Tough Mudders and Spartan races are popping up everywhere. And while small children may not be able to participate in those activities, you can create your own version! Obstacle courses can work on strengthening, balance, bilateral coordination, and motor planning. And the best part about it is that you can simply rearrange the obstacles and create an entirely new course. They can range from simple to complex based on child’s needs and how creative you are feeling that day.
As a Physical Therapist, I am constantly utilizing obstacle courses to progress toward goals that have been set. The children do not think of them as work, and they often have some input about what obstacles are used. I will typically have the kids transport something from one side of the course to the other to make it more fun. Sometimes that includes puzzle pieces, rings, or bringing animals back to their friends while walking through the jungle! Again, it’s easy to get creative based on what motivates your child.
Some common items I use include benches to jump over or crawl under, tunnels, mini stairs, balance beams, and rings to step or jump through just to name a few. If you don’t have those things, but have a yard or park, you can use sticks or playground equipment to create your own obstacles. Comment below with your favorite obstacle courses.