40 EPIC Outdoor Field Day Activities (2023)
What is the most anticipated event of the school year?
Did school close for the rest of the year like us?
Check out my VIRTUAL FIELD DAY!
VIRTUAL FIELD DAY
Kids get to take a break from being in the classroom and teachers can relax because summer vacation is almost here!
Field Day is an EPIC event because it takes A LOT of preparation, organization and time. I know because I have been a part of field day planning for 9 years now!
How do you make your school’s field day one to remember?
Quick Links: (40) Field Day Activities:
- Relay Games (10 activities)
- Cooperative Games (9 activities)
- Competitive Games (10 activities)
- Water Games (11 activities)
To make a field day exciting for the students, it’s necessary to do a combination of the activities that I list for you! No matter what grade level you are planning a field day for, they will want some variety in activities so they won’t get bored.
You have come to the right place to find a wide variety of different cooperative and competitive games!
You can’t go wrong when you are choosing between different relay games for field day.
In my experience, these are the relays that the kids enjoyed and were successful!
Activity # 1: Mummy Relay
When my students saw all the toilet paper, they were intrigued right away!
Equipment: Rolls of Toilet paper (*Tip: the best deal is to go to Sam’s Club or Costco and buy in bulk!*)
- Each class will be broken up into even teams.
- They will both get 1 roll of toilet paper. One member of each team will be the “mummy.” You can choose a student!
- On the GO signal, that student stands with arms stretched out and legs spread apart. The second student grabs the toilet paper and wraps one leg of the “mummy” in toilet paper.
- When the wrapping is done, the student passes the toilet paper to the next student in line, who wraps the other leg. The third student wraps an arm and the fourth student wraps the other arm.
- Then the fourth member of the team wraps the mummy’s body and head. The winning team is the first team to use up its roll of toilet paper.
Activity #2: Soccer Relay
Equipment: 2 soccer balls and 2 goals
- Divide the class into 2 groups.
- In this relay, the first person dribbles the soccer ball through a set of cones and traps it on a ploy spot.
- They will kick the soccer ball in the goal and dribble it back to their team’s line. The first team to complete the relay is a winner!
Seem too easy for some of the older grades? Think about backing the line up for those teams to challenge them!
Activity #3: Pizza Box Relay
Equipment: Pizza boxes, table, and cones (I just went to my local pizza shop and asked for boxes, they may even donate them if you ask early enough!)
- On the GO signal to begin the first student in each line will run down to get a pizza box then run back and hand the box off to the next student.
- The second student in the line will carry the pizza box down and pick up another box then run or walk fast and hand the pizza boxes to the next person.
- If a student drops the boxes, they pick them up and keep heading back to their team’s line. This will continue until everyone has had a chance!
Want to check out how this is done? Watch here!
Activity #4: Baton Race
- Divide the class into 2 equal groups for this speed relay.
- On the GO signal, the first player runs with the baton all the way down to the cone and back.
- When returning, the runner passes the baton to the next person, who then begins to run!
- When the runner is done taking their turn, they need to sit down. The first team to have everyone sitting down is the winner!
Activity # 5: 100 Yard Dash
Equipment: Stopwatches and cones
- Measure out 100 yard on your playing field and mark it off with cones.
- The kids will all line up on the line and run as fast as they can from one line to the other line.
- The person that gets their first wins!
Activity #6: Wheelbarrow Race
- The students will partner up. One person will have their hands on the ground and the other person will be standing up holding their legs.
- On the GO signal, the person who is on the ground will be moving their hands and the person who has their feet will be moving their feet to try to get to the finish line before the other groups!
Activity #7: 3 Legged Race
Equipment: 3 legged race bands
- One group should have 1 band.
- One person should have it on their left leg and the other person should have it on their right leg.
- The groups are trying to make it to the finish line before the other groups! If they fall, they should just get back up and keep going!
Activity #8: Drop and Pop Relay
Equipment: Balloons and chairs
- Each person will get a balloon. Inflate the balloons, so each is roughly the same size.
- 2 chairs will be set up for each team across from each other.
- On the GO signal, the first member of the team carries a balloon to the chair, drops the balloon on the chair, and then sits on the balloon until it pops.
- When the balloon pops, the student runs back to his or her team and tags the next person in line.
- The relay continues until the last student in each team has made it back to the line. The first team to finish wins.
Activity #9: Non-Stop Hoop Pass
This activity is great for a relay and it also works on team-building skills!
Equipment: 10 Hula Hoops
- This activity is performed by four teams as a relay race.
- Each team must hold hands in a straight line and can’t let go.
