Test Your Field Day IQ!

Sunday, June 05, 2011 | 0 comments »

By DeLane McDuffie

Some called it Sports Day. Others called it Intramural Day. We called it Field Day. It was the big springtime, end-of-the-school-year sporting event that stamped home the fact that soon there'd be "no more pencils, no more books, no more teachers' dirty looks." But if you were a competitive kid like I was (am), you dreamt of standing on top of that wobbly makeshift platform and getting pinned with that first-place blue ribbon (no fancy medals at my school). Relive those glory days, and match the Field Day event with the pair of learned skills/qualities that best fits.
  1. Sack/wheelbarrow relay race – Trust and coordination. Hopping around in a burlap sack or running on your hands while the class klutz holds your ankles could be seen as a kid's ultimate display of trust—as long as the kid doing the steering isn't holding any grudges from preschool and doesn't steer you into an anthill. Good: Youngsters can learn to help and depend on one another. Bad: It could also enhance a kid's ability to juke and hurdle over obstacles . . . while evading the police during a chase.
  2. Dodgeball – Space awareness and maneuverability. There are several versions of this game out there, but most of them maintain a singular rule: Don't get hit! Good: This game can give your child a greater understanding of his or her body in relation to surrounding objects. It also sharpens a child's agility and alertness. Bad: Your little angel's (or as you may say when you're upset, "that little #$%+&*!!") chances of giving you the slip in the grocery store or even in the living room have just improved tremendously.
  3. Hula-hoop® pass – Flexibility and speed. Locking hands with your classmates and trying to pass a Hula-hoop from one end of the line to the next was always one of the more electric and energetic Field Day events. Even the most inflexible boy in class had to become the rubber band man by the time the hoop got to him, which was always fun to watch. Good: Kids work on being more limber and upgrading their celerity. Bad: These skills can also perfect one's technique of sliding through holes in chain-link fences and other barriers, thus increasing the number of breaking-and-entering cases in your community, not to mention trespassing.
  4. Egg and spoon race – Balance and control. Tightrope walking meets protein. Maintaining your equilibrium as you carry Humpty Dumpty on a spoon can be tricky. Good: Go get the balance beam! Your kid could make the next Olympic gymnastics team! Bad: Your 6-year-old enjoys watching heist movies and Cirque de Soleil shows, comes home with sacks of cash, and dresses up as a cat burglar for Halloween . . . and every other day of the year.
  5. Tug-of-war – Strength and teamwork. No fighting over oil in this war. The only liquids you'll see here are blood (some kids play rough), sweat (it's hot outside), and tears (maybe, if your team loses). This test of a team's will, power, and tenacity is a legendary Field Day classic. Good: Your offspring's biceps, triceps, calves, and dorsal muscles make Popeye and He-Man want to kill themselves. Bad: Your kid is now the playground mob's muscle—honing his or her skills in witness/juror intimidation, swiping others' lunch money, and extortion tactics—and wears a fedora and pinstripe suit, declaring that "the coppers will never take me alive."