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7 station obstacle course

According to the HBF Lunch and Play survey, the majority of kids (73%) get the majority of their exercise outside of school hours, and enjoy incidental exercise and playing with their friends and siblings.

This fun obstacle course created by blogger Kelly Burstow from Be a Fun Mum is sure to entice brothers, sisters and besties outside to work up a sweat – no big backyard necessary. It features seven challenging stations that can be set up in an area as small as 10m x 5m.

Materials

Here's what you'll need to create your course

Building a backyard obstacle course can be achieved by using many regular home items. If not, they can be purchased at many stores at minimal cost.

What you'll need:

Balloons, grass chalk, hula hoop, pipe, rope, string, tape, tub, wood and sock bags.

Activity 1 - Rope zig-zag

Rope zig-zag

Many professional athletes use a rope ladder to train because it’s so effective. Kids will have fun in the backyard improving their skills while they do it.

Materials: Rope or skipping rope.
Set up instructions: None
Energy level: High
Activity: Jump or step from one side to the other until the end of the length is reached.

Activity 2 - Balloon tunnel

Balloon tunnel

Balloons are a fun and easy way to entertain kids, and here’s a way to incorporate them into the course.

Materials: Two chairs, string, balloons, tape.
Set up instructions: Tie string between two chairs and hang (blown up) balloons with tape.
Energy level: Low
Activity: Crawl under the tunnel.

Activity 3 - Sock bag throw

Sock bag throw

If beanbags aren’t in the toy cupboard, sock bags are easy to make.

Materials: Socks, lentils, bucket.
Set up instructions:

  • 1. Turn a sock inside out.
  • 2. Tie a knot just below the heel line.
  • 3. Turn back with the right side showing.
  • 4. Fill with lentils/barley/rice.
  • 5. Leave enough room at the top to tie a tight knot and it’s finished.

Energy level: Low
Activity: Throw bags into bucket from throw line.

Activity 4 - Hurdles

Hurdles

Hurdles definitely get the heart pumping and it’s easy to make your own.

Materials: 5 x PVC pipe 15mm x 1m, 6 x 90 degree elbow joints 15 mm, tent pegs (optional).
Set up instructions:

  • 1. Push an elbow joint on each side of a pipe.
  • 2. For the legs, cut two sections of pipe the same length and attach to corners.
  • 3. Hammer the hurdles in the ground.

Energy level: High
Activity: Jump or step from one side to the other.

Activity 5 - Balance beam

Balance beam

It’s amazing how much fun a simple piece of wood can be. You can buy untreated pine for about $5.

Materials: Untreated piece of pine
Set up instructions: None
Energy level: Low
Activity: Walk along piece of wood.

Activity 6 - Stepping stone leap

Stepping stone leap

Here’s another simple activity to challenge your kids.

Materials: Grass chalk
Set up instructions: Follow instructions on the can and spray out square or circle stepping-stones.
Energy level: High
Activity: Mark out squares or circles for kids to jump from one to another.

Activity 7 - Hula hoop tunnel

Hula hoop tunnel

Congratulations, you’re finally at the finish line.

Materials: Hula hoop
Set up instructions: None
Energy level: Low
Activity: Step into the hula hoop, bend down and bring it up above the head.

Extra ideas to add on to your obstacle course

Take your obstacle course to the next level with these challenges.

  • Time each completed course and challenge the kids to improve their time over the day or week.
  • Challenge the kids to think about how they can extend the course themselves. For example, they could commando crawl under the hurdles.
  • Join in with them and make it a family affair.
  • Children can use props for imaginary play. For example, the balance beam can become a bridge of lava and the stepping stones, floating rock. Add a picnic mat and some cushions to the space for a ‘home’.
  • Take some of the elements down to a local park for a change of environment. For example, the hurdles and sock bags are easily portable.

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