Monday, May 6, 2013

20+ Relay Races for Kids

Summer is here and that means it's time for backyard bar-b-ques, family gatherings, and lots of fun with the kids.  Relay races are a great way to keep the kids (and adults) entertained and have a lot of good, active fun!  

Relay races can range from the traditional to the downright crazy, and everything in between.  Here some ideas to get you started (with a special thanks to all my PE teacher friends for sharing some of their great Field Day ideas with me!):
  1. Egg Relay - Each child carries an egg on a spoon from the starting line to a designated turning point and back, handing it to the next child in line.  The first team to have all kids finish wins.  (The eggs can be hard boiled or can be substituted for pennies or golf balls)
  2. Quick Change Relay - Kids race down to a pile of clothes and put all the clothes on.  Then the child races back to the start and takes them off, tagging the next person.  That child puts on all of the clothes, races to the turning point to take off all the clothes, and then races back to the starting point to tag the next person.  The first team to have everyone dress and undress wins.
  3. Balloon Pop - Each child gets an inflated balloon.  One at a time they race to a chair, put their balloon on the chair and pop the balloon.  (Always be careful with young children and balloons as they can pose a choking hazard).
  4. Over Under, Over Under - Kids line up and then pass a bean bag (or small ball) under their legs and then over their head until it reaches the end of the line.  The last person runs to the front of the line and they continue passing under and over until the person who started at the front of the line returns to the front.
  5. Super Soak - Kids line up between two buckets, one empty and one filled with water.  The first person in line soaks their sponge and passes it over their head down the line to the empty bucket.  The last child squeezes the sponge and then runs to the front of the line to start the process all over.  At the end of a time limit (5 minutes), the team with the most water in their bucket wins.  (If you have fewer kids, you can have them run down and squeeze the sponge and then run back).  
  6. Shoe Hunt (great for a large group) - Have everyone take off one shoe and put it in a large pile in the center.  Then, have them line up in teams a certain distance form the pile.  One at a time, have kids run to the pile and find their shoe.  The game is over when everyone from a team returns to their line.
  7. Water Balloon Toss - (Not quite a relay race but still fun).  Divide children into pairs and give each pair a water balloon.  The pairs start face to face and pass the balloon back and forth.  If they pass it without dropping, they take a step back.  Each time they pass the balloon successfully, they take another step back getting farther and farther apart.  The last team to still have an un-popped balloon wins.
  8. Chicken Egg Drop - You will need a tennis ball (or beach ball) to be the chicken egg and a box to represent the nest.  Place the box at your designated turning point and have the kids line up at the starting line.  One at a time, kids will put the ball between their knees and race to the "nest" to drop their eggs.  Then, they will pick the egg back up and race back to the starting line to pass it off to the next child.  If they drop the egg, they must stop, put the ball back between their knees without moving forward and then continue to the nest.  The first team to get everyone down to the nest and back wins.
  9. Sack Race - (Large pillow cases work well as sacks for smaller kids).  Child must get in the sack, hop down to the turning point and back before handing it to the next child in line.  The first team to get all kids down and back wins.
  10. Dizzy Bat Relay - One at a time, kids will race down to a designated spot where they will pick up a bat, put their forehead down on the tip of the bat and spin around it 10 times.  Then, they will race back to the starting line and tag the next child in line.  The first team to get everyone down and back wins.
  11. Snowman/Mummy Relay - Each member of a team gets a roll of toilet paper and a specific amount of time to wrap one of the kids on the team (or an adult) as a mummy/snowman.  Prizes or awards can be given for the most covered mummy/snowman or the team that used the most toilet paper.
  12. Waiter Run - Each team gets a ping pong ball and a large dinner plate.  They must carry the dinner plate "waiter-style" down to a designated spot, turn around, and carry the plate back to the next person.  If they drop the ball, they must stop and put it back on without taking any steps before continuing on.
  13. Three-legged Race - Divide kids up into pairs on each team.  It is helpful for the pairs to be about the same height.  Pairs stand side by side and use a scarf to tie their adjacent legs together.  During the race, each pair runs down to a designated turning point and back, tagging the next pair.  The first team to have all pairs run down and back wins.  Another version of this has all pairs race at the same time with one pair being the winner. 
  14. Hula-hoop Circle Relay - Each team stands in a circle and holds hands.  The team must pass a hula-hoop through the circle without breaking their grasp by moving their arms and shoulders  and then stepping through the hula-hoop.
  15. Leap Frog Relay -
  16. Crab Walk Relay - One at a time kids crab walk down to the turning point by walking on their hands and feet with their stomachs pointing up to look like a crab.  On the way back, have kids crab walk backwards for even more stumbling giggles.  The first team to have all kids crab walk down and back wins.
  17. Penny Relay - One at a time, kids carry a penny down on a spoon to a turning point and then race back to tag the next child in line.  If they drop the penny, they must stop, pick up their penny and put it back on their spoon before continuing. 
  18. Jump-rope Relay - One at a time, kids jump-rope down to a turning point and back before handing the jump-rope to the next child in line.  The first team to have all kids jump-rope down and back wins.
  19. Wheelbarrow Relay- Each team divides up into pairs with one person acting as the wheelbarow and one acting as the farmer.  The wheelbarrow gets down on their hands and lets the farmer hold their feet.  The team races down with the wheelbarrow racing on their hands and the farmer walking behind them holding their feet in the air.  The team going to the turning point and then trades places so the wheelbarrow becomes the farmer and returns back to the starting point to tag the next pair.  The first team to have everyone go down and back wins.
  20. Flag Relay - This relay requires a bucket filled with sand and a flag for each child.  One at a time, each child races to the bucket and "plants" their flag into the bucket.  If you only have one flag, you can have the first child "plant" the flag and the next child run down and grab it to bring to the next child and so forth until all children have had a chance to carry the flag.
  21. Statue of Liberty Relay - Divide your group into teams and line them up.  The first person in line gets a plunger that they have to fill with water (a baby pool works well for this) and then carry to the designated turning point and back to hand off to the next person at the starting line.  Each person should refill the plunger before taking their turn.

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  1. This is a great list. I can't wait to do some of these with my kiddos.

  2. Very interesting information you shared here and I love it.
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