Building an Indoor Obstacle Course for Kids

by: Trish Kuffner, author of The Children's Busy Book
This activity describes a great way to build an indoor obstacle course, which can keep children occupied for hours.
indoor obstacle course

When it gets cold out and we're stuck inside more often, it gets hard to come up with ways to entertain your kids day after day. You've watched the same movie five times, baked endless treats, and have done so many arts and crafts projects that your hands are permanently covered in glitter. Now what? Build an obstacle course for your kids that will provide endless hours of fun and challenge them. Plus, it will help them (and you) to stay active during those days when it’s just too cold to venture outside for a walk or game of catch.

More: 5 Quick Indoor Games for Kids

Building ten stations is recommended for most kids. Each station contains a different activity, challenge, or movement that the children must complete to move forward

As you design your obstacle course, keep in mind the ages, abilities, and number of children involved as well as the space you have. You can really get creative when designing station concepts and layouts. If you have stairs, consider carefully incorporating them.

You can also look around your house for everyday items you might be able to use like empty paper towel rolls, blankets, soup ladle, kitchen tongs, jump rope, etc. Again, this is a great opportunity for you and your child to put your creative minds to work.

Make the obstacle course simple at first and change the stations as they're mastered. If you like, time the kids to see who can complete the course fastest. Just beware, it can quickly turn competitive.

Here are a few ideas to get you started on building an indoor obstacle course for your kids:

1. Crawl under or over a row of chairs.

2. Crawl under a string stretched between two chair legs.

3. Jump into and out of a Hula-Hoop five times.

4. Walk on a balance board.

5. Throw a beanbag into a laundry basket.

6. Run while balancing a beanbag on your head.

7. Do a ring toss.

8. Play one hole of Newspaper Golf.

9. Ride a tricycle along a predetermined route.

10. Somersault from one point to another.

11. Do a handstand.

12. Skip in place while reciting a jump rope rhyme.

13. Do ten jumping jacks.

These are just a few ideas for indoor obstacle courses. Feel free to incorporate your child’s specific interests and incorporate him in the brainstorming process. For example, if your child plays soccer, create a station that mimics scoring a goal in soccer. Or, if your child is a ballet dancer, create a station where you must complete three plies before moving forward.

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