I am not a huge fan of Field Day.
There. I said it. I know I’m probably in the minority here, but it is not one of my favorite days. Yes, the kids have fun. Yes, they run around and get their energy out. BUT they also act nutty and don’t listen and I lose my voice by the end of the day. Hmph.
So, just in case I’m not the only person who is a Field Day cranky pants, I came up with a Field Day Survival Guide for all of us.
Ok, ok…I know. Not possible. So, let’s get real.
Field day survival tip #1: Get comfy
Luckily for me, my principal is totally cool with us getting comfy. IF you can, make sure you have a floppy hat, your most awesome pair of sunglasses, and your comfiest pair of shoes. I prefer tennis shoes, but flip-flops seem like a good choice too.
field day survival tip #2: stay hydrated
Even though it might be tempting to fill that water bottle with margaritas, that is probably not a good idea. Since you don’t want to get fired, make sure you have a water bottle full of cold water. Staying hydrated makes me much less cranky AND saves my voice a little. (Don’t get too carried away though, because you know you can’t pee until Field Day is over.)
field day survival tip #3: sunscreen
This one is in ALL CAPS for a reason. It’s because I always forget. Every. Single. Year. And then I am even more cranky because I’m hot, tired, no voice AND sunburned. Don’t forget the sunscreen. And if you have Field Day for the WHOLE day, don’t forget to reapply. Maybe twice, just in case.
tip #4: popsicles
Our PE teacher makes “Popsicles” a field day station. Because she is awesome. I used to feel a little guilty getting a popsicle, since I am NOT a 5th grader, but I’ve gotten over it. So, tip #4 is – get yourself a popsicle. Relish it.
tip #5: let it go
This tip is the hardest for me. If you are anything like me as a teacher, I like it when it’s quiet. When kids are working and learning and things are pretty under control. I’m not saying I don’t like having fun – and we have plenty of it – but chaos is not my thing. Field Day feels like chaos. Over the years, it has stressed me out and freaked me out to the point of exhaustion at the end of every field day. So here’s tip #5 – LET IT GO. (You can sing it, if you want to.)
Lauren is bonking Xavier on the head with a rogue pool noodle? Let it go.
Manuel cheated at kickball and never touched homeplate? Let it go.
No one knows the rules to the game in the gym so they are pretty much just running around like crazy people? Cover your ears and let it go.
Everyone is running amok and dumping water on each other’s heads? Let. It. Go.
Once I realized that there is no point in trying to wrangle 25 5th graders who are intent on whacking each other senseless with a pool noodle, Field Day was a much better day. I decided it’s a great day to talk to parents, play with younger siblings and just generally make sure no one punches anyone or gets seriously injured. (Side note: There is no crying on Field Day. This is an important rule for students AND me.)
tip #6: be prepared
Last, but not least…be prepared. We only have a half day for Field Day, so I always like to have something planned for the afternoon that keeps kiddos busy and lets them rest and relax. (Because they are tired, cranky and sunburned too…)
I made a few activities that are perfect for after the chaos OR to get your kids excited for an upcoming field day. They work wonders for calming down, filling in a little extra time, or just taking a break from the nuttiness of the day. Your students can:
- Practice math skills with a color-by-code (multiplication or adding/subtracting)
- Answer reflection questions about their field day experience
- Collect and analyze field day data from their classmates
- Create their own field day event
- Solve field day themed word problems
- Write about field day using prompts
- AND more!
I hope everyone has a great, stress-free, not-too-hot, delicious popsicle, hydrated, no sunburn, no tears Field Day. If you have any great ideas to keep sane on Field Day, please leave them in the comments!
looking for more ideas?
Check out this blog post with easy ideas for the end of the school year!