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A day at the races

What you need

  • Space – perhaps out in the garden, if you have one, or at a local park
  • Chalk or tape 
  • Lots of energy!


  • Awareness of how to be healthy and the changes to our bodies when we exercise 
  • Developing hand eye coordination 
  • Using gross motor skills 
  • Hearing and using ordinal language such as first and last

The experience

Challenge your child to a running race! Find a safe space, with enough room to run. Perhaps chalk or tape running lanes and ‘start’ and ‘finish’ lines. Nominate one of you to shout ‘ready, steady, go!’ or ‘3, 2, 1, go! Race each other from the start line to the finish line, clap and cheer the first person over the finish line! Keep racing each other until you’re all too tired to race! Try changing the races – try a horse race. Each of you could sit on a hobby horse (improvise and use a broom – drawing and adding a horse’s head is optional!) and race to the finish line. Talk about who won, who was 1st or 2nd, who was the fastest or the slowest? Describe how your body feels – hot, short breaths and a racing heart. Make sure you drink some water between races. 

If your child is over three, add an extra challenge by exploring how fast they can run from the start to the finish line – use a stopwatch to time them, then swap! Talk about who ran the fastest, and how you know. Challenge each other to ‘beat your time’. Use the words first, second, first, last, quick, slow, fastest, slowest, etc. Keep racing, but rather than running use a different skill such as hopping or skipping. Who can go the fastest now?