Let the Games Begin!

​​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 

Tips: 

  • 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.

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