Theme Ideas for an Elementary Field Day

Field day encourages playful competition.

Many elementary students anxiously await the arrival of field day, as on this day, usually near the end of the school year, they have the opportunity to venture out of the classroom, burn off some energy, and anticipate the summer vacation. To make your field day a more cohesive event, plan the entire day around one central theme. While doing so isn't requisite to field day success, it can make the day of fun-in-the-sun appear better planned and potentially make it even more engaging for your students.

1 Sports Central

Because your field day will no doubt be filled with an assortment of athletic events, a sports theme may be a perfect fit. Establish your sports theme by decorating your field day banners and other signs with different sports balls and equipment pieces. Assign each class a representative sport, making one third grade class the soccer class and another the football one. Have each class come up with a name that reflects their sport to represent them in the field day activities. For example, the class assigned a baseball theme could call themselves the “batter-ups.”

2 It's a Jungle in Here!

Even through your field day likely won't take place in the depths of an exotic jungle, you can still reflect the excitement associated with jungle creatures by adopting a tropical theme. Assign each class a different jungle animal to use as its mascot, and have each class anticipate field day by making posters featuring these creatures to hang on the fences or outside building walls during the event. Allow your field day participants to paint their faces to look like jungle creatures -- or enlist parent volunteers to man a face-painting station -- as part of the field day events.

3 Red, White and Blue

Give your field day a patriotic edge by adopting a red, white and blue theme. Use red, white and blue streamers to decorate the fences and walls in your field-day area. When preparing food for your field day lunch, create red, white and blue treats including blueberry cookies and red-raspberry juice. When assigning team names, give each class the name of a past president, assigning the kindergarten class the team name of “Washington” for example, or the fifth grade "Kennedy."

4 Superhero Extravaganza

Allow your students to spend a day embodying their favorite superheroes by making your field day superhero themed. Ask each class to come up with a fictional superhero and create a life-sized poster of this individual. Allow students to wear capes and masks as they move through the day's events. As part of the day's activity, have students vote on which class superhero is the best, and have the principal award the class that created this hero a special prize.

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.