Blog home
The Blog

Fresh Ideas and Inspiration for education

7 top tips for sports day - New for 2024

Planning your school sports day? Here are seven ideas, to help you get started.

Posted on Tuesday 04th June 2024

In this blog we will share with you 7 top tips for school sports day – new for 2024. We will think about all the things you need to consider and explore activities and ideas to help you make sports day a success.

What is School Sports Day?

Sports day is a fun annual school event where pupils, teachers  and carers can enjoy participating in sporting activities together. School Sports Day is a great opportunity to encourage all pupils to be enthusiastic about sports, even the non-athletically inclined. The importance of sports in primary school cannot be underestimated, and getting everyone involved in sports at a young age is beneficial in helping to create lifelong healthy habits. The key purpose of Sports Day is to allow children to enjoy physical activity and give an opportunity for the community to join in a key event in the school. Everyone can be involved in sports day, and it can be one of the most memorable events of the school year!

Sports Day Spacehopper Race

So, here are 7 top tips for your sports day:

1. When is your sports day? Pick a date and Plan ahead

It is an obvious thing but don’t leave the planning for Sports Day until the day before and just hope that it will work out OK. Head Teachers might need to change or collapse the timetable to accommodate the plans. You might need to recruit help or get some special equipment. You might just need to get some lines painted on the field or playground. There is no set time that it takes to plan your event, but starting early can only ever help and it will make you feel more relaxed.

Set a Date and Time: Choose a date well in advance and ensure parents are aware of it. Have a reserve date in mind in case things need to be changed due to weather. Make sports day posters with the children to advertise the event. Allow time for planning the sports day activities into the curriculum so that key skills can be practised.

Egg and Spoon Race

2.  Planning activities and ideas for school sports day

Decide on the games and races you’ll include. Create a timetable for the day, considering breaks between events. Think through the day and decide on timings. Consider the space you have, the number of children and how many parents/carers you will invite. Plan the number and types of events and how it will be organised based on your school requirements. Some schools opt for a circuit of events to keep everyone busy, while others choose to have children spectating while they wait for their race. Choose some sports day classics like the relay race, egg & spoon, skipping races, and the sack race.

Why not be creative and add some more unusual races/events into your day such as the coconut shy target challenge, flying discs target game, soft hammer throwing event, or a fun giant inflatable bowling activity!

Ideas for Sports Day games:

There are many games and activities you could include on sports day. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

  • Egg and Spoon Race

An iconic classic, the egg and spoon race challenges multiple skills at once. Participants balance an egg (or ball) on a spoon while running from the start to the finish line. The first person to cross with their egg wins. No holding on with fingers!

  • Skipping Race

A great activity for health and fitness. Use skipping ropes to skip from one end of the course to the finish line.

  • Sack Race

Participants hop inside large sacks and race to the finish line. It’s hilarious and great exercise.

  • Bean Bag Toss

Develop throwing skills. Create a target area (such as a hoop) and have participants take turns tossing bean bags into it. Assign different point values to different areas.

  • Football Dribble

Dribble a football through sets of cones to the end of the course. Pass the ball to the next teammate and continue until all participants have finished.

  • Bean Bag Hoop Relay and my particular favourite

A team game where hoops are placed in a line with a pile of beanbags at the start. The first player runs and places a beanbag in each of the hoops, one at a time. They tag the next player who runs and removes each beanbag, one at a time, and places them back at the start line. Game continues until all players have had a go. The winner is the first team to all complete the task.

  • Cups and Saucers Team game

A popular game to play at the start or end of the other events. Enough dome cones are scattered around the area, half as domes to represent saucers and half turned upside down to represent cups. Divided into two teams, named either cups or saucers. It is the job of the cup team to turn over the saucers to make cups and the saucer team to turn the cups into saucers. This is a timed event.

  •  Obstacle Course

Set up your own obstacle course with cones, hoops, hurdles, etc. Participants navigate through it as quickly as possible. A fun ‘It’s a knockout’ type obstacle course could be set up using giant inflatables like our bowling set.

  • Hula Hoop Dance-Off

A fun event to end with. Participants compete to see who can keep a hula hoop spinning around their waist the longest.

The beauty of sports day events is that races can be adapted to suit everyone from, Early Years children to secondary school students, young adults to grandparents and even teachers! Events can be made easier or more challenging and some challenges can be seated activities to enable all to participate.

