School sports day ideas
22nd March 2018
You might literally find yourself jumping through hoops to organise a school sports day, but all the hard work is worth it to see your students having fun and keeping fit.
What are the benefits of a school sports day?
It highlights the importance of rules
Students learn to set goals and have focus
It encourages teamwork through activities such as tug-of-war and relay races
It teaches students to learn to lose and how to accept defeat gracefully
It shows students how to be a good winner
It increases student self-esteem and boosts their confidence
It improves health and fitness
Choose sports day games that include skills that your students have been learning throughout the year during their P.E lessons, so that they are confident taking part.
Activities you could use at sports day include:
An obstacle course
Games using bean bags and hoops
A wheelbarrow race
A jumping race
Races on space hoppers
Be clear on the rules at sports day
Make sure that every student understands the rules long before the actual day, with lots of practice time during P.E lessons. This ensures that sports day will be safe and your students’ confidence will be boosted before the event.
Celebrate your students’ achievement
It is important to have an incentive for students to do their best and to reward hard work and taking part. It is a good idea to make sure every student taking part receives an achievement medal at primary school level, with those winning the races receiving special awards. Every student will treasure their award and this will encourage them to work even harder.
Sports day reward ideas include:
School medals for a traditional awards ceremony
Shield badges - your students can wear them with pride after the event on their school blazers or school bags
Sports trophies - including ‘If you had fun you won’ to highlight the importance of taking part for enjoyment
School lanyards for sports day helpers
Bar badges - choose gold, silver and bronze for an Olympic themed sports day
Make sure everyone is having fun at sports day
It is vital to focus on the fun during a sports day. Many students will not be naturally sporty and they may feel anxious or intimidated by the idea of sports day.
Make sure that you include some silly games to make your students laugh and boost their confidence. Try:
Bucket games involving water, such as water cup relays or apple bobbing
Messy games involving jelly
Egg and spoon races
Spider races (on all fours)
Dressing up races where students have to put on gloves/hats as they run
In addition, separate the races into ability by watching the children practice during lesson time - this way, there should be no students winning by miles or coming last by a long way. Make sure that you have older student helpers that run alongside those younger students coming last, to support them with words of encouragement.
Choose a sports day theme
If a traditional sports day doesn’t appeal to you, try choosing a theme. The theme can run through the sports day brochure, outfits, badges and themed races.
You can also continue the theme through classroom crafts and preparation with bunting and posters.
Themes to consider include:
Different colours/school houses
Bring sports day into the classroom
Once sports day is over, keep the enthusiasm for physical activity up by writing about the sports day in a story or poem format, or by writing a school newspaper or magazine to report on the events.