20 Indoor & Outdoor Relay Race Ideas for Children

20 Indoor and Outdoor Relay Race Ideas for Kids

Children love races and always are up for the challenge to beat their peers in a game of “who can run the fastest?”. Relay races are even more fun, with kids competing to burn off that extra energy. Popular in summer, barbecue parties, and camps, a relay race for children can hold their interest for a longer time.  A relay race can make for a healthy impromptu exercise.

20 Fun Relay Race for Kids

Try these 20 kid-friendly outdoor and indoor relay race ideas to get you started to turn the fun quotient up. They make for fun activities at a birthday party or even a family reunion. Some can be done indoors whilst some may need some preparation. But they can all be fitted and customized to fit any party theme or occasion.

1. Sack Race

All you need is some sacks and participants to get into a crazy mood. This one is a relay twist to the popular sack race.

How to Play

Get kids to get in a potato sack and hop to a designated point and turn back. When they reach the start line, they need to get out of the sack and hand it to the next participant in line. The winning team is the one where all participants have completed the task. You can swap the sack for a large pillowcase for younger kids.

2. Egg and Spoon Race

With some spoons and eggs, you can have a whole lot of fun. This could be played indoors and outdoors but make sure to swap the real eggs for plastic ones while playing indoors.

How to Play

Divide the participants into two teams. Every participant in the team needs to carry the spoon in their mouth and balance the egg on it from the start point to the finishing line and turn around. As they approach the start line, they need to place the egg on the spoon of the next participant’s spoon. The first team to complete the race wins.

3. Exercise Ball Relay for Kids

You can achieve wonders with just an exercise ball and some cones. A great race to get kids not just to run but also to flex their muscles.

How to Play

Set up cones in a straight line. Make sure that there is enough space between the cones so that the ball can roll freely. Try getting kids to roll the ball as they run through the cones and time them. Alternatively, you could have two teams and the team where all the participants finish rolling the ball and complete the race win.

4. Newspaper Race

Another great idea with just newspapers. This one needs kids to have good coordination skills.

How to Play

Place the newspaper sheets in a line from the starting line to the end. Players have to run the race and step on the newspapers and make sure their feet do not touch the ground from the start line to the finishing line. Another variation could be, give them cut-out pieces of newspapers, and each player has to place the newspaper in front of them before taking the next step. This should be done from the start point to the endpoint.

5. Fill It With Water Race

It a messy one, but this one promises a whole of fun, especially in the summer.

How to Play

Set up obstacle courses everywhere with tables, chairs, rocks, etc. Give the participants plastic cups and a bucket full of water. They have to fill the cups and place them by the obstacles as they go along. The participant, to return with a full bucket of water back to the start line, wins the race.

6. Dress Up Relay

A hilarious game. This will have your onlookers in splits.

How to Play

Fill two boxes or suitcases with a variety of clothes. Divide the group into two teams. The first player has to run to the pile, put on all the clothes on top of theirs, and return to the start line. They need to take their clothes off, and the next participant will have to get them on and run to the finish line before returning to the team. The process is repeated until all players have finished.

7. Over Under, Over Under

A great way to get kids to think quickly and act fast.

How to Play

Divide the group into two teams. Kids have to either pass a bean bag or a ball first under their leg and over their head to the next participant and, once done, must move to the back of the line. This needs to be done until the first participant comes back to the front of the line.

8. Shoe Hunt

Kids need to be observant to play this game.

How to Play

Before the game starts, kids remove one shoe they are wearing and put it in a large box. A participant from the team runs one at a time to find their matching pair. The first team where every member has found their matching pair is the winner.

9. Hula-Hoop Pass

Not a simple one, but this one promises loads of fun.

How to Play

Divide the group into two teams. Loop a hula hoop into one player’s arm. Get each team to join hands and form a circle. Without letting go of the other player’s hands, the player with the hoop must step into and through the loop so that it rests on their other arm. They then slide it into the other player’s arm, who would need to perform the same manoeuvre. The team that passes the hoop through the whole circle wins the game.

