Obstacle courses build important gross motor skills, develop muscles, develop coordination, help motor planning, increase endurance, increase confidence, basically, all the benefits of outdoor play and physical activity that you already know about.
Backyard Obstacle Course
Go outside and find things you already own in your toy storage box. (Do you have one? – if you don’t I highly recommend something like this one from Target.) It’s a great way to store supplies, toys and games for outside. AND, you can raid it to create your obstacle course!
You can use anything you have for your obstacle course. Here’s a list of what we use most frequently for our backyard obstacle courses:
OBSTACLE COURSE SUPPLIES
Jump Rope – these work for running while jumping or as a line on the ground
Cones – these are the BEST for your course since you can arrange in lots of interesting ways
Jumpy Ball – races anyone?
Horse Shoes – we use these to throw, to hop over, and as stepping stones
Hula Hoops – these can be on the ground or for when you get somewhere and need to “hoop” as an activity
Frisbees – these are the best! Use to throw at a target or as stepping stones.
other supply ideas: buckets, chalk, boxes, flags, chairs.
Now that you’ve collected your supplies, consider movements. What do you want your children to do in their newly built backyard obstacle course?
ACTIONS FOR YOUR OBSTACLE COURSE
Stop and start.
Bounce on a bouncy ball.