Relay games are one choice when you are looking for an activity to get kids moving, encourage teamwork, or just to entertain a large group of children. They are a popular activity in family reunions, physical education classes and school celebrations. Relays can easily be customized for almost any age group and level of competitiveness, and they can even be tweaked to fit a special occasion, such as a holiday.
Most fun relay games for kids need space to be performed successfully. All relays involve some type of racing, whether it is on hands and knees, while balancing an egg on a spoon, or while tied to a partner. For this reason, a great deal of room is usually needed to play the game. Consider your available space before deciding what type of relay games to play. In most cases, you will need to be outside, unless you have access to a gymnasium.
Number of Participants
Relays need a great many participants for the game to be enjoyable. A race that involves only two or three people on each team will not last long, nor will it be exciting. Recruit as many people as you can for your relay games. If you don’t have enough kids, ask the adults to join in. Often, the adults can be partnered with children, which is not only fun for all involved, but it creates special memories as well.
Age of Participants
Relays can be involved, with many steps, or they can be simple. Consider the age of the participants before you plan the relay games. Young children do not have a long attention span, according to Oklahoma State University. Preschoolers are not going to be able to wait long in line for their turn in the relay. Consider partnering young children with older ones, or create a relay game for preschoolers that is simple and short. Older children, on the other hand, will enjoy a long, active relay. Teens may enjoy a game that has a mental component, such as having to solve a puzzle before moving onto the next “leg” of the relay.
Relay games that involve some sort of equipment are common, and most kids find these games especially fun and challenging. Think about what equipment or items might enhance your relay. One classic relay game, for example, has kids running to the end of a line, placing their foreheads on the end of a bat (with the other end of the bat on the ground), and spinning around on the axis of the bat before trying to run back to their place in line. Make a list of items you may want for your relay games. You might find most of the things you need already in your home.
Young children love animal relays. These are simple and do not require equipment. Line the children up in two lines, and have them move like an animal down to the end of the room (or end of the yard) and back. They may crawl like bears, hop like frogs, or jump like kangaroos. Or, for a silly relay game guaranteed to create lots of laughs, have the children crawl on the ground and push a tennis ball with their noses across a finish line.
Preteens and teens enjoy more challenging relays. Create an obstacle course for your older kids, perhaps where a teen has to “limbo” his way under a bar, crawl through a toddler pool full of water, and run the rest of the way with a balloon between his knees.
- boy running image by sonya etchison from Fotolia.com