How great were the Olympics?! Like us, you may catch yourself looking for ways to get moving and lead a healthy lifestyle. How can we do this for our children in an easy, interactive, and fun way? The answer? Obstacle courses!
Obstacle courses are a therapy favorite as a wide array of skills can be worked on with just a few simple household or backyard items. Obstacle courses allow children to improve coordination, balance, strength, and hand-eye coordination. Social interaction, memory, problem solving, direction following, and turn taking is incorporated.
How can you set up a beneficial obstacle course for your child? Get creative! Anything you can find around your home or outside will be great.
Ideas for Obstacles:
- Use painters tape or outside edging for a balance beam
- Use pillows, couch cushions as an uneven surface to walk on, crawl over, or balance on
- Use construction paper or dish towels for targeted stepping or jumping
- Pool noodles or rolled up blankets make great hurdles
- Fill laundry baskets with items and have your child push/pull through course
- Use a small ball for catching or throwing into targets
- Incorporate animal walks, jumping jacks, or yoga poses
- Have the child go through the obstacle course to retrieve puzzle pieces or other items for an activity. This ensures they complete the course multiple times!
- Incorporate a sensory component such as animal walks over grass or dirt, or searching through a rice bin to find a puzzle piece at the end.
- Fine motor skills can be included by using flashcards, handwriting, or using tongs to pick up items while going through the course.