Put your wits, speed, and strength to the test with an obstacle course. You don't need anything fancy, just ordinary household items such as chairs, brooms, pool noodles, and lounge chair cushions. Let the kids design a course full of crawling, rolling, climbing, and balancing. Half the fun is designing the course - so put on your thinking cap and come up with some adventurous ways to cross your playing space.
AgePreschool, School-age, Tweens, Teens
Number of Players1, 2, 3 to 4, 5 to 10, 10 to 20
Team DivisionEvery man for himself (individual players), Teamwork! (divide into teams)
CompetitivenessEither/or (can be played either way)
DifficultyAttention, please! (a few rules to follow)
Indoor or OutdoorEither
Space NeededMedium (a clearable open space the size of a 2-car garage), Large (gym, outdoor field, reception hall), Extra large (football field, warehouse)
Mess FactorClean and tidy
Prep Time10 - 20 minutes
Game Time Length15 - 30 minutes
1. To set up the obstacle course children can get creative with what they can use.
2. All valuable and breakable items should be off limits.
3. Depending on the type of course the kids desire, there are a lot of options:
Horse Jumping: This might involve jumping over ropes, 2 chairs with a broom between, a mini-water pool, chairs on their sides, etc.
Traditional: This might include tables of different sizes to crawl over and under, stacked pillows for jumping, hula hoops for jumping from one leg to the other etc.
3. Anything else, pillows, cushions, couches, broomsticks, tables, hula-hoops can be arranged to build a very complete course.
4. Designate somebody to be the time and score keeper.
5. Check the "Variations" below for more ideas!
How to Play
1. Decide if the children are competing for speed, accuracy, or form. You can even do the course three times... once for each.
2. On "Go!" the first person begins the course while the time keeper watches the timer.
3. When the first person has finished, his/her score/time is recorded.
4. The next person goes.
5. This continues until everyone has finished the course.
6. Children can always rearrange the course or do it again!
7. Note: score does not have be be kept. It's a personal choice for how competitive you would like the obstacle course to be.
1. Make an inside obstacle course for a slumber party: wiggle through sofa cushions, slide over pillows, slither up and over a couch. Ask the children to complete the course while inside their sleeping bags.
2. Make a very simple and safe course and have once child lead another through the course while blindfolded!
3. If your children have little toy cars, you can create ramps, tunnels, a cones courses (to be maneuver around), tightly parked cars (which they have to squeeze through), etc. If you have an area where you can use chalk, I suggest creating a windy road to facilitate the obstacle course.
4. For an underwater themed party: the kids break into two teams, and each team has a net. The first person "swims to the fish." To get there, they must swim over some ship wreckage (an upside down box), under a coral reef (a chair with a bamboo stick across it), and through the kelp forest (volunteers with a big jump rope). They must scoop up a fish, and then swim back through the obstacles in backwards order... then pass the net to the next person...