With flowers in full bloom and the days long and warm, Father’s Day offers a perfect opportunity for outdoor fun. Getting together with cousins, or with a couple of other families? Here are three hilarious relay races you can try. All ages can join in for these memorable fitness-boosting, laughter-inducing games.
Clothes swiped from Dad's closet: jeans, T-shirts, sport coats, baseball caps, etc.
Cones or a rope
Badminton racquets (one per team)
Small beach ball
8 eggs oer team, hard-boiled or plain
One large cooking spoon per team
What You Do:
Try the "Dress Like Dad!" relay!This two-team relay race works especially well when two families compete against one another. Start with two good-sized laundry baskets. In each one, place a full outfit that one family’s Dad likes to wear (but doesn’t mind getting a little rumpled today!). You can make it a casual outfit—tee shirt, sweatpants, athletic socks, shoes, sweatshirt—or a formal one with button shirt, jacket, tie, pants, and so on. Just be sure that each basket has similar types of clothing, with at least 4-5 pieces. Set the baskets side by side, about 10 feet apart, and then use cones or a rope to set a “start” line several yards away.
For the race, select one person who will end up dressed “just like Dad.” This could be anyone—but it’s especially fun to pick a kid. Have that person stand just to the side behind the start line, perhaps sitting in a chair or standing in a hula hoop circle.
Appoint a referee to start the race and call the finish. Then each team member will take turns running a relay. To play, a runner must race to the laundry basket, select one item of Dad’s clothing, put it on, and then run back to the finish line with it (yes, shoes and pants tend to make for some especially good laughs). While the next racer heads off, the team must quickly put each item of clothing on the person selected to be “Dad.” The first team to dress “Dad” completely wins the round!
Does dad love to hit the links in nice weather? Here’s a “golf” relay race that the whole family can play. Start with one lightweight bandminton racquet per team (a lightweight child’s tennis racquet will also do, or if you’re really stumped, you can try a thick whiffle ball bat). Then give each team a small (5-6”) inflated beach ball. Use the same size course as for “Dress Like Dad,” but this time, leave your laundry basket upside down to mark the far end.
To play, each team sends one racer at a time, in a relay. Keeping the beach ball no higher than your knees, bat it across the field, around the basket, and back again. First team to return all players, plus beach ball, wins the round!
This last game is a variation on an old favorite, “Egg Spoon Races.” If you’re very bold, you can use plain eggs right from the carton. Most folks find, however, that hard-boiled eggs are a safer solution!
To play, you will need one large sauce spoon and eight eggs per team (okay, a couple of backups might be a good idea). Use a non-toxic marker to mark your eggs with letters, one letter per egg, to spell D-A-D R-O-C-K-S. Use the upended laundry baskets to mark the end of your course, but this time, place the eggs in a shallow bowl on top. Each racer must run to the basket, scoop an egg with the spoon only (no hands!), and then, holding the spoon in front, race back to the starting line. Players can pick up letters in any order, but by the end, the first team that can spell “Dad Rocks” completely is the winner! Leftover eggs can still be used for cooking, and eating, too, if they’re returned to a refrigerator promptly. (One note on broken eggs: for “hard core” playing, this might disqualify a team. For a fun-filled Father’s Day, we recommend a few strategic “backup” eggs. Replacements might slow a team down a little, but that way, nobody gets knocked out!)
No matter what games you choose on this happy day, do enjoy time together outdoors if the weather permits. Father’s Day was adopted as a time to celebrate family, and to help Dad know that whatever the ups and downs of a family’s days, he’s always loved and appreciated. That’s a great gift for fathers, and a wonderful lesson for all kids, too.
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.