How to Make a Fun Backyard Obstacle Course for Kids

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Get your children active and outdoors with a do-it-yourself DIY obstacle course for kids right in your own backyard.

Obstacle courses build important gross motor skills, develop muscles, develop coordination, help motor planning, increase endurance, increase confidence, and improve problem-solving. Basically all the benefits of outdoor play and physical activity that you already know about.

obstacle course

My husband started to set up obstacle courses for our kids because he wanted them to be outside more and to develop their core strength and coordination while having fun.

Once they got the hang of it, my daughters loved making obstacle courses for each other.

I encourage you to let each of your kids (or their friends) invent an obstacle course for kids that they know, too.

Once you’ve set up your course, have children, even young children, go through the course from start to finish. Then, for older kids, you can time how fast each child is. (Only do this IF it’s fun and doesn’t turn into tears!)

After you complete the courses running or walking, try silly animal walks, skipping, or going backward.

A Backyard Obstacle Course for Your Kids


What other things can your DIY obstacle course include? How about one of these actions:

Stop and start.











Crab walk.



Backyard Obstacle Course for Kids

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. It’s a great way to store supplies, toys, and games for outside. And you can raid it to create your obstacle course!)

Obstacle Course Ideas

You can use anything you have for your obstacle course. Here’s a list of what we use most frequently for our backyard obstacle course for kids. (Theoretically, you could many of these things for an indoor course as long as you have the room.)

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 them in lots of interesting ways.

Jumpy Hoppy Ball — races anyone?

Horseshoes — 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.

Pool Noodles — use to make arches to crawl under or lines to jump over.

Tunnel — crawl through as quick as you can!

Frisbees — these are the best! Use to throw at a target or as stepping stones.


Want more obstacle course ideas?

How about buckets, chalk, boxes, flags, and chairs?

What do you think? Don’t these obstacle courses look FUN!? My kids love them!

DIY Obstacle Course in the Backyard

More Backyard Obstacle Course Ideas

Get your children active and outdoors with a do-it-yourself DIY obstacle course for kids right in your own backyard.


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  1. Thanks Melissa, I found your blog on google and will borrow these ideas for a birthday party for my 6 year old. Appreciate your help!

  2. You rock, Melissa – and your girls are adorable!
    Another great deep pressure sensory diet idea. We also do it inside when we can’t go out using furniture to climb over or under (safely of course) and a funny ways to travel such as tip toes, bear walks, belly crawls (pulling with your arms), etc.
    Thanks for sharing the fun!

  3. What a great idea! My kids do this at preschool and it’s not like we don’t a bunch of stuff in our backyard already to set it up! Thank you for such a fun idea now that it’s finally spring here in New England! My kids will LOVE this!

    I guess for older kids, we can incorporate the basketball hoop and other stuff that is here. You have the best ideas!