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Howard Blomberg - Christian Homeschooling, Home Education

Hosting a Christ-Centered Field Day

  • Howard Blomberg Financial Aid Advisor, Columbia International University
  • 2002 3 Mar
  • COMMENTS
Hosting a Christ-Centered Field Day

Would you like an activity that is Christ-centered, educational, family-oriented, evangelical, and fun? 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 the 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 event planning. 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. Here are the events, groups (and subgroups) and the timetable we selected:

Tag Color

Gray

Red

Blue

Green

 

 

GROUP A

GROUP B

GROUP C

GROUP D

*Group Defined: (in ages)

1-3 (all) +   4-5 (all)

6-7(all) +  8-9 girls +   10-11 girls

8-9 boys + 10-11 boys

Ladies 12-18 + 12-13 boys + 14-18 young men

Times:

10:00

Check In/ Welcome/ Prayer/ General Instruction including location to First Aid Station

 

10:30

Playground; Art

Salvation Bracelet

100-Yard Dash

Broad Jump

 

11:00

Table; Face Painting

Broad Jump

Salvation Bracelet

100-Yard Dash

 

11:30

Water Balloon Toss

50-Yard Dash

Broad Jump

Salvation Bracelet

 

12:00

Lunch time:  Brown Bag

 

12:30

Treasure Hunt

3-Legged Race

Volleyball

Water Balloon Toss

 

1:00

50-Yard Dash

Sack Race

Water Balloon Toss

Basket-

Volleyball

 

1:30

Broad Jump

Water Balloon Toss

Sack Race

    Ball

or Tennis

 

2:00

 “Thanks” Assembly

 

 

*Each group was internally subdivided, as shown, to make competition fairer.

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 distance.

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 supplies.

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 bead.

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, home-school parents of four sons, have been schooling at home for nine years. (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 hblomberg@ciu.edu for questions regarding this article.