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.
Please welcome Amanda Henderson as a guest writer for Keeping Kids in Motion. This is Amanda’s second post with Keeping Kids Kids in Motion. Amanda is both a mom to two rambunctious boys and a preschool teacher. She created and writes for Safe Children to educate parents on how to keep their children safe while also having fun. Greetings Amanda and thank you for your helpful words. Click here to read Amanda’s first post with KKM called 8 Ways You Can Teach Your Kids to Live Healthy Lives.
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Children’s interests are constantly changing, and as parents, we want to allow them to explore various activities. You may have heard of traditional options like sports or dance classes, but what about the alternatives? These options can be just as rewarding and may even broaden your child’s interests. Today, Keeping Kids in Motion will discuss alternative after-school activities that will give your child exposure to new experiences and hobbies.
Encourage Them To Learn A Musical Instrument
Music is an excellent way to broaden your child’s interest and provide them with lifelong skills. They could take up anything from the guitar to the piano, and there are plenty of resources available both online and offline. Many music stores offer classes or private lessons, and there are also countless video tutorials available on platforms like YouTube. Encouraging your child to learn a musical instrument not only develops their creativity but also teaches them discipline as they must practice consistently to improve.
Enlist them in Martial Arts
Martial arts provide a way for young children to learn discipline while being active physically. The benefits of martial arts go beyond physical fitness. It also teaches children self-defense, enhances their coordination and balance, and supports their mental health by teaching meditation and self-awareness techniques. Many gyms or fitness centers now offer martial arts classes for all ages, so you’re sure to find a program that suits your child’s needs. You could even get the entire family involved.
Organize An After-school Book Club
If your child loves reading or writing, then consider organizing an after-school book club. Book clubs can create an excellent opportunity to enhance your child’s critical thinking skills and improve their reading comprehension. It also allows them to explore different genres and themes while also helping them develop social and communication skills. Choose age-appropriate books and invite their friends to join in the fun.
Encourage Them To Take Robotics Classes
Technology is evolving rapidly, and robotics is becoming more prevalent than ever before. Encouraging your child to learn the basics of robotics can be a stimulating alternative after-school activity. Robotics teaches not only engineering but also computer programming and design principles. Additionally, it can be a perfect choice for children who enjoy tinkering and problem-solving. Many schools, libraries, and youth centers offer robotics programs, or you can also check if there are private classes near you.
Create Business Cards for Your Teen’s Business
If your teen has decided to start their own business, one option to help them get started is to learn how to make a business card, especially for those on a budget. There are free online tools available that allow anyone, regardless of skill level, to create and print professional-looking business cards. Simply search for “free online business card tools” and choose from the many options available. With the ability to customize colors, graphics, fonts, and more, your teen can create a unique design that accurately represents their brand and helps them stand out in a competitive market.
Start A Volunteer Project with your Child
Lastly, volunteering is an excellent way to give back to the community, and it can be a rewarding experience for your child. Volunteering can help your child enhance their teamwork and leadership abilities, and build their self-esteem while learning the importance of social responsibility. There are several volunteer opportunities year-round that you can get involved in. You could work with local charities or non-profit organizations, and it could even become a regular monthly activity.
Encouraging your child to take part in alternative after-school activities broadens their interests and helps them discover their passions. Learning music, martial arts, reading, robotics, and volunteering can form an essential part of their life and help them grow into well-rounded individuals. As a parent, your support can create excellent opportunities to expose your child to new and exciting experiences and ultimately help them become the best version of themselves.
Sometimes you just need a quick game with limited equipment that takes up a small amount of space. This happened to us recently when our gym was transformed into an art gallery and our playground was too wet. Enter CIRCLE HAND SOCCER. Some play a similar game with a variety of names but this is our version.
How to play:
I begin playing this game with 4th-grade students. I’ve played it with middle school and high school students with equal amounts of excitement.
If you need a quick game with limited space and equipment, then Circle Hand Ball might be the perfect “back pocket” game for you and your students.