These relay game ideas are ideal for kids due to their simplicity, or because they are perfect for smaller players.
Bean Bag Balance
Split into teams with half of each team at one end of the course and the rest at the other end. Players race to the end of the course with a bean bag balanced on their head. If they drop the bag they have to stop and put it back on their head. You can make the race more difficult by making players return to the start of the course if they drop the bean bag. Once the first player reaches the end of the course, they give the bean bag to the next player who races back to the other end in the same way.
Top Tip Speed isn't always the way to win this race. Remember the story of the hare and the tortoise?
Less of a relay race, but certainly a team race: teams line up with one member in front of the other kneeling on the ground with their heads on their knees resembling a long caterpillar. The player at the back of the "caterpillar" runs to the front of the "caterpillar" straddling the other team members with their legs. Once they reach the front, they crouch down and the player now left at the back takes their turn to run to the front in the same way.
You can set a course length to be completed, or decide on an agreed number of times each player has to run to end the race.
Kids love getting wet and on a hot day, what better way to cool down than to race with a leaky bucket full of water to spray all over you as you go. Each team needs one bucket with holes in and another empty bucket at the other end of the course. They start by filling the leaky bucket - either from a tap or perhaps a pre-filled paddling pool. The first team member then races to the other end of the course carrying the leaky bucket as fast as they can and empties the water that is left in their leaky bucket into the second bucket at the end of the course. They then race back to the start and hand the bucket to the next team member to do the same thing. The winning team can either be the one with the most water in their bucket once all players have had their turn, or the first to fill the bucket at the far end of the course.
Climb Through a Hula Hoop
Teams stand in a line or circle holding hands. A hula hoop is placed at the front of the line or between two players in the circle. The aim is the pass the hoop from one end of the line to the other, or fully around the circle without letting go of hands. Each team member therefore climbs through the hoop in turn. This is much easier for small children to play, but funnier to watch larger, less flexible adults trying to get through the hoop.
Over and Under
Each team stands with one player behind another in a line. The person at the front of the line starts with a bean bag or balloon and passes it backwards over their head to their second team member. This player then passes the bean bag (or balloon) through their legs to the next player. Players then take turns passing the bean bag over, then under to the next player until it reaches the back of the line. The player at the back of the line then runs with the balloon or bean bag to the front of the line and starts passing again. The game ends when all team members have had a turn at the front of the line. The team finishing first is the winner.
To make it even more of a challenge, try passing giant balloons or even space hoppers, over and under.
The first team member runs to a pile of clothes, puts them all on and then run backs to their team where they undress for the next player to put the clothes on. That player then runs back to the other end of the course and takes all of the clothes off again. The next player then runs down to the clothes and puts them all on and runs back to the other players where they undress and the next player puts all of the clothes on. This keeps going until all team members have had a turn.
Use large clothes to make sure all players can fit in them and some can be worn on top of others. It can be ideal for children, as they should be able to fit in most clothes, but it poses the added difficulty of doing up zips, buttons or laces, or the clothes falling down or off part way through the race.