By: Kelly Zerby
It’s never too early to start planning for your end of the year Field Day. If your school has such an event, it can be an amazing time for your staff and students to end the year on a positive note. If you don’t have an event like this, consider hosting one. It is a lot of planning, but once you get it down, it will roll in the years to come.
Things you need to think about before you plan the event. Once you answer these questions you can effectively plan the day.
- When can you host this event?
- Will it be all day or just half of a day?
- Will you have kids in teams? Matching shirts? Is it a competition?
- Do you need parent volunteers to run stations or bring groups around? In what way would you utilize classroom teachers and other school personnel?
- Do you have a water station? Or how will water breaks be provided?
- Do you have any family resources you can tap into to use at your event? (DJ, Coaches, Crafts, etc)
- What indoor and outdoor spacing do you have to utilize?
- Do you have all the equipment you need? And if you don’t, is there a budget for you to attain what you need?
- Do you rent any extraneous equipment (i.e. dunk tank, inflatable jump house..)
- Is there a reward or incentive at the end of the day?
At my current school, I do an all day mostly outside event within the last two weeks of school. I have 12 sections at my school. I plan 10 primary stations and 10 intermediate stations. My classroom teachers run the stations, and parent volunteers move the classes around. I put the primary classes outside on one side of my school and the intermediate on the other side. The classes enter the school to do a station in the gym or multipurpose room, and to go to the library to receive a free book. That schedule allows the classroom teachers to have plenty of plan time and breaks. Additional station ideas can be a DJ, photo booth, crafts, dunk tanks, board games.
I don’t usually plan for a theme. I plan a day of activities that the students know and love from our daily PE classes, as well as some fun outside choices like chalk drawing and sponge relays.
I know of several PE teachers who use a team of teachers, or even their PTA to plan an exciting day for their students. Planning themes can make it easier to create new stations or games or help. PTA’s and parents help create stations if you give enough of a heads up. Themes ideas: Superhero, Welcome to the Jungle, Games around the world, Olympics, Book/Movie Characters.
Whatever you decide to do, make it something that you will enjoy too. Be proud of your efforts because it can be a very exhausting day, but your students will love you for it.