Our home-school group decided
that a Field Day in May would be a perfect way to celebrate the end of
another school year. When my wife and I were thrust into the roles of
coordinators for a home-school field day, our first decision was to be
Christ-oriented, not "winner"-oriented. Although initially concerned,
participants were impressed that we centered on the Lord Jesus and his
sacrificial gift. After we hosted our field day, we received requests
from parents and churches for instructions for the events. It can
easily be modified to meet your situation.
That decided, we got down to the business of planning the event. We had
several problems. Our biggest was planning activities appropriate for a diverse age group. (We had 104 youth ranging from 1 to 18 years old!) We wanted it to be a family-oriented activity, which means we had to effectively incorporate young children. Younger children require more supervision, less-structured events, and more variety than older children.
We also wanted events that would not favor one gender. Where
unavoidable, we created gender specific categories. For organizational purposes, we wanted as few groups, of approximately the same size, as possible. Lastly, as everyone was encouraged to invite their friends to join us, not everyone would know each other. (The biggest asset was we knew we could count on assistance from parents. Volunteers, coordinated in advance, were identified with a ribbon on their nametags.)
Our solution was to create a "round robin" event. A round robin is
several events run simultaneously and through which all participants
rotate at set intervals.
Stickers with "I did my best today" were liberally distributed to all
Group A children. Gold, silver, and bronze stickers were awarded, at
subgroup level, for winning individual events. All awards were given
out by the volunteer overseeing the event at the time of the event.
Water balloons were filled and stored in a cooler until the event.
We used an Army post near the geographical center of the home-school
group's area for the event. Alternate locations considered included
parks, playgrounds, or other recreational facilities within a reasonable
Advertising was accomplished by word of mouth and by a local home-school
newsletter. (A church newsletter would also work.) The newsletter
enabled us to include a cut-off date and registration form to be mailed
to us with the fee. ($3-$5 per family.) The fee paid for required
Pre-registering allowed us to build a computer database with the name,
age, and gender of each participant, to identify group/sub-group
composition before the field day, and to generate nametags and
certificates of participation for each student in advance. The
nametags were color coded according to their group and helped overcome
the problem of not knowing one another. As families checked in, they
received an envelope with the nametags, certificates, and a one-page
schedule of events including groups.
All but two of the events are self-explanatory: Treasure Hunt and
Salvation Bracelet. These events were the heart of the
Christ-orientation. Treasure Hunt was designed for younger children.
Invited to solve a mystery, they were given a clue (related to things
they could see around them) as to where they might find the next clue.
(For example, "Where would you fly the banner of Christ?" On a
flagpole.) The kids would run to the location for the next clue.
Eventually they found a huge golden "nugget" in a treasure chest and ate
it! (Edible golden nuggets can be found wherever spray paint and
watermelons are sold!)
The Salvation Bracelet was designed to share Christ with older children.
They were given a thin leather strap and a clue to locate the first
task. Once they completed the individual task at each station, they
were given a bead to place on the strap.
The first task was to throw coal (from ten feet away) through the cutout
heart of a person's silhouette drawn on a covered refrigerator box. An
old rag was provided to "clean" their hands afterward and they received
a black bead. We read from Isaiah 64:6, "All of us have become like the
one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags."
From there, clues lead them to lamented, red poster-board hearts hung on
a fence. The hearts were smeared with coal dust and each student was to
try to squirt the dust from a heart with a water guns. (It doesn't clean
it!) They earned a red bead and we read Romans 5: 8-9, "But God
demonstrates his own love toward us in this: While we were still
sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his
blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!"
The next location was the favorite! Under the shade of an oak, we ate
vanilla ice cream. We read Isaiah 1:18, " 'Come now, let us reason
together,' says the Lord. 'Though you sins be as scarlet, they shall be
as white as snow.' " They earned a white bead at this station.
For a blue bead, they formed a bucket brigade to move water from one
50-gallon trashcan to another fifty feet away. While they did, we read
Acts 2:38, "Peter replied, 'Repent and be baptized, every one of you,
in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.' "
At the next station, as they wrote their names on a cutout, green,
construction-paper "leaf," we read 1 Peter 2: 2-3: "Like newborn babies,
crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your
salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good." After
placing the leaf on a green clothes line "vine," they were given a green
The final bead, gold, was to remind them of heaven. We laid out gold
painted sheets to simulate streets of gold. At the end of the "street"
was a bucket with soil. Sifting through the soil, they found a "gold"
nugget. We read Revelations 21:21b, "The great street of the city was
of pure gold, like transparent glass."
We didn't come up with the Salvation Bracelet idea. We chose these
verses but different ones might be used. What is important is building
the connection from the colors to the concept being presented, using it
to share Christ.
The Home-school Field Day was a success for students and parents. Use
our plan, modify it, or create your own Christ-centered, educational,
fun-filled outreach with your family and friends.
Howard and Laura Blomberg are the home-school parents of four sons. (Laura does the schooling; Howard, the
wondering how she does it all!) Howard, who works in the Financial Aid
office at Columbia International University, can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org for questions regarding this article.