- A pile of hula hoops is placed at the feet of the first players in each line.
- On the GO signal, the first person in line will slip a hula hoop on his/her arms, get it over their heads, step in it with one leg, step out of it with the other leg and jiggle the hoop to the arm of the adjoining player.
- The task is to pass all 5 hula hoops through the line as quickly as possible.
- The relay is completed when all 5 hula hoops make it to the other end of the line. The first person may send another hoop are soon as the previous hoop touches the ground on the other side.
Activity #10: Potato Sack Relay
Equipment: Potato Sacks and cones
- Split the kids up into even teams and give the first person in line will have a potato sack.
- On the GO signal, the first person will hop with their potato sack to the cones on the opposite side and back.</li>
- Once they get back, they will take off their potato sack and hand it to the next person in line.
- The relay is done once everyone has had a turn!
When planning field day activities, especially for the younger kids, cooperative activities are fabulous because it takes the competition out of the games.
Cooperative activities help children learn how to work together as a team to accomplish a goal, which is a great life skill!
Activity #11: Keep it Up!
Equipment: Big beach ball, small beach ball, and jump ropes
*I have used the one that I linked and it has worked great. I bought a different one to try to go a little cheaper and it popped during my field day event.*
- Have the students circle up and try to volley the small beach ball in the air as many consecutive times as possible without hitting the ground.
- The students are responsible for keeping track of the number of consecutive hits.
- Start over from zero when the ball hits the ground.
- The highest score will be the winner of the contest. After a few minutes of trying this with the smaller beach ball, bring out the BIG BEACH BALL! Do the same activity again.
Need to spice this up a bit? Turn it into a volleyball game by splitting the kids up on two sides, tie jump ropes together on the ground, and have the kids try to hit the ball over to the other team on the opposite side of the jump ropes!
Activity #12: Parachute
I don’t think I know one student of mine that does not like the parachute!
Equipment: Parachute and soft dodge balls
Description: There are endless amounts of activities that you can do with a parachute.
This video shows a variety of different parachute games that I love to play with my kids in PE and on field day!
Activity #13: Fill The Bucket!
Equipment: 100+ assorted balls, basket, and stopwatch
- Have the kids make a circle around the bucket, which is placed in the center( depending on what age the kids are, you can have them as close or as far from the basket as you want.)
- You can also place poly spots on the floor too, so students know exactly where to stand!
- On the GO signal, the students will work together to pick up the balls on the floor and throw them in the basket (using underhand or overhand throwing technique.)
- This can be timed using a stopwatch and once it is done once, they can do it again to try to beat their time.
Activity #14: Foam Ball Passover
Equipment: Soft large dodgeball
- The students will line up in a straight line and lay down (student’s feet need to be close to the other person’s head in the line but they SHOULD NOT be touching another person’s head).
- The first person in line will start with the ball in their feet.
- On the GO signal, they will rotate their body back and attempt to hand the ball off to the next person in line without using their hands.
- The next person in line has to use their feet to grab the ball from the other person’s feet. The students will try to move the ball throughout the line as quickly as they can.
*This activity can also be done as a relay to get more student’s involved*.
Activity #15: Mine Field
Equipment: Blindfolds, balls, jump ropes, cones, hula hoops or bean bags
- Set equipment out all over the playing area!
- The person in charge can choose who is partners together or students can.
- One of the students in the partner group will be given a blindfold. The other student will be able to see.
- The partner who is able to see will be guiding the blindfolded person through the minefield.
- They can tell say to the partner words like “forward, straight, backward, left and right” to help them get through without touching any of the equipment.
- If they bump into a piece of the equipment, they have to start back at the beginning. The goal of the activity is for the kids to work together to make it through the field by talking to each other and giving good directions!
Activity #16: Parachute Volleyball
I have never personally done this activity, but I’m planning on using it for my next field day, it looks awesome!
Equipment: Small parachutes, large beach ball, and sports net
*The sports net that I linked is portable, which if you are having your field day activities outside, this would be a perfect addition to make your day run smoothly instead of going inside!
- The class will be split up into 2-4 teams and they will get a parachute.
- One team will start the game by working together to throw the ball up into the air trying to get it over the net.
- The other team will attempt to receive the ball by moving where the ball is going to land to try to catch it.
- After they catch it, they can try to send it over the net or they pass it to the other group that is next to them.
- Scoring can be kept as regular volleyball is up to 25 rally scoring!
Activity #17: Balloon Launching
Equipment: Balloon launcher, water balloons, and plastic cups
I recommend getting the brand Bunch O Balloons since it makes a lot of balloons at once. You don’t want to have to fill up water balloons one by one the day of the event, you will be busy with many other things!
