BLOG: You Don’t Have to Let Field Day Stress You Out!

By: Kristy Cobbs, 2021 INSHAPE Elementary PE Teacher of the Year


Planning a memorable and enjoyable field day can be daunting, but I’m here to help you make it easy breezy! I’m excited to share my expert tips and game recommendations to ensure your field day is a stress-free success!


  • Start early  

Set your date at the beginning of the year and put it on the master calendar. Advertise the date to the students’ parents in advance to ensure lots of volunteers. If you have difficulty getting volunteers, classroom teachers and aides can help run stations.


  • Stop worrying about structured timed rotations  

Instead, create 25-30 mini games and allow students to rotate freely in student-picked friend groups of about four to six. No competition, no keeping score and no sticking to a strict rotation schedule.  Just fun. See the list below for some of my favorites.


  • Keep a record

Make sure to save your list of activities each year along with a brief description of each.  Every year, add about five new activities and take out five older ones. Rotate old activities back in every few years. Students never get tired of the classics like the 3-legged race and tug-of-war.


  • Organize equipment ahead of time

Use cardboard boxes from the cafeteria to sort equipment according to the stations, making sure to include the activity description.  On the morning of the big day, grab the boxes and set up the stations.  Give the description write-ups to the parent volunteer so they know how to instruct the game.  

Optional Equipment:

PALOS™ Foldable Storage Baskets, Large

PALOS™ Foldable Game & Storage Baskets, Small


Some of my favorite Field Day activities.


  • Catch a Cannon Ball:  Using School Health PE Cannon Launchers, students take turns launching cannon balls to their partner.  Partners try to catch the cannon balls with a small bucket or with their hands.  

Optional Equipment:

o   The Zone™ Cannon Launchers

o   The Zone™ Buckets 


  • Ice Cream Scoop Relay: How about a “cold treat?” Students race back and forth trying to add scoops of ice cream to their cone.

Optional Equipment:

o   The Zone™ Ice Cream Scoop Relay


  • Tic Tac Toe: Zip tie nine hoops together forming a three-by-three grid.  Students take turns throwing discs or bean bags into the squares playing tic-tac-toe.  

Optional Equipment:

o   Deluxe Hoops 12-Pack

o   The Zone POWRDisc

o   Canvas Bean Bags


  • Water Balloon T-Ball:  Using batting tees and plastic bats, place water balloon on tee and have students hit it off. Watch out for the splash!

Optional Equipment:

o   The Zone™ Plastic Bat Set

o   Heavy Rubber Batting Tee


  • Junk in Your Trunk: Take empty tissue boxes and cut a slit in the ends near the base.  Slide belts through the slit. The Zone Super Straps work great. Add miscellaneous items like poker chips, dominoes, or plastic letters inside the tissue box.  Secure the tissue box to the student’s waist and then turn on some music and let them shake it out!

Optional Equipment:

o   The Zone™ Super Straps & Flags


  • Jenga®:  Create Jenga pieces with 12 pack soda sleeves.  Stuff sleeves with newspaper to add weight so they don’t blow away, then tape shut.  Use about 27-30 sleeves per game. Play Jenga as normal.


Bonus: Student Favorite!!

  • Belly Bumpers: Create a circle with cones.  Students climb into the belly bumpers and bump into other students trying to knock them out of the circle.

Optional Equipment:

o   Belly Bumpers

o   Standard Colored Half Cone Sets


I hope these tips help reduce your stress and help you have a successful Field Day!