These fun obstacle course ideas are the perfect way to promote developmental skills while keeping kids engaged and interested!
*We received complimentary Tumbl Trak products in exchange for this review. All opinions and views are our own.
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You’re getting ready to set up an obstacle course for your kids at home, in your therapy room, or in the gym. You haul out the cones, slide the balance beam into place, stretch out your tunnel and then one of kids chimes in, “This again? We always do the same obstacle course.”
And just like that, all of your hopes and dreams for a fun, engaging game vanish right before your eyes. If this sounds familiar, it’s time for an obstacle course makeover!
One of our favorite activities at The Treehouse and in our school-based therapy sessions are obstacle courses. We love them, the kids love them, and they’re perfect for promoting a huge range of developmental skills from coordination to balance to strength and more!
And today, we’ve got lots of fun obstacle course ideas to spice up your old favorite obstacle course and make it new again!
10 Creative Obstacle Course Ideas for Kids
1 || Carrying An Object
Have kids carry a ball, toy, or other object through the obstacle course to increase the challenge. Make it a weighted object for more proprioceptive input and to build strength.
2 || Holding Hands
Make it a partner game! Assign partners and challenge kids to hold hands with their buddy without letting go as they move through each obstacle.
3 || Red Light, Green Light
This is a great way to work on impulse control, reaction time, and self-regulation. When you call out “green light!”, kids begin moving through the obstacles. Call out “red light!” and that’s their cue to freeze – even if they’re teetering on the edge of an obstacle!
4 || Animal Walks
Have kids try moving like an animal all the way through the obstacle course (crab walk, bear walk, inchworm).
5 || Speed Challenge
Can kids race against the clock as they make their way through the obstacle course, trying to achieve their fastest time? Or, can they try it in slow motion?
6 || Song Signal
Play music as kids move through the obstacles. Stop the music without warning and see if kids can freeze as soon as they hear it stop. Repeat!
7 || Take it Outside!
Using natural obstacles like logs to balance on, stones to step on, and branches to crawl under is a great way to breathe a little life into an obstacle course. Try our Sensory Motor Scavenger Hunt for more ideas!
8 || Partner Carry
Have kids work as a team to carry an object (ball, balloon) as they make their way through the course.
9 || Lights Out!
Dim the lights and give kids flashlights, headlamps, and glow sticks to light their way through the obstacles!
10 || Super Simple DIY Obstacle Course
No supplies or equipment? No problem! Try out this awesome (and easy) obstacle course idea!
Our Favorite Obstacle Course Extras!
Folding Inclines from Tumbl Trak – These inclines have quickly become an obstacle course favorite for the kids in our play groups. They’re durable and so versatile – we’ve used them for kids to walk, crawl, and roll up and down and our toddlers love to roll balls down the inclines! They fold up into a compact unit for easy storage. If you don’t have these in your gross motor collection – trust us, you’ll want to add them today!
Half Rounds from Tumbl Trak – Firm foam balance beams with a hook Velcro back that secure to closed loop carpet on the floor or a wall. We’ve been loving these during our obstacle courses at The Treehouse!
Hands and Feet from Tumbl Trak – These soft denim fabric squares with hook Velcro backing have hands and feet screen printed on them in bright colors. These make the perfect visual cues for gross motor activities!
Check out how we used our Half Rounds and Hands & Feet together for a super fun activity at The Treehouse!
Roll Up Balance BeamRiver Stones
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