We continue to provide some resources for those planning an outdoor a Field Day event, where the children rotate through a variety of gross motor activities and spend most of the morning outside playing and working together. It is a great day, but definitely requires planning to make sure it goes smoothly.
We schedule each activity station rotation to last no longer than 20 minutes and keep the kids moving. We keep in mind the attention span of preschoolers for any given activity - and 20 minutes is more than enough time to play each game/activity and then get to the next station.
This is an "all hands on deck" type of morning! Here are the different roles we have for our Field Day staff:
1) ACTIVITY LEADERS - Plan for and run an activity station. We have each of our head teachers from each class plan an activity (such as a water balloon toss, obstable course, etc.). The activity leaders plan the activity, gather materials and run the station for the morning.
2) TEAM LEADERS - Take small groups of children to each of the activity stations throughout the morning. Depending on the size of the group, you may need to have a Team leader AND an assistant, to stay in proper adult-to-child ratio.
3) FLOATER(S) - Take care of any needs throughout the day (help with bathroom trips, getting extra water, get ice packs, etc.) Depending on the size of your program, you should plan to have 1 or 2 extra people who are available to run errands. Have walkie-talkies for all staff members to communicate with each other and the floaters.
4) PARENT VOLUNTEERS - Include family members in your Field Day event by asking them to volunteer for various jobs. Parent volunteers can help out by taking care of the snack station, or assisting activity or team leaders. Remember to note that for most programs, a parent volunteer cannot be counted as a staff member when considering the adult-to-child ratio - so utilize your volunteers in a role that supports the existing staff.
You will note in the rotation schedule, that at certain times, activity stations will not have any children for a 20 minute period. This provides a built-in opportunity for Activity leaders to take a bathroom or water break, reset their station, or provide assistance to other stations, as needed.
ASSIGNING CHILDREN TO TEAMS
What we have done and found to work well at our school is to create mixed age groups of children (3-5 years). Teachers assign children from their classes into teams - and we mix up the classes so the children are on a team with some of their classmates, but also get to meet and work with children from the other classes. This has helped to promote teamwork and less competitiveness, and children get to play with some new friends!
The planning sheet below also doubles as an attendance sheet for the Team leaders on the day of your event. Team leaders should be sure to take attendance, always know how many children are in their group, and be aware of any allergies or special needs (which should be highlighted right on the sheet, see sample sheet below).
Note for our planning sheet, we allow for a Team of up to 10 children (you can adjust to the size of your program and staff availability).
You can find these planning sheets in WORD format in our Idea database, so you can revise and adjust them to your needs. And remember to HAVE FUN on Field Day, and enjoy a day outside with your preschoolers!