10. Pool Noodle Beach Ball Relay Race

This game works on coordination and teamwork. It is a great activity to build resilience in kids.

How to Play

Partners hold a pool noodle with a beach ball in between the pool noodles. Players have to race from start to finish without letting the beach ball fall to the ground.

11. No Hands Race

This one is a wonderful race to get kids to test their balance and body coordination.

How to Play

Players need to run to the endpoint, stop, lie down on their backs, fold hands across their chest and get up, moving their arms. They need to run back to the start line.

12. Tunnel Relay

A wonderful way to get kids to move their whole body from start to finish.

How to Play

Divide the group into two teams. Get the players to stand in line with their legs apart. The first participant needs to crawl through the human tunnel to the end line, and the rest of the participants follow. The team which finishes first will win.

13. Sponge Race

Great entertainment for kids and a lot of mess with water splashing all over.

How to Play

Divide your team into two. Get them to stand in rows. Fill a bucket of water in the front and leave an empty bucket at the back of the row. Give a sponge to the first participant, and they need to dip the sponge in the bucket and run with it to the end and squeeze all the water out. They will then hand the sponge to the next participant, who will repeat the process. The team which has the higher amount of water in the bucket at the end wins.

14. Drop the Coin

Kids need to be careful when they play this one as it requires some concentration.

How to Play

Divide the group into two teams. Have two points, start point, pick up point and turn around point. Place a few empty egg cartons at the turn around point. Players have to run from the start point, pick up a coin from a bowl at the pickup point and run to the egg cartons and fill them. They will then run back to the start line, where the next participant will continue the process. The first team to fill up the egg carton and come back to the starting point wins.

15. Three-legged Race

A fun game where kids will be trying hard to stand straight and race at the same time.

How to Play

Pair kids into two’s or let them pick a partner. Tie up one leg of the kids with their partners with a scarf, bandana, or fabric sashes. This becomes their third leg. The partners then have to walk from the start line to the finish line. You could also tie their arms by making them stand with their backs to each other. This requires more coordination and communication skills.

16. Pop the Balloon Race

It is a race with some noisy fun.

How to Play

Tie up an inflated balloon to a chair. Get the participants to run to the chair and pop the balloon. Alternatively, you could also have a box filled with balloons. Kids will need to run and pick a balloon and bring it back to fill an empty box at the start line.

17. Waiter Run

Kids need to play the role of waiters at a restaurant.

How to Play

Hand out a plate to every kid and place a ping-pong ball on it. Kids have to carry the plate over their heads from the start line to the finish line and hand over the ping pong ball to the next participants. The team where all participants head back to the start line first win the race.

18. Water Balloon Armpit Race

This one needs kids to be vigilant and also agile.

How to Play

Kids have to keep a water balloon under their armpits and run from the start point to the finishing line. The rules can vary, and if the balloon bursts, they can take another one. Play it in teams to see which one wins.

19. Broom Relay

Loads of fun, this could be a game for Halloween too.

How to Play

Place a broom on chairs. Divide groups into teams and get participants to run from the start line to the finishing line. When they reach the chair, they need to crawl under the broom without knocking it off. They run back to the start line, where the next participant follows.

20. Jump the Creek

Running, hopping, and jumping – all in one race.

How to Play

Get two children to hold the ends of the rope.  The two teams on cue must run one by one to the rope and jump over it. You could also get them to hop to the rope and them to jump over it. You could get the kids holding the rope to stand close to each other first and then slowly widen it as the participants keep passing by.

With so many ideas, there is no way that one will get bored during the summer. So next time you are having a party or a sleepover in summer, pick one of these to get the kids to have fun.

Also Read:

Indoor Games for Children
Social Distancing Games for Children
Games to Play on Zoom for Children

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