How to Throw a Family Field Day

EntertainingFamily-FriendlyGame Day

Sports may be canceled, and school may not be in-person, but you can STILL celebrate the spirit of kickoff season with a Family Field Day—in your own backyard!

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Photography Credit: Claudia Cash

Are y’all ready to just let loose and have a little fun? I know I am, especially as we forge our way into a new school year that is unlike anything we have ever seen.

I recently kicked off this crazy season of life with a Family Field Day!

A Family Field Day is like a tailgating party… but in your backyard! Make all your favorite tailgating-type foods (think wings, BBQ, chips and dip, fun drinks!) and instead of preparing to watch a game, you bring the games to you.

Family Field Day sign pointing to the various family activities.

Why I Held a Fall 2020 Family Field Day

Like many of you I’ve had to change many plans these past six months.

Usually this time of year brings fresh excitement, new motivation to organize and clean, and plans to party with friends and cheer on our favorite sports teams. Instead, I am preparing to homeschool my five girls; my house is basically chaos, and watching sports (we’re baseball fans!) just isn’t the same.

Family Field Day to the rescue!

No back-to-school shopping? Have a Family Field Day. Can’t really tailgate with neighbors? Have a Family Field Day! Don’t want to clean your house? Go outside and have a Family Field Day! (I think you get the idea.)

If anything, get out and celebrate the fact that we’ve made it to the last quarter of 2020, m’kay?

A sign that reads "Just Keep Swimming" set on a chair outside as part of the backyard family activities.

Our Family Field Day Motto: Just Keeping Swimming!

Choosing a theme to work around will help you add in little details that will make your Family Field Day extra special.

Each school year we choose a saying to focus on for the year and we decided “Just Keep Swimming” seemed appropriate for this year.

This became my theme for the little details, and I swam with it. I put it on the letterboard that hangs in my living room and gave out Swedish Fish as party favors. The finishing touch to my simple décor was little chalkboard stands with cute sayings for my kids to look at while they were getting their food.

The rest of my backyard decoration was simple: I have a lemonade stand cart in my garage (my kids take selling lemonade very seriously), so that’s what set the stage for me. I set the food on a folding table, and it worked just fine (just make sure you have a tablecloth!). I also added a little tassel garland and a wooden chalkboard sign. Simple, but fun.

Close up view of the table set for family activities.

A person holding a plate with a BBQ sandwich, salad, chips and watermelon as part of the family activities.

Brownies stacked on a cake stand set outside for things to do with your family.

Family Field Day Menu

Choosing a menu for our Family Field Day was easy: I let my kids pick the menu, and we ate whatever they wanted!

Here’s what we served:

I made the main course, and my kids helped out with everything else. (Family Field Day at our house also includes my kids helping out in the kitchen. That’s part of the fun!)

 

Large dice for backyard yard games

Let’s Play Games!

You can’t have a field day without games!

Two of our favorite games to play outdoors are YARDZEE and FARKLE, thanks to our giant yard dice. Things get quite competitive, and we find ourselves playing those games for hours. If you don’t have any outdoor games, you can have three-legged races, burlap sack races (we use garbage bags!), play Red Light:Green Light, Four Corners, or Sardines.

Need more ideas? Learn how to tie balloon animals, do some face painting, or hula hoop!

Journal for family field day

Don’t Forget the Pictures!

Take pictures and journal them! If you decide to make Family Field Day a tradition, make a special book just for the occasion. It took me an extra 10 minutes to print the pictures out and jot down a few notes about our fun day outdoors, and I can’t wait to add to it next year.

I really love these journals, because they’re thin and have blank pages so I can jazz them up however I want to. The best thing I bought during quarantine was a Polaroid pocket printer because I can print my pictures whenever I want, right from my phone. The ink for the pictures is right on the paper, and you can peel off the backs of the picture to make stickers. So easy and so fun. My kids love printing pictures, and I love physically preserving our memories.

No matter how next year looks, I’m looking forward to another Family Field Day!

Two girls holding yard dice for backyard family activities.

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Claudia Cash

Claudia is the Community Manager for Simply Recipes, and finds joy building relationships with our readers through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. As the mother of 5 girls, she is passionate about family dinner and having that time together every day to connect with those we love, even if it's over toast and eggs.

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Two girls holding yard dice for backyard family activities.How to Throw a Family Field Day