- Author: Austin Cantrell
- Editor: Emily Harris
Physical activity doesn't have to be a chore for you or your children. One fun physical activity can be a simple, affordable and homemade obstacle course. The hype of an obstacle course can help to encourage your child to be more physically active and meet their hour of physical activity every day. An obstacle course can be created using everyday, household items, or, if you're feeling really ambitious, you can construct one out of wood. The benefits of using an obstacle course for physical activity include improved cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, balance and general motor skills. It is also just plain fun! Here are some ideas to get you started on your own backyard obstacle course.
Pool noodles and PVC pipe are affordable materials that can be used to create obstacles. For example, you can tape a pool noodle to itself in a circle to create rings that can be tossed. Tie a few pool noodle rings together and you have a "tire" obstacle. Pool noodle rings can also serve as a target in which your kids throw another pool noodle through like a javelin, or they can throw a Frisbee or balls through. You can also use plastic tent stakes and pool noodles to create hurdles for the kids to jump over or crawl under. Stand a few pool noodles up with tent stakes in a line and have your children dribble a ball in between them.
Obstacle courses can also be created from left over wood supplies from other projects. A 4-inch by 4-inch piece of wood can be used as a balance beam. Wood shipping pallets can be used as platforms. Old logs can be used as balance steps. Just remember to keep your obstacles age appropriate. It's important to always supervise your children when they are participating in these activities to ensure safety. By chaining together several different activities you can create a fun and engaging source of physical activity. Be creative and have fun with your kids!
Let us know about your homemade obstacle course in the comments below!