Outside Obstacle Course Ideas

By Cece Evans
You, an obstacle course, a large field, your own backyard
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Setting up an obstacle course outside is an easy way to provide your kids with fun exercise. You can create an obstacle course even with things lying around the house--like hurdles made from piles of stuffed animals--or purchase equipment from a store. Either way, you'll want to make sure to encourage a variety of motions, such as crawling, jumping, balancing and running.

Balancing Obstacles

Balance beams are a fun part of any obstacle course. Balance beams are easy enough to make with a few stacked bricks and a long board. For younger kids, keep the balance beam relatively low, of course--and make sure to test the beam for stability before letting children run over and around it.

Jumping and Crawling Obstacles

Hopscotch squares, a fun part, any obstacle course
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Obstacles that force children to jump around are a popular part of obstacle courses. For more permanent obstacle courses, get a couple of old tires and place them in a zigzag pattern for kids to jump in. For an obstacle course that you're only going to set up for a little while, this can be done with hula hoops as well.

If there's a paved area, you can draw hopscotch squares to serve as part of the obstacle course as well.

Weaving and Steering Obstacles

You can use traffic cones or sticks to create a line of obstacles that children have to zigzag around. It's okay to let them run around the traffic cones, but you can add an extra challenge by having them ride a tricycle or a scooter around the obstacles or having them run or walk backwards.

Water Obstacles

Particularly on a hot day, a water obstacle might form the piece de resistance of your obstacle course. You can make a slip-and-slide if you have a hill, or set up a sprinkler at the end as a course finale. You could also set up a wading pool for children to run through.

About the Author

Cece Evans has worked as a professional writer and editor since 2008. She writes reviews and feature articles on contemporary art for a number of Texas-based and national publications such as the e-journal, ...might be good. Cece also works as a freelance editor and researcher. She holds a Master of Arts in art history from the University of Texas at Austin.