- Create several groups of 3 students and have them work together to create a tower using plastic cups on one side of the playing area.
- A few feet away from their towers, there will be a slingshot and water balloons.
- Each group will be working together to use the slingshot to send the water balloon flying to knock down the tower they created!
- If they are successful, have them try it again and switch up who is doing what job with the slingshot. The kids will LOVE this activity so they will want to do it MANY times.
Activity #18: Cheese Movers
Equipment: 2 large yellow dodge balls, soft dodge balls, and poly spots.
- Split the class up into 2 teams. One team will be called the “mice” and the other team will be called the “cats”.
- The cats will be lined up on the sidelines of the playing area (you can use poly spots so kids know where they should stand to throw the ball). The mice should be lined up in a straight line at the start of the court/field.
- On the GO signal, the first mouse will run the piece of cheese (yellow dodgeball) to the opposite side of the area and back to their team.
- The cats are throwing dodge balls at the mice. If a mouse gets hit below the shoulders, they sit down with the ball. The next person has to get the ball and make it back to their team without getting hit!
- The end goal is to try to get the cheese back to the end line. If everyone gets out, then switch roles!
Activity #19: Cross the River
Equipment: Buckets and poly spots
- Split up the teams and they should line up behind a basket.
- Inside the basket are river rocks (poly spots). The first student will get the spot out, place it on the ground and step on it.
- The next student gets a spot out, passes it to the first person and they will place it on the ground and step on it. The second person then steps on the first spot.
- This continues until all the spots are gone and a bridge is made.
- Once the bridge is made, someone will say “Cross the River” and all students will step on a “rock” and cross the river.
- If someone steps/falls off, they must go back to their line and everyone behind them will move up and they will try again.
There is an element of competition sometimes in field day.
Sometimes schools even having a scoring system, color teams, or hand out ribbons/medals for those who won an event.
Even if you don’t award points or give prizes out, competitive games are really fun for kids to play, you just have to make sure to promote GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP.
Activity #20: Hungry, Hungry Hippos
*THIS ONE IS AWESOME!*
Equipment: Scooters, jump ropes, small noodle pieces, and buckets
For this activity, you have to cut the pool noodles into small pieces. Also, I got my baskets from Wallmart, they were very cheap and worked great!
- The students will form 4 teams.
- The first person will lay down on the scooter. The second person will push the scooter gently towards the center circle.
- The student laying on the scooter will take one chance to collect as many pieces as possible. The second student will then pull them back.
- They will together place the pieces collected into their bucket. This process will continue until all the pieces of noodles are collected. Please stress safety!
Here are my 8th graders having a blast playing this game!
Activity #21: Tug-O-War
Equipment: Tug -O- War Rope
- Lay the rope in a straight line and split the kids up into 2 even teams.
- Place one group on one side of the rope and the other team should go on the opposite side.
- The kids should line up in a straight line on each side and pick up the rope.
- On the GO signal, each team will be pulling as hard as they can.
- The object of the activity is to try to be the team to pull the other team so they cross the line first with their feet before their team crosses the line.
- Once the first persons in line’s feet cross the line, the other team has won!
Activity #22: Ultimate Frisbee
Equipment: Cones, jerseys, 1 Frisbee
I typically use a foam smaller Frisbee when I play in my PE classes, but for field day, I linked a fun Frisbee that even my 4-year-old daughter loves!
- Split the class into 2 even teams.
- You can see who will start with the Frisbee by doing rock, paper, scissors, the team that wins, gets to start with the Frisbee.
- The person that has the Frisbee can take 2 steps with it. The defense has to back 3 steps away from the person with the Frisbee.
- If the Frisbee hits the ground, it’s the other teams, Frisbee.
- The object of the game is to try to throw the Frisbee to teammates down the field to score in the end zone.
Activity #23: Pin Knock Over
Equipment: Dodgeballs, cones, and foam/ bowling pins
- Divide the class into two teams.
- To set up the game, each team should have an equal amount of pins on their side.
- The goal is to knock down the other team’s pins without crossing the half court line.
- The students can roll or throw the balls.
- They are not throwing the balls at each other!
- If a player gets hit with the ball from their knee below, then they have to perform 10 jumping jacks to return to the game.
Activity #24: Capture the Flag
Equipment: Cones, jerseys and 2 flags
- Teams should be split up evenly.
- Each team will work together to create their own forts where their team’s flag will hide (3-4 minutes to complete this task!)
- On the GO signal, students can cross the middle line to try to get the other teams flag.
