There are many fun ways for kids to stay active and have fun. From online exercise classes to playing with friends, getting moving never needs to be boring. Our new favorite way to move is by building an obstacle course, which helps kids flex mental and physical muscles! Keep reading to learn some tips to build the perfect DIY obstacle course.
There are many benefits to staying physically active including building muscles, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer. Getting enough physical activity can improve cognitive performance as well as improve grades.
1. Make sure your course has a start and an end
The most important part of a DIY obstacle course is starting and ending it the right way. A good setup will engage children more and they'll have a lot of fun making their way through the maze of activities.
Creating an archway out of tent poles from your garage at the start and making a fun banner for the obstacle course is the way to go. Making a finish line out of tape or streamers with some kind of rewards like candy or a toy is a great finishing touch.
2. Add learning moments
A DIY indoor obstacle course might not seem as fun as one made in the backyard but it can be exciting with the right elements. Kids love solving puzzles and they might not even know they're learning if these activities are added to an obstacle course.
Most of a person's brain is developed during the early years of their life so cognitive development is crucial during this time. Children can expand their minds while playing a game during one portion of the obstacle course.
Scrambling some flashcards of the alphabet and having the children rearrange them in order or to spell certain words is one activity parents can add to the obstacle course they're creating for their children.
3. Add a laser maze for a fun challenge
Children enjoy stepping up to the plate and trying to beat a mental and physical challenge and having both in one activity is awesome! A laser maze is a simple indoor activity to add to an obstacle course.
Parents can set this up in their living room by using party paper streamers and taping them in different directions throughout the area. The children then have to figure out how to get through the maze without breaking it before moving on to the next round.
This game will help children develop the necessary gross motor skills to help them control their body movements better.
4. Use pool noodles
A home obstacle course can be set up pretty quickly and keep children entertained for hours. It can also be created using everyday household items.
Parents can set up pool noodles in a variety of ways for children to navigate. Sticking them in a vertical position and having the children zig-zag through them can be a lot of fun.
Parents can use tent poles or thin PVC pipes to hold the noodles sturdy in place. Adding a flag at the end of the maze of noodles for the children to grab can help turn the course into a friendly competition.
5. Get jumping
Jumping up, down, and over objects is a great activity the youngest children will enjoy the most. Parents can create different sized hurdles for their kids to jump through for their DIY obstacle course.
Short hurdles are perfect for young children and higher objects work for older children. The materials can be anything from an array of pillows to some rope tied between the lawn chairs in the backyard.
6. Add stack cups to your course
When looking for obstacle course ideas parents can incorporate simple activities that the little ones will enjoy the most. By setting up a station with some empty plastic cups, parents can have the children stack them up into a pyramid.
Ask children to figure out how many cups are needed per row to keep the pyramid from tumbling down. This activity can help develop basic math skills and is a great brain teaser!
7. Create tunnels
Parents can work with their children to create this next part of the obstacle course. Consider setting up some large boxes through the living room, and asking children to crawl through them before moving on to the next challenge.
Setting up some half-cut hula hoops in the backyard is another tunnel idea — kids can slither through on their bellies.
8. Keep kids moving
A fun obstacle course requires movement and keeping children quick on their feet so they can complete the course in record time. Getting their heart pumping during the course is a great form of physical activity as well.
Adding some silly components like snapping 10 times while jumping up and down or doing a favorite dance move is a lot of fun. Something a bit more challenging is to have the children do push ups, hula hoop, or jump rope for a certain amount of time.
9. Add sports for fun
Parents can have their kids move a soccer ball through some cones. Another fun option is using a hockey stick to navigate a puck or some mini bean bags across the yard.
10. Make your own bowling pins
Parents can help their children set up some plastic water bottles for a makeshift bowling game element. The children can use any type of ball to knock the bottles down.
It’s time to start construction on your obstacle course!
A DIY obstacle course is a great way to get children to play when they're stuck at home. Using materials that can be found around the house like pool noodles or rope makes setting up a course simple.