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6 Activities to Keep the Kids Busy at Your 5K This Fall


January 26, 2021

If you’ve read our previous 5k and charity event posts in the process of planning your event, you’ve undoubtedly nailed down the essentials, such as locking in your sponsors, creating your event t-shirt, and planning for the unexpected. Before you rest assured that your event will be smooth-sailing, however, one thing to consider is what all of the children attendees will do at your race while their parents run.

Although the children may come with babysitters, spectating parents, or grandparents, it’s always a great idea to plan some kid-friendly activities that will keep the kids busy at your event. Not only will this prevent them from becoming bored and bugging to go home as soon as the race is over, but it also allows the other spectators to enjoy the rest of the fun things your event has to offer, such as food, drinks, and other vendors. Not to mention, it buys the runners time to hang out afterward and socialize while they wait for the awards to be announced.

On that note, here are some kid-friendly activities to keep the kids busy at your 5k this fall:

1. Face-painting

Kids face-painting station

Especially with Halloween right around the corner, a face-painting station at your event is sure to be a hit. This is one of the simplest activities to set up–all you need to prepare ahead of time is a table with some paint and brushes. The kids will love getting to “dress up” as their favorite animal or spooky character.

2. Pumpkin painting

Kids pumpkin painting

During the fall season, the pumpkin craze is in full swing. Allow the kids at your event to be their own pumpkin Picassos. Provide small pumpkins and paint for your kids to create their own artwork. This creative activity should take up a good amount time while the race is going on. After the race, the kids will be excited to show off their pumpkins and take them home. 

3. Moon Bounce

Kids MoonbounceThere is almost nothing in the world kids love more than moon bounces. It’s a crowd favorite that will never die. Lookup a place near you that provides rentals–many places offer them relatively cheap. This is guaranteed to keep the kids occupied, and probably even begging their parents not to leave. 

If you choose to provide a moon bounce for the kids at your event, you’ll need to take safety into consideration. If you fear there are going to be many kids waiting to get on, you will have to plan on having an adult there to supervise them and make sure that no more than maximum capacity is allowed on at a time. 

4. Kids obstacle course

Kids obstacle course

Engaging the older kids at your 5k in a fun obstacle course is another great way to keep the kids active, and to let them compete, too. All you need for this is a few simple props, such as hula hoops and short hurdles. Split the kids up into small groups and have them race in a series of fun “challenges.” 

5. Costume relay race

Costume relay race

A costume race is a simple, relatively low-cost activity you can plan for the kids– and it’s one that they will love! There’s no better time of year than fall to let the kids dress up in goofy costumes.

First, get a few simple costume items, such as a witch’s hat, a cape, and a broomstick. Place the costume at one end of a racecourse, and have the kids line up at the other end. When the first racer gets to the other end, they have to put on the costume, run back, and then pass the costume on to the next racer. Then, each kid repeats after that! It’s a simple and fun race–you can provide Halloween candy as the prize (as long as it’s okay with the parents!)

6. Scarecrow making

Kids Scarecrow making

Scarecrows are a fall staple. It’s not too often that kids actually get to make them anymore, but they are guaranteed to love it! A few simple supplies will make for a creative activity that will keep the kids busy For scarecrows, you’ll need:

  • Hay bales
  • Old jeans and flannels–check your local thrift stores for these!
  • Potato sack (for the head)
  • Markers (for drawing the face)
  • Thick rubber bands for securing the ends

You can let the kids split up and create a scarecrow with whoever they’d like for a collaborative, creative, and fun activity that they’ll be proud to show their parents in the end.

Planning a fun activity for the kids at your event doesn’t take too much time or effort, just a bit of planning ahead. Keeping the kids busy will help them and everyone enjoys your 5k event that much more. Have other ideas? Leave your own kid-friendly activity for a 5k event in the comments!


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