egg and Spoon Race

This is a school sports day staple and one that we couldn’t imagine not being on the programme. The reason why this event is so popular is that it makes for a great leveller between athletic and not-so-athletic participants.

The winner of the egg and spoon race is not necessarily who can run the fastest, but who can run fastest without dropping and breaking the egg, A broken egg results in a disqualification. If you would rather not use a real egg, then consider substituting it with a small ball that can sit on the end of a spoon.

Sack Race

Another staple of any school sports day is the sack race, which is another way of levelling up the playing field. Establish rules beforehand, such as that all participants must jump in their sacks (not placing their feet in the corners of the bag and running) and they must have their hands on their sacks at all times.

A large pillowcase will suffice if you are unable to source a potato sack, especially for smaller children who may struggle to hold up a potato sack. If you fancy adding a twist to this traditional sports day game, then add obstacles along the lane for each participant to navigate just to spice things up a little bit more!

Three-Legged Race

One of the more fiendishly difficult school sports day games is the three-legged race, which requires teamwork and communication. Pair children together, ideally those of a similar height (otherwise the shorter of the two will find things tough) and tie one leg each together side-by-side.

The results will potentially be very funny if nothing else, and only the pair that can work together will come home as the winners. As well as being a fun game for your school’s sports day, it also teaches a valuable lesson in teamwork and communication.

Bean Bag Throw

Using the same principles as javelin and shot put events, without anywhere near as much risk of causing an injury, the bean bag throw is simply a case of throwing the furthest. From a designated throwing line, children throw a small bean bag as far as they can, underarm or overarm, and the winner is whoever throws the furthest.

This event can be adapted to focus more on aim and precision, rather than just power, by using hula hoops as targets. Place hoops on the floor with each being worth a set number of points, making hoops that are the furthest and/or smallest worth the most amount of points. Give each participant three bean bags and count how many points they score with the winner being whoever manages to score the most points.

Tug of War

This game may not be for everyone, so be prepared to give some children a pass. Tug of war is another of those traditional school sports day events that can be a lot of fun for everyone.

Using a long rope (something that won’t burn anyone’s hands), have two even teams holding each end. The objective is to pull the other team into the middle. Have a referee call a winner and watch out for anyone bending the rules in their team’s favour.

Get the Parents Involved!

Get the parents involved in sports day either in a one-off event or as part of a programme running concurrently with the children’s games. Ask parents in advance of the day to get an idea of numbers and to allow them to wear suitable clothing for taking parts.

Not all parents will be willing/able to participate so make sure to approach and plan in a way that no one feels left out. It may be worth avoiding any planned events partnering children and parents (or another responsible adult) together in case of isolating children. Keep it fun and lighthearted to ensure that everyone enjoys the day.

Rewarding Winners and Participants

At the end of the day, it is time to recognise your winners and participants. Here at Fen Regis Trophies, we have a wide range of medals and trophies suitable for school sports days to reward your winners, as well as providing a small keepsake that children (and parents) can take home to remember the day.

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