- If they get tagged by someone on the other team, they must do 10 push-ups before entering back into the game and they must go back to their side.
- If a student gets the flag and is on their way back with it and gets tagged, that student must drop the flag where they got tagged.
- The team can’t pick the flag back up it stays where they were able to run it to.
- If a team successfully grabs a flag, that round is over and you will play again!
Activity # 25: Obstacle Course
Equipment: Tunnel, cones, hula hoops, balance beam, pool noodles, exercise ladder, inflatable tires, hippity hoop balls, etc.
- The best thing about this activity is that you can be as creative with it as you want!
- You can use any of the pieces of equipment that I mentioned or other equipment that works well in your classroom.
- To make this competitive, you can time each student to see how quickly they can go through the course.
Activity #26: Softball Throw
Equipment: Softballs, cones, and sticky notes
- Have a starting point set for the kids to stand on so they know where to throw the ball.
- Once they throw the ball, place a cone where the ball hit (not rolled to) and place a sticky note on the cone with the student’s initials on it.
- At the end then you will be able to see who threw the ball the furthest!
Activity #27: Basketball Lay-Up Competition
This was my favorite growing up!
Equipment: Basketball hoops, basketballs, and stopwatch
- One person should be at each basket.
- A volunteer should be standing at each basket to count how many baskets they make.
- On the GO signal, the kids will have 2 minutes to see how many lap-up shots they can make.
- At the end of the 2 minutes, the volunteers will write down how many each child scored and then the next group would go.
Activity #28: Track and Field Events
At my school, the track and field events are the biggest part of our field day.
Equipment: Stopwatches and batons
- At one of the school’s I taught at, we did the following events: 100m, 400m, 800m, 4x100m relay, and 4x400m relay.
- We also did long jump and shot and disc.
- If you are planning a middle school field day, these events are really fun for the students to be a part of! Everyone not involved is in the stands cheering on their teammates as well!
Activity #29: Bench Ball
Equipment: 2 gymnastics mats, 2 hula hoops, 1 football, and dodge balls
- Split the group into 2 equal teams.
- Set two gymnastics mats up on each side of the playing area.
- One student from each team will go stand on the opposite sides mat (bench).
- The goal of the game is to get your team on the bench before the other one does.
- To get over to the bench, they must throw a ball over to their teammate on the mat and they must catch it.
- Once someone makes it on the bench, they can help catch balls too.
- If they step off the mat, they have to return back to their side.
- When someone catches the football on the mat, the person who throws it goes to the mat and they can bring a friend!
- If anyone has a hard time throwing that far, I have put hula hoops out on each side that students can go into to throw the ball, only one person in the hoop at a time.
Water games make field day AMAZING!
Adding water to any field game activity automatically makes it better.
Activity #30: Water Balloon Spoon Relay
Equipment: Water balloons, a bucket, and large wooden spoons
- The players should be split up into even teams.
- On the GO signal, the first person in line will pick up a water balloon and place it on a spoon.
- They will walk down to the cones and back trying not to drop the water balloon.
- If a water balloon drops but doesn’t break, they can pick it up and keep going.
- When it breaks, a volunteer will bring them a new one where it popped.
- Once they make it back to the beginning, they hand the spoon off to the next person and the relay continues!
Activity #31: Sponge Tag
Elementary, middle and high school kids will LOVE this game!
Equipment: Large bucket of water and 30-40 sponges
- You are trying not to be tagged in this game, but most kids will want to be!
- One player will start with a sponge. They will try to tag other students with the sponge (they can’t throw it).
- When a student gets tagged, they will grab another sponge and join the tagger!
- The last player standing becomes the new tagger for the next round.
Activity #32: Water Balloon Volley
Teamwork and water?! Sounds pretty awesome to me.
Equipment: Water balloons, small parachutes/beach towels, and sports net
- This game is very similar to the Parachute Volley that I mentioned earlier! The only difference is, is that you use a water balloon instead of a beach ball!
- The class will be split up into 2 teams and each team will get a parachute that everyone will hold onto.
- One team will start the game by working together to throw the ball up into the air trying to get it over the net.
- The other team attempts to receive the balloon by moving where it is going to land to try to catch it.
- If the balloon doesn’t pop, they can send it over the net or they pass it to the other group that is next to them.
- Scoring can be kept as regular volleyball is up to 25 rally scoring!
Activity #33: Fill it up
Looking for a simple way to incorporate some water into your field day plans? This game works great!
Equipment: 2 sponges, 4 buckets and water
- The players will be lined up in a straight line in-between each bucket.
