Get 'em hopping, dipping and skipping—and building motor skills, too.
- Plastic cones
- Hula hoops
- Cardboard boxes
- Broom or dowel and two chairs
- 2x4 boards
- Jump rope
- Sidewalk chalk
Beat the blahs—shoo kids outdoors for a fun and goofy homemade obstacle course!
An obstacle course in your yard (or basement) is sure to shake up a dull day or liven up any birthday party. Running obstacle courses builds kids' cardiovascular health and gross motor skills and helps develop the ability to remember multi-step directions. Designing a course also calls on your child's creativity and problem-solving skills. In short, an obstacle course is a super skill-builder!
To get your obstacle course (and child) up and running, help your child decide where to place various "obstacles" around your yard. Obstacles might include:
- A twisting jumprope line to walk along
- A tunnel to climb through (can be made from boxes open on both ends)
- A limbo pole made from a broom or dowel suspended between chairs
- A balance beam made from a 2-by-4 board
- Hula hoops and cones to step in or race around
- A path of "stepping stones" drawn on your driveway in sidewalk chalk
Be creative and see what other "obstacles" you can create together. Add balls, bikes, sprinklers or whatever else sounds fun.
Take turns deciding the route that must be followed and rules of the route (such as "hop in and out of the hoop three times"). Children may enjoy the added challenge of being timed as they run the course. Shake a leg!