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Relay Games for Kids

Updated on April 17, 2015

Sometimes you just need a good set of team relay games for you children’s event. These options are quick, easy and lots of fun. Split up into two or more teams, dividing different sizes and skill levels as equally as possible to make the teams fair. Then grab the few required props and have a ball!

Water Cup

This game requires a bunch of foam cups. Punch holes in some or all of them ahead of time. You’ll also need buckets. Ideally use a large one and a fairly small one for each team (try a 5 gallon bucket and a medium sized sand pail). Divide the players into two teams and have them line up between their two containers. The player closest to the large pail should scoop up a cup of water and pour it into the cup of the next player and so on down the line. The last player can dump the remaining water into the small container. Obviously, some water will be lost each time it is poured from one cup to the other. It’s a great game for a hot day as some water will invariably end up on the kids.

A variation is to form a line a distance away from the small container and have the kids line up behind their bucket. Give each team one cup. Have the first player fill their cup, run to the small container and dump their water into it. They then run back to the next player, hand over the cup, then go to the back of the line.

In either variation, the team that fills their container quickest is the winner.

Steal the Bacon

Not quite a relay game, but still a great ‘filler’ game if you all of a sudden have extra time. Split into two equal teams. Number each of the players on each team, so you have two kids with each number.

Line the teams up facing each other, ideally in a large playing area. Place some sort of small item (a beanbag works well) in the middle of the two teams. When you call a number, those players need to run and attempt to pick up the beanbag. For instance, you call number three, the two girls who were given the number three run towards the beanbag. One picks it up. If she gets back across her team line without being tagged, she gets a point. If her opponent tags her, the opponent gets the point.

Be sure to remind kids to watch where they are going and be careful not to smack heads as they dive for the beanbag.

Relay Running Race

Another quick game to burn energy or fill a little bit of extra time. Split into 2-4 teams depending on number of kids present. Designate a start and finish line. Give the starting kid some sort of object to run with (i.e. beanbag, tennis ball, etc). Have them run to the finish line, then run back and pass their object to the next player. Have them sit down once they have run. First team sitting down wins.

Sack Race

Kids have loved this game anytime I have had them play it. See if a local farmer will give you some empty feed sacks. Turn them inside out to get rid of any grain dust that might irritate the kids (if you have kids with allergies, you might have to avoid this game, or use something that hasn’t come in contact with real grain). You know the rules to this game. Split into relay teams, have a kid from each team get into a sack and hop, waddle and otherwise struggle to the designated finish point and back to their next team member. A great game for lots of fun and laughs.

Skill Throwing

There are a few ways to set up for this. If you have a type of chair with a hole in the back of it (as is found at many school gyms and auditoriums), you can have the kids throw a beanbag at the chair and attempt to get it though the hole. If you don’t have such a chair, you can use a bowling pin and have the kids toss a beanbag or ball at it and attempt to knock it over. In either case, you have an adult positioned behind the target (obviously use a soft object for throwing in case the adult gets hit!). Have the team line up at a starting line. When the leading adult says ‘go’, the first player can toss their beanbag or ball at the target. If they are successful, the adult at the target should make note of that. The beanbag is then passed to the next player. When the allotted time is up, the team with the most ‘hits’ wins.

Beanbag Toss

Great game for improving motor skills of kids who aren’t overly athletic. Give one player a beanbag and have them stand about 10ft away from the rest of the team. The team should be standing side by side in a line. Have the player with the beanbag toss it to each player once. Once it’s been caught be each teammate, they should run to a designated point. This game requires quick, accurate reflexes, but isn’t too challenging.


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