Please welcome Jessica from the blog Messes and Memories! Today she’s sharing a super fun outdoor obstacle course for kids of all ages. This outdoor activity is perfect for summer play and can be adapted to suit your children’s interests and abilities!
Active Learning Obstacle Course
Benefits of the Active Learning Obstacle Course
Mornings set the tone for the day in my house. This is not only true for myself but my kids also. If I can be productive between the hours of 7:00am to 11:00am, the remainder of the day seems to run smoothly. I have learned that for my kids if we can squeeze in active play in the morning, even if only for 30 minutes, their mood and focus is better throughout the day.
Some days I open the back door, and they will run and play on their own for an hour. However, there are many days they need a little direction. On such days we use an easy 10-step, get moving obstacle course.
I have three kids ages 2, 4, and 6, so I make sure to choose 10 activities they all can participate in. What I love about this activity is that you can tailor it to your child’s abilities and interests. The concept of this activity can be used for all ages. As your child grows your activity list can grow with them.
Obstacle Course Directions
1. Introduce each child as if they are in the Olympics.
2. Each child must complete the first activity before anyone can move to the next one. This encourages team work and ensures no one is left behind.
Here is a very simple list of activities that do not take much preparation, however, on days you have more time, it is fun to make the obstacles more interesting and challenging.
Activity 1: Run to the apple tree and back 2 times. The idea is to work off some energy, right? Choose a point in your yard and send them running. Cheer them along the way!
Activity 2: 15 jumping jacks. Simple, right? Trying to complete the task as quickly as possible and cheering them on makes even the simplest activity exciting and fun. I join in on this one for a little encouragement.
Activity 3: Bob for apples. Each child receives a bowl and one apple. (This might be a favorite with my kids.) It provides lots of laughter and a little break from the intensity of the first 2 activities.
Activity 4: Find 4 yellow flowers and bring to mom. Make sure to choose something you know they can find. Remember, each child has to complete the activity, so once someone is finished they can help the others.
Activity 5: Carry a cotton ball in a spoon from point A to point B. Very simple but so much fun. If they drop it they must start over. Concentration is key on this activity.
Activity 6: Skip to the apple tree and back. Lets’ use some more of that never-ending energy.
Activity 7: Balance on the tape line. Don’t fall off!! Lava and sinking sand is below. A little imagination goes a long way.
Activity 8: Walk like a penguin to the apple tree and back. As you can see the goal here is to be active and to have fun. If you like, join with them. They love seeing mom play along, and it is actually great exercise for us as well.
Activity 9: Find something in the yard that begins with the letter A, B, C, and D. (Example: Apple, Ball, Caterpillar, Dog) The letter of choice doesn’t matter, but this adds a little more education to the activity.
Activity 10: The bubble popping game! I set a timer for 5 minutes and blow bubbles. The kids’ job is to not let a bubble pop on the ground. This is always my last activity of the course. It usually lasts longer than 5 minutes because they love it so much.
The Goal of the Obstacle Course
The goal of this outside activity is to return to the simple things in life and let our kids be kids. There are some many distractions and plans to keep us busy that is so nice to slow down and just enjoy running in the back yard. What I have found in my almost 7 short years of parenting is that our kids love the simple activities just as much as the expensive toys and trips, especially if we join them!
I hope you enjoy this obstacle course and it helps you the next time you hear those dreaded words, “I’m bored”. What activities would you add to the list? We would love to hear from you!
Jessica is the creator of Messes & Memories. As a stay at home mom of three young children, she is learning to be purposeful and present in the everyday moments. She is finding that a little planning goes a long way and shares tips and tricks that she uses to make this journey not only manageable but enjoyable as well. Some of her favorites are 10 Questions to Ask Your Kids Every Day, Do Hard Things and Creating a Peaceful Tone in Your Home. Jessica invites you to join this welcoming community at Messes &Memories.