3. Plan ways to celebrate sport and being active

Whether you have individual winners, collect team points, or celebrate participation, it is important for all children to feel a sense of achievement. The focus for sports day should be celebrating everyone being active. Choose whether to present winners with prizes after each race or during a prize-giving ceremony at the end. Choose from an exciting range of sports day awards, perfect for rewarding pupils who take part in your school’s summer games. Consider sports day stickers, badges, medals, rosettes and even trophies. Plan some alternative awards like the most supportive teammate. TTS have a range of stickers, trophies, and medals for the big day.

Here are some awards you might like:


Sports Day can be the highlight of the school year. Make sure everyone enjoys the day and bring the school community together with a positive experience for all. Get children active and have fun.

4. Ideas to get everyone involved in sports day

Children love to see families and staff joining in and being active with them. Why not plan a staff space hopper race or parent obstacle event balancing a bean bag on their head as they weave in and out of cones, ladders, throwing a javelin and limbo dancing to the finish line!


Brief description of event

Space Hopping Sit on spacer hoppers and attempt to bounce from one end of the course to the other as quickly as possible.
Obstacle Course with Bean Bag on head Set up fun obstacle courses with ladders, cones and hurdles. Balance a bean bag on head whilst attempting to run. Even add in a javelin throw to complete the course.
Limbo Challenge Everyone will enjoy a limbo dance. A fun addition to a race before they run to the finishing line. Challenge to see who is the most flexible.

Make an events list so that everyone knows what is happening so nothing is missed. Assign roles to staff members (e.g., directing people, first-aiders, overseeing races) and ensure everyone knows their responsibilities. Involve the older children in the preparations and organisation on the day. Encourage them to be good role-models for the other pupils and encourage their teammates.

Recruit help- Like any event, Sports Day needs several pairs of hands for it to run smoothly. Whether it’s someone to take results or to sell tea and healthy snacks to parents. Get people signed up to help you. If you have planned ahead, you should have a good idea of the jobs that need doing on the day, so approach people with a specific role in mind.

5. Planning the school sports day refreshments

Make the most of the day and plan for refreshments, especially if it’s a warm day. Invite parents to bring picnics to keep costs down. Have ice-pops as a treat to help keep everyone cool. Perhaps set up a stall and use it to raise money for the PTA. Remember to provide access to drinking water and make sure there are some shaded areas for people to retreat to if necessary. Consider providing a sheltered seating area as a resting place. If planning a carousel of events it’s a good idea to have one of the activity stops the refreshment area to make sure everyone is having a drink and a rest between races.

6. Ideas for organising the PE and sports day equipment

Gather necessary equipment (e.g., sacks for sack races, prizes for ceremonies). Think about how the equipment is going to be taken to the Sports day spot. Some resources might be easier to move on bulk. Consider investing in a sports storage trolley like our go anywhere equipment barrow which will transport your resources safely for a quick set up.

Other outdoor sports equipment you might consider include: mesh bibs for team games, a whistle, and other items such as the pursuit ball idea which is not only ideal for transporting equipment but also a good team game.

Remember, primary school sports days are about fun, participation, and positive experiences for children and parents alike!

7. How to make it fun for everyone?

Is there a place for both competitive and non-competitive activities? Many children will feel disappointed if there is no competition; others will feel scared by the idea of competing in front of their peers. One solution is to have a carousel of different activities followed by some more competitive races afterwards. Pupils can work towards personal best performances on the carousel without any pressure. Those that want to race can then do so afterwards. Everybody then gets something from the day.

Include resources such as throw down spots, weighted bean bags, sensory balls and cones.

Make the most of celebrating sport across the school and make a whole day of it! Children can get very excited about sports day and may find it difficult to focus on anything else before or after. So, why not embrace this and plan a whole day of health and fitness themed activities for children throughout the day.

We hope you were able to take something from our ideas and activities to help you with the planning of your school sports day. The most important thing to remember is to enjoy the day and for everyone to be looking forward to next year’s sports day event!

Athletics sports day

Updated and revised by Rachel Betteridge. Rachel is our primary curriculum content editor. She is a qualified teacher with 26 valuable years experience, teaching from Early Years to Year 6.