Most of us don’t have burlap sacks on hand to have traditional sack races so have the kids make up their own variations of group races in the grass. You can use the ideas below to plan the races for the kids, but let them come with ideas of their own too. Let older kids make obstacle courses for their bikes and scooters as well. You will likely get asked to participate; please say yes!
Use old large pillow cases for a sack race. The 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.
Funny Walk and Run:
Hop to a finish line, walk backwards, walk like a crab on all fours (bottom up and feet first), or have a relay ran around a large circle and pass of a folded up piece of paper to the next runner in place of a baton.
Hard Boiled Egg on Spoon:
Have kids carry the hard boiled egg on a spoon as fast as they can from the starting line to a turnaround point and back again. Then, pass the egg to a teammate to repeat the process. If the egg is dropped, the player must stop and retrieve it and start over. Whichever team gets the egg back and forth the fastest wins.
Dress-Up Relay Races:
Place two similar piles of large clothing (one pile for each team) at a turnaround point. I like using parents’ clothing because it’s big enough to fit everyone. The first player runs to the pile, puts on all the dress-ups on top of their clothing, then runs back to their team. The child removes all the dress-up items and gives them to the next player, who must put them all on, run back and forth across playing area, and then remove the dress-ups so the next player can repeat the process.
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.
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.
Kids line up in their bathing suits 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.
Obstacle Course for Scooters and Bikes:
Use chalk on the driveway or sidewalk to make a track for scooters or bicycles. Allow the kids to make roads and lanes without forgetting to include stop signs and stop lights. We also used cones and chairs to make obstacles along the way. Have the kids help plan the road system. If the children aren’t old enough to ride scooters, draw gigantic maps including mountains and oceans where they can use their imagination to take adventures.
Photos by Stephanie Felzenberg