Sports Day Activities in School: Top 10

Published on 21th June, 2024

Sports Day season is here! This blog offers some inspiration, top tips and enthusiasm to help you plan the best Sports Day yet!

Primary school sports day race

Sports Day is an exciting way to bring parents, teachers and children together for an active, fun day. Sports Days can be competitive, cooperative, traditional or themed. They offer an opportunity for the whole school to come together, offering lots of different events to ensure there’s fun and a sense of achievement for everyone. Below we have compiled a list of our favourite Sports Day activities in school. Hopefully this will help when deciding what’s best for your Sports Day!

Planning Sports Day Activities in School

Planning a Sports Day can seem like a huge task, but with some careful consideration, and help from others the benefits are so worth it. Here are a few things to remember if you’re in charge of planning the day…

Use space efficiently and safely. Throwing events are usually a favourite Sports Day Activity. It is important to map out where the throwing events take place, including the direction of throw. Obviously, throwing direction is important to avoid objects getting lost, or being thrown towards other children, or spectators. It’s a good idea to give teaching staff a map of the sports day layout. A screen print from google maps works well with the events plotted, to let teachers with the where their class start, and what event they move onto next.

Who will score? Score sheets only need to be simple, (e.g. 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th, or number of cones a pupil jumps past) but, whoever is scoring needs to understand how they work. Don’t forget an overall scoresheet to tally up the overall winners! A staff briefing before school or during a staff meeting is useful to ensure everyone is on the same page. We have score sheets available to download in our Standard Sports Day Resources.

What events will there be? A few factors will go into this decision… Maybe there’s a traditional event that is part of your schools history – for example a ‘welly wang’. Other aspects include the equipment and space you have available, what the children enjoy, and if it’s a themed Sports Day – such as an Olympic Day.

What equipment do you have? This task can be delegated, but it is important to ensure all equipment is accounted for and in good condition.

Format. Have you got the space to have the whole school out together, or will key stages, or year groups, be split? Will events be competitive, working in teams? If so, will teams be split into houses, or even better, with it being an Olympic year – Nations! Invite children to come to school dressed in their team/house/Nation colour to build excitement! Individual races, or relays is another way to build excitement. Having children compete in a race, where their school friends are cheering them on creates a great atmosphere.

We know time is precious and can run away from us, so don’t forget… we do offer Sports Day CPD training, where we help you create an amazing sports day programme. We do all the work – complete with a full sports day pack containing everything you need for a wonderful day!

Sports Day Activities in School - Sack Race

Our Favourite Sports Day Activities in School

Here’s our list of Top Ten Sports Day Activities in school to maximise pupil involvement, offer variety and enrichment, and guarantee smiles all around…

Foundation and Key Stage One Favourites

  • Egg and Spoon Race: A classic race where participants balance an egg on a spoon while running. It is always a hit with kids of all ages!
  • Recover Relay: A running race, where teams aim to retrieve all their beanbags
  • Target Throw: Aiming a beanbag towards target buckets, hoops or spots to give children an opportunity to score points (increased depending on throwing distance/difficulty).

Lower Key Stage Two Favourites

  • Running Long Jump: Children are most likely to have practised the long jump technique, and built a personal best in the long jump during their Curriculum PE, so it’s great to include these types of events within sports day to give children a opportunity to perform the skill competitively.
  • Sack Race: Jumping inside a sack (or large bag) and racing to the finish line ensures laughter and excitement!
  • Water Relay: A fun twist to a team relay… involving teams filling up a cup from a full bucket and tipping it into their empty bucket at the finish line.

Upper Key Stage Two Favourites

  • Triple Jump: A hop, a skip and a jump! A brilliant event for movement combinations. Practise this event beforehand using Athletics PE lessons to give children the opportunity to refine the technique and build confidence.
  • Javelin: One of 4 throwing events at the Summer Olympics. Score highly on this pull throw by throwing the javelin the furthest. Foam javelins are often a staple in a primary school PE cupboard, and because of the way Javelins fly, its a popular throwing event.
  • Football Dribble: Often included due to the popularity of the sport in many schools! With the Euros in full swing, even more reason for it to be included. Increase difficulty by challenging children to dribble the ball through slalom poles, or add a goal to build excitement.

Our Number One Favourite Sports Day Activity

Hurdle Relay: Make sprinting more challenging by adding obstacles for pupils to jump over! Hurdles come in lots of different sizes to cater for all ages. The key is to try get over the hurdles without slowing down. Either way, we love these relay races as they always guarantee lots of cheers, teamwork and friendly competition.

Enjoy the Day!

Don’t forget to enjoy the day! Sports day is a celebration; make sure you give yourself chance to stand back, enjoy the good weather (we can’t guarantee this – but fingers crossed), and be proud of the event you have have created for the whole school family.

If we can help with anything at all, no question is too big or too small, so please just shout!