How to host a sports day
Planning a nostalgic school-style sports day? We’ve got everything you need, from refreshments and edible prizes to cooling ice lollies and drinks.
Whether you’re celebrating the Olympics and Paralympics or planning an activity-filled birthday party for kids, a sports day is a great way to get everyone involved and out and about in the fresh air. For more inspiration for your child's birthday or other fun activities, look at our birthday ideas for kids at home and top summer activities for kids.
To make your sports day a success, this is what you need to know.
Scout out a location
First things first - where will you hold your sports day? Take a look at local parks and playing fields (ask permission from the local authority if necessary), or a large garden would be ideal if you’d rather somewhere more private. Think about how many people you're inviting and whether there are facilities (parking/toilets/water fountains) that you can use.
Brainstorm ideas for activities
Plan which games you'll play ahead of time to allow you to pack any equipment you might need, such as bean bags, hula hoops and balloons. Pick up plastic cones from toy or sports shops to help mark out areas for races and goals. Here are a few favourites we remember from school sports days to get you started...
- Egg and spoon race
- Wheelbarrow race
- Hula hoop challenges
- Space hopper race
- Relay race
- Balloon games
- Bean bag throwing competition
- Five-a-side football
- Dribbling a football around cones
- A mini triathlon of different skills
Gather your prizes
A pack of stickers is an easy way to reward winners, or thread ribbon through cookies to create edible ‘medals’. Remember to pack a few spares as consolation prizes!
Plan your refreshments
Have plenty of water on hand to keep kids hydrated, or make a big batch of lemonade or cordial to dilute when you arrive. Remember to pack plastic cups! For hot days, add ice cubes from a freezer (if you're in someone's garden), or freeze drinks in water bottles (don't overfill).
Snacks for kids
Sandwiches are a great way to keep kids’ energy levels up and transport easily. Make-ahead in the morning or the evening before for hassle-free preparation. Some of our favourites are:
Egg & cress club sandwich
Egg-less mayo sandwiches
Loaded open sandwiches
Make sure you have fillings to suit all diet types as you don’t want anyone to go hungry!
If you're hosting your sports day in a garden and you have access to a freezer, fruity ice lollies are a great way to cool off after all that running around.Five easy ice lollies
The best ice lolly recipes for kids
Our best-ever ice lolly recipes
For the spectators
Are you throwing a sports day or a mini Olympics party? Let us know in the comments below...