Relay Races for Kids: 11 Indoor and Outdoor Ideas

The relay races for kids are perfect for neighborhood birthday parties, family reunions, or block parties. They can all be adapted for any party theme, and most can be run indoors.

Here are 11 fun relay races for kids (and an excellent way to burn energy).

Egg-and-Spoon Races

Relay Races for Kids

Suitable for: Indoors or outdoors

Stock: Spoons (one per player), eggs (one per team, real or plastic)

It will take two teams to complete this task. In addition to the spoon and egg (either hard-boiled or plastic), each player is given a plastic ball.

From the starting line to the turnaround point and back, the team must carry their eggs on their spoon. After that, a teammate takes a turn handling the egg.

A dropped egg must be retrieved by the player. Relay teams compete to see who can complete the distance first.

Variations: Adding egg raw could make a mess, but it will be worth it. For this version of the relay, kids must try not to break or crack the egg during the relay. Alternatively, you can play a version where each team gets one or two replacement eggs if you have larger teams (and a full carton of eggs to spare).

You could also swap out the plastic eggs for colorful, non-messy eggs if you wish to use the plastic variety.

No eggs in the house? Rather than using tokens, use coins (one for each player, though spares, might be needed). Kids can try to keep a small coin from falling as they race, using a spoon as a prop.

Consider adding obstacles to the game by using eggs or coins, or requiring players to skip rather than walk.

Dress-Up Relay Races For Kids

Suitable for: Indoors or outdoors

Supplies: Various clothing and accessories

To start, place two piles of dress-up items, a box, or a suitcase at each end. Two teams should be formed.

As soon as the first player reaches the pile, they put on all the dress-ups on top of their regular clothes, then run back to their teammates.

To return to the team, the player must remove all dressed-up items from the wall and pass them on to the next player. The next player then puts on the dress-up items and runs across the playing space. The next player will then dress up in the same way, and then the dress-up items will be removed.

Variations: One item only from the pile from the first player. Another item has to be worn by the second player. Three items are put on by the third player, etc.

Related: The Best Running Games for Kids to Get Active

Hula Hoop Pass

Suitable for: Indoors or outdoors

Supplies: Each team needs a hula hoop

Assemble two teams (or more, if there are many people). Make a circle by wrapping a hula hoop around the arm of each player and holding hands. The player with the hoop must enter and pass through the hoop without letting go of the other player’s hands.

After that, the player slides it onto the second player’s arm, who then repeats the move. The team whose hoop is passed as far as the circle first wins.

Variation: Instead of standing in circles, have teams stand in a straight line.

If you want to entertain your children there are many ways which we described in this article: How to entertain children.

Drop the Penny Relay Races For Kids

Suitable for: Indoors or outdoors

Supplies: One egg carton, bowl, and one penny per player (a few spares are a good idea, in case someone loses theirs)

You need to mark off two lines: a starting line and a turn-around line for this relay. Teams should be formed. One egg carton (lid removed) for each team should be placed in the middle of each line.

Once you have placed enough coins for each player in a bowl at the turn-around line, you will proceed to the next step.

A player from each team picks up a penny when they race to the bowl at the start of the game. When they reach the egg carton, they drop the penny from waist height into one of its cups (decide beforehand whether a player gets a second chance if he or she misses).

Whenever a penny has been dropped into each cup in an egg carton, one team has won the game.

Variations: You can swap party trinkets for pennies when you buy beans. Play both games by having participants place their pennies or other items on the spoons, which you got from your egg-spoon relay.

Water Relay Races For Kids

Water Relay Races for kids

Suitable for: Outdoors

Supplies: cups, buckets, sponges

At the starting line, put a bucket full of water and a plastic cup in the hands of each team. The finish line should have one empty bucket for each team. Every player empties his or her cup into his or her empty bucket while filling up their full bucket.

In a game, the starting bucket is empty when the game is over. Water in the finish-line bucket determines the winner.

Variations: You can use a sponge instead of a cup to absorb water. You can also turn an ordinary water bottle into a water game by poking holes in the bottom of the cup and having kids carry it to the finish line.

Related: Fun activities to combat childhood obesity

Three-Legged Race

Suitable for: Indoors or outdoors

Supplies: Bandanas, long scarves, and fabric sashes

Teams of two kids can be formed or kids can choose their partner. To create the shared “third leg,” tie the inside legs of each duo member together with a bandana, scarf, or piece of fabric.

Let’s set our start and stop points and start our race! As the three-legged pair works together to make it across the finish line, they must utilize their cooperation and communication skills.

Variation: Rather than linking them at the legs, have them complete the relay together. If you give the pair something to carry, such as a football or a small bucket of water, the race will be more challenging.

Balloon Relay Races For Kids

Suitable for: Indoors or outdoors

Supplies: Balloons

Children older than 4 should not participate in these races due to choking hazards from the balloon pieces, which may be scary to younger children.

Have the group line up in single-file while they are divided into teams. Each line leader should receive a balloon. To pass it to the player behind them, they must pass it through their legs. It’s the next player’s turn to pass the balloon overhead.

In this manner, keep repeating the pattern until the balloon reaches the end of the line. Usually, only the last player in the line pops the balloon to win the game, but not always.

Variations: Play with a beach ball or water balloon outside.

Related: Physical inactivity in children |A growing epidemic|

Crab Walk

Suitable for: Indoors (with mats or indoors on carpeted floors) or outside (on grass)

Supply: none

Teaching kids the crab crawl is a requirement before they can play the game.

They should first sit on the ground. Let them put their palms down and their fingers facing their feet and place their hands behind them. Make sure their knees are approximately hip-distance apart. The ground should be under their feet.

Lift their feet and set their bottoms on their hips so their body weight is evenly distributed between the tops of their hands and soles of their feet. They will benefit from tightening their stomachs.

Then they can “scuttle” along, occasionally moving a hand and a foot forward and trying to maintain their balance.

Set the start and finish lines, and have the kids race their teams once they have mastered the crab walk.

Variations: Crawling sideways on hands and knees is an easier alternative if the crab position is too difficult. Children can also be creative by becoming their favorite animal for the race (for example, bunny hops or penguins waddle).


Suitable for: Outdoors

Supplies: None

Kids can bend and stretch in new ways with the wheelbarrow race, another relay that gets them moving and bending. You can either pair them off into two teams (or allow them to choose a partner) after marking the start and finish lines.

The person holding the ankles of the other player must walk on their hands in each pair. As fast as they can, they’ll head for the finish line together. Players switch positions at the starting line and head back to it after they pass it. The winning team is the first to return.

Shoebox Slide

Suitable for: Indoors and outdoors

Supplies: Each team will receive two shoeboxes

Team up the children. For each group, provide an empty shoebox with no lid. Starting from the starting line, the first player from each team slides into the shoeboxes and slides to the turn-around point, then turns around and returns to the team.

In turn, the next team member jumps in the shoebox. All players must make it back to start for the team to win.

Variations: Playing field obstacles (such as cones to maneuver around) should be added.

Mix-It-Up Relay Races For Kids

Suitable for: Indoors or outdoors

Supplies: None

Basically, everyone in the team takes turns going from A to B and back until the team has completed the journey. The catch? Each player on the team has to travel in a different way (of their choosing). One runs, one skip, one-hops, and so on.

Variation: To promote teamwork, provide teammates with a baton or themed party item to pass between them. Adding items that change the movement of the characters will make the game more challenging.