Make Your Own Backyard Obstacle Course

The following is by contributor Amy Anderson of Let’s Explore.

I am always looking for fun, creative ways to get moving with my kids. Since my girls were toddlers we have been making our own backyard obstacle courses. Our whole family can participate in gathering items, setting up the course, and testing our skills in a friendly family competition.

One of the greatest things about a homemade obstacle course is that you can use whatever items you have on hand. A stuffed animal slalom course?  Sure! Hurdles made from rolled-up beach towels? Absolutely! As my girls get older, their creativity inspires more elaborate obstacle courses each time.

Some kids like the addition of a stopwatch to keep track of their course times. Other kids would rather just go through the course for fun.  Either way, you’ll be adding some fun family fitness to your day!

Here are some of the many activities we have incorporated into our courses over the years. Think of this list as a create-your-own obstacle course menu – pick and choose the buy steroids online activities that match your child’s skill level and the materials you have on hand.  Better yet, let your child be involved in choosing the activities and setting up the course.

Balance

  • Lay down a board for a balance beam
  • Walk the “tightrope” using a jump rope or garden hose
  • Stand on one foot for a count of five (or ten)

Crawl

  • Crawl under a table or bench
  • Go through a pop-up tunnel
  • Lay a broomstick across two chairs and crawl under
  • Crawl through a large box (top and bottom removed)
  • “Army crawl” across a blanket or sheet

Jump

  • Hop across a hopscotch board drawn with chalk
  • Make a line of hula hoops and jump from hoop to hoop
  • Stand on a marked spot and do jumping jacks
  • Jump over soft pool noodle hurdles (prop the noodles below knee-height on two overturned buckets or boxes)

Pull & Ride

  • Pull a wagon along a twisty garden hose or sidewalk chalk path
  • Take a lap on a tricycle or scooter

Reach & Toss

  • Reach and touch balloons hanging from a tree branch (at your child’s tippytoe height)
  • Throw beanbags into a laundry basket or bucket
  • Toss paper plate rings (cut out the center) onto a water bottle for a homemade ring toss
  • Shoot a basketball

Splash

  • Walk through a wading pool
  • Toss a water balloon at a target (fence, tree, bucket, etc.)
  • Run through the sprinkler (This is a great course finale!)

Walk & Weave

  • Set-up plastic cones for a classic weaving drill
  • Walk backwards ten steps
  • Zig-zag through a slalom course of hats, shoes, or whatever else you can find
  • Walk heel-to-toe in a straight line

Next time you go to the park, pack a few hula hoops, cones, jump ropes, and beanbags for obstacle course making on-the-go. Add in jungle gym features such as slides, ladders, and rock walls for even more variety in your course. A great activity for a group of friends to do together – or for making new friends at the park!

Have you made an indoor or outdoor obstacle course with your kids?  What are their favorite obstacle activities?

About AmyA

At her blog, Let’s Explore, Amy shares her family’s experiences creating, imagining, and playing together. You can read about her homeschooling journey at Early Bird Homeschool.

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Comments

  1. Brandi Cub Scout says:

    This was a perfect find! I’m running a weekend camp for cub scouts and I needed ideas for the obstacle course. Your post had so many great ideas!

  2. Sharon Spoon says:

    Each time we do an obstacle I add something new. But I always add solving problems or telling me a shape or a certain picture. For I have a 9,6,&4 yr olds I like to keep things going. If they get the problem wrong they have to go back 2 stages in the course n try again when they come too again.

  3. Awesome

  4. That’s a lot of great ideas. I think for a medieval kids birthday. I’ll get them to cross a Moat (balance beam) shoot the toy cross bow. Dodge the sword then cross back over the Moat.

  5. great ideas for our 100 days of school!
    thank you and God bless!

  6. maybe for an older child obstacle in winter you could swim through the freezing cold pool or just in summer splash a bucket of ice cold water on them as they run past…… just an idea ?

  7. wow i’ll try it!
    Jackie Cox´s latest post: Our Summer Seven

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  3. […] about the obstacles that can stop youth from achieving their goals. Consider making an obstacle course that the group needs to navigate as a part of reaching their […]

  4. […] endless amounts of energy and a short attention span.  I need adventure, more organised races, an improved obstacle course, some props for imaginary games & of course plenty of cake.  All I need now are a few of his […]

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  6. […] 5) Create a safe obstacle course in the backyard. Maybe create two for different age groups. Check out these sites for ideas: Obstacle Course Tips #1 and Obstacle Course Tips #2. […]

  7. […] obstacle course “stations” can be as easy or as challenging as you want to make them. This resource has great ideas for creating your own course with the items you probably have tucked in closets or […]

  8. […] 4. Indoor Obstacle Course- obstacle course ideas […]

  9. […] How To Play: Have students pair off into groups of two. The goal is to have the first student verbally instruct the second student how to get across the room and pick up an object—while the second student is blindfolded. Students set up a very basic obstacle course in the classroom—they can arrange chairs, put out bean bags, set up small castle made of building blocks, or whatever comes to mind (students can get very creative when making an obstacle course!). […]

  10. […] put out bean bags, or set up small castle made of building blocks—or whatever comes to mind. Making an obstacle course can be a game in […]

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  24. […] If the weather is warm, your back garden is the perfect place to create an obstacle course. […]

  25. […] I love Amy A’s Simple kids blog, showing how to make your own backyard obstacle course.   Take a look and send us your photo’s if you do set one up.. Your Own BackYard Obstacle Course. […]

  26. […] a few kids can play? No problem. Setting up a challenging obstacle course with targets and traps can really spice up a kid’s afternoon. Strap on a face mask and […]

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  29. […] With kids spending more than enough time relaxing in front of the TV, every parent wants to make sure they stay active and healthy. But there’s no need to fork out for overpriced sports activities! Why not create your own? We recommend an obstacle course, made using objects lying around the house. Whether it’s army crawling under a table or weaving quickly through an assortment of shoes, hats or anything else you can find, your child is guaranteed to enjoy the novelty of turning the house upside down for a bit of fast-paced fun! For more ideas, check out http://simplekids.net/make-your-own-backyard-obstacle-course/ […]

  30. […] holes in their tender years, or piecing together jigsaws. They love having their brains engaged. By constructing an obstacle course in your garden, you can get them flexing their mental and physical muscles! Incorporate climbing, […]

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  33. […] could make your very own obstacle course and have a prize for who completes it the fastest as well as some funny prizes – ‘most creative […]

  34. […] crawl, wriggle and slide around a homemade obstacle course. Simple Kids has some awesome ideas for how to create the course – you will be surprised at what everyday […]

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