Day at the Races!
Best Obstacle and Relay Races
Who needs video games when The Great Outdoors promises so much fun? Whether you have four or fourteen participants, round up the kids for a bit of backyard or beach fun.
Potato Sack/Pillowcase Race
Gather the kids around for this hopping game. Explain the rules (both feet should be in the sack at all times, and no one starts jumping until the whistle blows or the judge says “go!”) and have the kids practice hopping before the race. Show each participant the start and finish lines and when everyone’s ready, let the game begin! Add some obstacles for added excitement.
Wet Three-Legged Race
The classic game gets a twist when you add moving sprinklers to the mix! Start with teams of two and tie one person’s left leg to the other’s right leg or vice versa. Use rags cut into three-foot-long strips, or use pairs of old stockings to secure legs together. To get a feel for things, have each team practice walking for a few minutes before they attempt jogging or jumping together. Then have all the teams line up at the start line and let them loose! Keep in mind that this type of game is best suited to kids six years and older.
This family favorite is always a big hit at backyard picnics and parties. To start, split the group into two. Next, give each team a bucket of water, an empty plastic milk jug and a large sponge. Place the buckets on one end of the yard with sponges in the water. Put the milk jugs at the opposite end. Once the game starts, each player grabs the soaked sponge and runs to the jug to squeeze as much of the water into it as possible. Then they run back to the water bucket and the next player takes their turn. The first team to fill the jug wins! To make things a bit harder, try using a turkey baster rather than a sponge.
Grab backyard accessories for this fun game – it’s a great way for the whole family to get some exercise while they play. Almost anything will do – set up lawn chairs in a swirly pattern for participants to crawl under, have them walk with a basketball between their legs around a winding garden hose, or ask them to balance while walking on a string and trying not to get wet when a moving sprinkler comes their way. You can even add hopping and freezing on the spot to mix things up.
Spending an afternoon at the beach? Grab your camera for this out-of-the-ordinary race idea. Split into two teams and give each group a snorkel mask, a set of flippers, a pair of oversized swim trunks, a pair of sunglasses, a beach ball and a beach bag. Put each team in a row and with the bag of items at one end of the race and the ball with the first runner at the other, have each participant run with the ball between their knees to collect the bag. Each player has to put on the items, make it back to give the ball to the next player and then run to the other end of the race to take off all the items for the next player to wear. Don’t forget to bring your camera for this one!
For more fun activity ideas, check out Kaboose Crafts + Fun, and our sister site, AmazingMoms.com.
- How Much Activity Do Kids Need?
- Get-Fit Strategies
- Backyard Games for Kids
- Seven Activities to Get Movin'
- Play in the Dirt
Share your summer race ideas in our Message Boards.