Field Day season is one of the most exciting times of the year for students, faculty, and even parents. However, it can also be extremely stressful for physical education teachers. Introducing a theme, constantly checking the weather radar, gathering equipment, making teams, and of course, organizing age-appropriate activities that are fun and engaging are a few of the many logistical considerations that can wreak havoc on a PE teacher’s psyche. Below are three exciting relays that we incorporate each year that are always student and faculty favorites. Hopefully, they can alleviate a bit of your stress. All three relays can be done outside and/or inside, which makes them perfect for a rain plan.
LAY AN EGG RELAY
Prior to the relay, we have a flash mob-style CHICKEN DANCE. Picture the whole school on the field dancing away. “I don’t wanna be a chicken, I don’t wanna be a duck, so I shake my back (Clap Clap Clap).”
Then the relay begins with students still pretending to be chickens.
CATTLE ROUNDUP RELAY
We kick off the cattle roundup relay with another flash mob. This time it’s the COTTON EYE JOE. Again the entire school joins in on the dance. The Cotton Eye Joe is one of the dances we teach in PE during the school year.
All you need for the cattle roundup is a hula hoop, a large cone, and a vivid imagination. We set the scene by telling students we on a ranch and each of us are cowboys and cowgirls. “Can I get a YEE HAW?” We need to hop on our horses to round up the cattle with our lassos.
STATUE OF LIBERTY RELAY
A plunger and a small ball are all you’ll need for this relay. We use a 6-inch gator ball.
Unlike typical relay races where the relay ends when the last person completes the particular challenge, our relays last about 3 minutes. This gives each student plenty of repetitions. There is a teacher or parent at the end of each lane with a clipboard to tally each repetition or point earned.