- The first person in line will be given a sponge. On the GO signal, they will dip their sponge into the bucket of water.
- They will pass the sponge down the line to all the people and the last person in the line will squeeze the sponge out into the bucket at the end of the line.
- That last person will run the sponge back up to the front of the line then dip the sponge in the water again and pass it down the line.
- The team that reaches the line on the bucket at the end first wins!
Activity #34: Beach Ball Blaster
This is one of my personal favorites!
Equipment: 2-3 large beach balls and super soakers, and cones
- There will be around 3-4 kids at each beach ball.
- Each person will get a super soaker.
- On the GO signal, the goal is for the teams to work together to shoot the ball with the water gun to make it move.
- They are trying to be the first team to get their beach ball to make it over the finish line!
Activity #35: Splash Out Hot Potato
I love this game for grades Pre-K to 2!
Equipment: Splash Out Hot Potato Game and water balloons
- This is a version of hot potato but better because WATER is involved!
- All of the kids will form a circle, and they will pass the potato until someone gets splashed!
- To play again, you just have to put in another water balloon.
Activity #36: Cup to Cup
Want the kids to get soaked? This is a perfect game!
Equipment: Plastic cups, buckets, and water!
- Break the students up into 2 equal teams and line them up in a straight line.
- The first person in line will dip their cup into a bucket of water.
- They will lift the cup over their head and try to get as much water as they can in the player’s cup that behind them.
- This will continue throughout the line and the last person will dump the water in another bucket.
- The team that has the most water in their bucket, in the end, is the winner!
Activity #37: Water Balloon Baseball
Equipment: Baseball tees, foam/plastic baseball bats and water balloons
- The students will form a line behind the home base to hit a water balloon.
- The balloon can be pitched or they can choose to hit it off of a batting tee.
- Once they swing and the balloon pops, they will run to first base.
- The second person in line will then go and each player will keep advancing on the field.
- Once a player gets to home plate, they will stand back in line and if there is time everyone can go again!
Activity #38: Duck Duck Goose (Water Style!)
This version of Duck Duck Goose is simple and exciting!
Equipment: Plastic cups and water
- All the players will sit in a circle.
- The “ducker” will have a cup of water.
- They will say “duck” like usual but when they want to “goose” someone, they will dump the water on that person’s head!
- The person who gets splashed tries to run to tag them before they sit down in their spot.
Activity #39: Super Soaker Tower
If you work with middle school-aged kids, this game is for you!
Equipment: Super Soaker water guns, plastic cups, small tables, and water
- Players will form several lines depending on how many tables and super soakers that you have available.
- There should be a line where the player is shooting the water gun from.
- A volunteer will set up a small tower of 6 cups for the kids to try to knock over with the super soaker.
- They will get 30 seconds to try to knock the tower over.
- When the cups get knocked over, they will be set up for the next person.
- If they don’t get knocked over, they will hand the water gun to the next person in line.
Activity #40: Water Balloon Toss
This is a staple field day activity!
Equipment: A bunch of water balloons
- Each player will get a partner and a water balloon.
- They will stand a few feet away from each other to begin and they will toss the water balloon back and forth to each other.
- After they both successfully catch the balloon, one player will take a step back.
- They will keep doing this until they drop their balloon and it pops.
- When it pops, they will get another balloon and start close again.
Do you have some money left in your school budget or does your parent organization want to donate money to make your field day awesome?!
Here is a list of some extras that you can add to your field day to make it memorable:
- Dunk tank
- Bouncy house
- Inflatable obstacle course
- Inflatable giant slide
- Photo booth
- Carnival games
- Popsicles/snow cone machine
- Food trucks
At the school’s that I have taught at, the inflatables and dunk tank were the biggest hits!
Some of the teacher’s (including myself) signed up to go into the dunk tank and the kids couldn’t get enough of it.
Adding one of these “extras” into your field day will create memories for the student’s, parent’s, and the whole staff.
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
Field Day is the culminating event of the school year!
It’s a time to celebrate all the hard work that the student’s and staff did for the entire year.
There is a lot of pressure to put on a huge event like field day!
If you are like me, I put hours into my field day organization, planning of events, and finding the correct equipment that I needed to pull of an amazing field day.
By going through these 40 field day events, I hope that you can find a combination of FUN and EXCITING field day activities that work best for your school.
Did you decide to use one or more of these field day activities? If so, let us know how it went!
Also, if you have any games or activities that you have done at your school’s field day that is not on this list, please share them by leaving a comment below!
This is such an interesting list of outdoor activities for kids. I am sure kids would love it, thanks for sharing these ideas!