Nothing brings kids together more than a themed relay race. They’re super fun and great for teaching kids how to work together. Plus, they usually result in non-stop laughter.
The best thing is that everyone can participate in a themed relay race, no matter their age or fitness level. It’s about having fun more than who wins, after all!
But if you’re looking for fun relay race ideas for children, you’ve come to the right place; below, we’ve listed 15 relay race ideas for children of all ages, which can be organized both indoors and outdoors.
Start planning a fun-themed relay race that everyone will love. And, hey, why not join in the friendly competition as well? Teachers are not exempt!
1. Egg And Spoon Race
Egg and spoon races are a classic – but for good reason. You need to move fast to be the first to cross the finish line. But go too fast, and you risk losing the egg.
There’s strategy involved, and they’re fun to both participate in and watch!
Egg and spoon races are also easy to organize for children. All you need are, well, eggs and spoons. You might need more eggs than spoons, though.
2. Potato Sack Race
The potato sack race is another classic relay race idea. Potato sack races are harder than they look, but they’re still more fun than challenging and sure to get everyone laughing.
Just gather some large potato sacks, set up a start line and finish line for the kids, and let the fun begin!
3. Hippity Hop Ball Race
Kids love playing on hippity hop balls. Add a finish line to the mix, and you have a fun relay race for children that’s sure to have them smiling from start to finish!
Make this relay race idea extra fun by including different-sized hippity hop balls for every team. Smaller hippity hop balls will increase the difficulty of the race!
4. Crab Walk Race
If you’re looking for a fun relay race idea that doesn’t involve equipment, organize a crab walk race!
If you’re not sure what a crab walk is, it involves moving with your feet and palms on the floor and your stomach facing up.
This one’s as much a test of strength as it is a race, making it a fun fitness challenge for children of all ages.
And while it might be called a crab “walk”, remind the kids that they need to move fast if they want to cross the finish line first!
5. Balloon Waddle Race
If gathering hippity hop balls for the whole class sounds like too much of a challenge, the balloon waddle race is a great alternative.
It involves racing to the finish line with a balloon placed between the legs – simple yet still heaps of fun for everyone.
Just make sure all the balloons are the same size. The smaller the balloons, the easier it will also be for the kids! So you can choose how difficult (and hilarious) the race will be.
6. Head To Head Balloon Race
Here’s another fun relay race idea for children that involves balloons.
The head-to-head balloon race is a team effort with two kids working together to balance a balloon between their foreheads. And yep, the balloon must not touch the floor.
In this case, the bigger the balloon, the easier the race will be.
To add some excitement to this relay race idea, you can allow the kids to kick the balloon up and re-catch it with their foreheads if they drop it (as long as the balloon doesn’t touch the ground).
Just remind them to be careful to avoid a bump of heads!
7. Hula Hoop Race
Test everyone’s hula hoop skills with a hula hoop relay race. This idea is more challenging than some of the other relay race ideas on this list, but it’s tons of fun and can be organized as the final race in a relay tournament or best of three.
Just make sure to keep it fair by using hula hoops of the same size.
Another way to make it fair is by organizing this relay race in teams to cover all ability levels. After all, you might have a few hula hoop pros among your students!
8. One-Legged Hop Race
This is another fun relay race idea that doesn’t involve any equipment. Just ask the children to get on one leg and hop to the finish line. It’s a simple but fun test of balance and speed.
You can create the rules so that the kids are only allowed to touch the floor (with their raised foot) once or a set number of times.
To make it more fun, you can also get the children to alternate legs as they hop or tell them that they can’t use their arms for balance!
9. Leapfrog Relay Race
Leapfrogs have always been a popular playground pastime. So why not turn leapfrogging into a race?
This relay race idea requires organizing the children into partners (ideally of similar heights). There’s no equipment required, and it’s lots of fun!
10. Bean Bag Balance Race
A bean bag balance relay race shares similarities with the classic egg and spoon race – except you’ll get the kids to balance a small bean bag on their heads as they race to the finish line.
The first to cross the finish line without dropping the bean bag wins!
You’re sure to find bean bags in the school’s PE equipment room, so this is a relay race that shouldn’t be hard to organize.
Increase the challenge by having the kids balance the bean bags on their foreheads instead of on top of their heads!
11. Human Wheelbarrow Race
A human wheelbarrow race is another fun race idea if you’re organizing a day of partner-based races, as it can be paired with the head-to-head balloon race and leapfrog race as a relay race series or tournament.
The human wheelbarrow race involves one person crawling on their hands while the other person stands and holds their partner’s legs.
It requires technique and teamwork, so it’s a great way to get the kids working together!
12. Newspaper Race
The newspaper relay race can be done solo or in pairs. It involves placing a sheet of newspaper on the ground, which each child must stand on to move forward.
If done in pairs, both children must stand on the sheet of newspaper before moving forward, requiring an additional element of balance and teamwork. Yep, you guessed it, no one is allowed to touch the ground!
13. Dress Up Race
The dress-up race is a unique race idea that involves getting the kids to put on a set number of clothing items over what they’re already wearing.
The first to get dressed in all the items, which can be shirts, sweaters, pants, hats, and other accessories, wins!
Dressing up in all items can be the race itself, but you can also make this relay race idea more exciting by incorporating running segments.
For example, the children must run to their pile of clothes, get dressed, then run back wearing all the clothes. This is one that’s sure to get the kids laughing!
14. Fill The Bucket Race
Fill the bucket relay races can be organized in various ways. The overall goal is to fill the bucket, which can involve water, small bean bags, plastic pit balls, tennis balls, and various candies – you get the picture!
This is yet another fun relay race idea with laps that can be done solo, with partners, or in teams. You can have the children race to the bucket by grabbing the items one by one or have them throw the items to each other for the final person to drop the item in the bucket.
Need we say it? It’s guaranteed fun for all!
15. Backward Race
Make any relay race more fun by organizing it backward. This can be a simple relay race that involves running backward. But, for more fun and games, you can incorporate it with any of the above relay race ideas.
For example, can you imagine a backward potato sack race? Or even a backward hippity hop ball race?
Needless to say, it’s going to be more entertaining for everyone involved. You can also mix it up by asking the children to do one lap normally before returning to the starting line in reverse!
So there you have it – 15 relay ideas for children of all ages. In fact, these relay race ideas will be lots of fun for adults, too, so why not get the teachers involved at the end? (Yes, that includes you!)
Either way, you can be sure to organize a fun and memorable class relay race for the children by using one of the ideas listed above.
Even better, create your own mixed event by combining some of the races together!
You may also want to check out these PE games.