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"Preschool Field Day "
(By Greg Thompson , Detroit Country Day School )

Hi Everyone,

I posted a response on the NASPE listserv regarding my field day for pre-school aged children. A number of people wrote and asked me for descriptions of the stations I use. The following is a list of my stations in order. I have tried to be brief so as not to bore those not interested. As I explained before, each of parent volunteers man twenty stations. Everyone meets at the field one hour before we begin and I walk the entire group around and explain each station. This is a wonderful time for me to talk about how motor skills develop and all the components of my curriculum.

I mentioned that all the children come out with a nametag. Our awards are very simple and I make them. I use Avery sticky spots (approx. 3/4" in diameter) which come in packages of 500 or 1000 or so. I also cut thin ribbon (the kind you can curl with scissors) in to 1 1/2" in pieces so that each award gets two of these. Note: I coil this stuff into one foot long coils with enough coils so that I cut 10 of these every time I make a cut. I alternate between yellow stickers with blue ribbons and blue stickers with yellow ribbons (our school colors) Every third station has foil stars as the award. I put all of the stickers and ribbons in one business envelope and have it taped to a folding chair with the station number on it. After the station is completed, the station leaders have to make up six little awards and put them on the children's' name tags. It takes about 1 minute or less. I have found that the children love these little awards and they look nice. (Sort of like mini-county fair ribbons)

My stations have some repetition because the children usually make it to ten stations. Remember that I have twenty stations so that my group size is small. 6 kids per station. This makes things easier for parents to manage both operation and award giving. When we begin, I have the entire group of classes come out and line up in parallel lines. I take the first class and put six kids at the first station and keep going through all twenty stations. The teachers help me organize this by making sure the next class is right on the heals of the first class so that we can fill the stations quickly.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE: The station leader at the first station must wait until I give the "go" signal to begin explaining the station. If the start as soon as they have children, their kids will be spent by the time I get kids put at station twenty. Getting everyone at stations usually takes4 or 5 minutes. We then run each station for 6-7 minutes. I use a megaphone and ask station leader to have the children to point to where they go next when they are finished putting on awards. This almost always looks comical with the kids pointing in a myriad of directions. When everyone is pointing the right way, I signal to change stations and we rotate. Once we get going, I watch the clock, signal changes and walk around and encourage kids and parents. It has always been a wonderful celebration of physical education. Over the years, I have gotten to know many parents through their participation in our field day.

My stations in order:

#1 Simon says- body part identification,

#2 Chest-to-chest pathway- a rope and standing hula hoop pathway that the children must navigate with a punch ball between them and a partner's various body parts.

#3 Frisbee toss for targets- foam frisbees for both standing and lying flat hula hoops

#4 Dynamic balance pathway- an obstacle course with rolling on incline mats rolling over a UCS barrel and jumping from foam vaulting box to vaulting box

#5 Batting- I use a portable soccer goal and hang ropes with velcro attached, the kids bat tennis balls with velcro glued on. Emphasis is on power and hitting farther than your previous hit. I usually have one adult out in the field retrieving balls.

#6 Dynamic balance pathway- poly spots and carpet squares in a serpentine path. Emphasis on traveling different directions and levels without falling off path. We use lots of imagery for the little kids. (The grass is often chocolate sauce or ketchup)

#7 Locomotor red light, green light- the station leader plays this game with running, galloping, sliding, hopping, or any thing else locomotor. I usually give some wacky suggestions like hot dog rolling etc.

#8 Throwing for accuracy- I use a portable soccer goal with hula-hoops suspended from the crossbar on ropes. We throw sock balls and the kids work in partners from opposite sides. They have to call the color of the hoop they are aiming for before they throw. The station leader challenges them to back up as they have success. They are free to choose any hoop they want to throw at.

#9 Catching- They can choose from 4 different diameter and weights of ball and they throw and catch by themselves. The station leader encourages them to throw higher or change in the diameter of the ball.

#10 Jump and Leap- an obstacle type course with low obstacles for jumping and leaping. We use imagery for this one also. We jump over sleeping lions etc.

#11 Static balance- the station leader has a task sheet that gives lots of ideas for multiple body part balances. Some are specific body parts. Others are One hand and two other parts etc. Some are numerical like balance on any three parts, now three different parts. Etc. etc.

#12 Kicking for distance- kicking soft balls to try beat their personal best for distance

#13 Bean bag pathway- navigate a rope and standing hoop pathway with a beanbag balanced on various body parts

#14 ball throwing for accuracy- the station leader roles hula hoops in front of a line of children who attempt to throw their ball through the hoop. This one is a blast. We usually use ropes to have them straddle as they throw to encourage trunk rotation.

#15 Parachute- cat and mouse and other parachute games

#16 Frisbees for distance- trying to beat their personal best by throwing foam frisbees as far as they can

#17 Throwing for bowling pins- throwing (sock balls) in pairs at two plastic bowling pins on an upside down milk crate. They get on opposite sides of the milk crate so that if one misses the ball goes to the partner on the opposite side of the crate.

#18 Cone knock down- a cooperative game where everyone has an 8"gatorskin ball and has to knock down 25 9" soccer cones by kicking their ball. They try to beat their previous time.

#19 Croquet with punch balls and foam rackets- I use large wire hoops (2feet wide that I made from stout wire from the hardware store, I put a floor tape flag on them so they are easy to see in the grass) and they have to move a punch ball through a pathway. They try to beat their personal best time.

#20 Throwing for distance/force- for the three's we try to beat our personal best for distance. For the 4's and kindergartners, they throw at our radar gun to try and beat their personal best mph


Send comments on this article to Greg Thompson

If you have more ideas for PE Field Days please post them on the PE-Forum so that we can create a resource listing.


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