Relays and Races

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All the relays and races on this list are great fun, and most can be done as either a relay OR a race. Select which option you prefer based on how many kids will be at the party and how many items you need to provide for the game.

relay race

Read them over, pick which relays and races will work best for the age of your party guests, and play!

If possible, incorporate the colors or theme of your party into the games. For example, if your party is a Dora Party, use Dora’s colors of pink, purple and orange in the Balloon Pop Race.

After you've chosen from the list of relays and races, select other children’s party games such as target games and more from our kids party game page.

Fun Relays and Races

  • Balloon Pop Relays and Races – For a relay you’ll need a balloon for each player and two chairs. Divide the kids into lines of two teams and give each kid a balloon. Have a few extra balloons on hand in case any pop before the game begins. On “Go”, one member of each team will race to the chair, try to pop their balloon by sitting on it, and when successful run back to the team. This is a relay and so the next person on the team would then be able to go. Variation: You can make this game into a race by giving each kid one or more balloon to try to pop, with everyone starting at the same time. First one to pop all their balloons wins!

  • Balloon Race– You’ll need one blown up balloon for every two players (blow up a few extra in case any pop before the game starts). Have the teams race from one point to another, while carrying a balloon between them. The catch? They can’t use their hands to carry the balloon!

  • Egg and Spoon Relays and Races – For a relay you’ll need a hard-boiled egg and a spoon for each team. Divide the kids into two teams and have each team form a line. Have a member of each team race to a certain point, holding the egg in the spoon, and then return so that the next team member has a turn. Variation: Give each child a spoon and egg and have a race. If you don't want to use an egg, use ping pong balls, golf balls, etc.

  • Hopping Relays and Races– You’ll need a blown up balloon or ball for each kid. Have kids race from point to point while hopping with a ball or balloon between their legs.

  • Hula Hoop Race– You’ll need two hula hoops. Divide the kids into two teams and have each team form a line. Have team members join hands and give each team a hula hoop. On “Go”, have team members pass the hula hoop down the line without letting go of each other’s hands.

  • Obstacle Course - Divide the players into two teams and set up an obstacle course. Have one player from each team run the course, return to the team, and the second player runs the course. The first team to have all their players complete the course wins the game.

  • Panty Hose Relays and Races– You’ll need a pair of panty hose and two oranges per player. Drop an orange into the toe of one of the legs of panty hose. Wrap the rest of the panty hose around the waist of each player, so that the leg with the orange in it dangles between their legs, no more than an inch off the ground. On “Go”, players must try to roll the second orange across a finish line by hitting it with the pantyhose orange. They’ll move their hips this way and that to try to make the hit. Very funny to watch! You can also do this as a relay and divide kids into two teams!

  • Pass the Orange – You’ll need two oranges. Divide the players into teams that consist of two lines. Pass an orange down each line, under the chin, without using your hands.

  • Sack Race – You’ll need a pillow case for each player. Have the kids place both legs inside the pillow case and hop to a finish line.

  • Stick Horse Relays and Rces – For a fun race, ride stick horses by giving each kid a stick horse to ride. Don’t have access to a lot of stick horses? You can also make this into a relay race between two teams.

  • Sweeping Relays and Races – To play this as a race you’ll need a broom and a balloon for each player. Make sure you have extra blown up balloons available in case any pop. Have the kids sweep the balloon toward a finish line. Variation: If playing this game as a relay, divide the kids into two teams with a broom and a balloon for each team. Have the kids sweep a balloon towards a certain point and back again. If the balloon pops, have them get a new balloon and continue with the race.

  • Three Legged Race – You’ll need a scarf, bandana or piece of rope for every two players. Pair up the children and have them stand side by side, with an arm around their partner’s waist. The partners' inside legs should be touching. Tie the inside legs together so each pair of children has three legs rather than four. On “Go”, have the pairs race to a finish line.

  • Up and Down Race - You’ll need two small objects, such as bean bags, small stuffed animals, etc. Divide the players into teams that consist of two lines and have the lines facing one direction. Hand the first person in each team an object. On “Go”, they must hand the object to the next person in line, but only by passing it over their head. The second person in line must pass the item on by passing it under their legs. Each time the object reaches the last person, have them run to the front of the line and be the new head of the line, passing the object back again, over heads and between legs. The race is over when everyone has had a chance to be the head of the line.

  • Water Relay - You’ll need two buckets and a shallow bowl for each team, and water! Divide the kids into two teams. For each team, place a bucket full of water at the starting line, and an empty bucket a distance away. On “Go”, have a person from each team fill their bowl with water, run to their other bucket to pour in the water, and then run back to their team for the next person to have their turn. Have the relay continue until the bucket is full (or until the water level reaches a certain pre-determined height.)

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