Summer Fun: Easy Obstacle Course

by Wendy Copley on July 10, 2012

How to make an easy obstacle course

I’ve been loving the fun obstacle course ideas I’ve been seeing on Pinterest lately,  but I have to be honest — just the idea of setting some of them up makes me tired.  Blowing up balloons? Hanging a rope swing? Digging the ladder out of the back of the garage? Er…no. I don’t think I’m going to do that.

Still, an obstacle course was one of the items on our Summer Fun List, so the kids and I set about creating a fun series of challenges in our backyard. The rules were simple: set up various stations around the yard and patio using only the stuff that was easily available outside. I started the kids off with a few ideas, but once they got a feel for what was realistic (“No, Augie — you can’t walk across the clothesline like a tightrope!”) and safe (“There will be no jumping off the roof of the shed!”) they both started churning out great ideas!

Here are a few of the easy-to-execute ideas they came up with:

How to make an easy obstacle course

Ride a scooter from the gate to the garage door. (Normally, I’m a helmet freak, but I let the helmets slide this one time because they were only scooting about 8 feet and they always had one foot on the ground.)

How to make an easy obstacle course

Bounce the basketball and hit a target drawn on the garage door with chalk.

How to make an easy obstacle course

Draw a picture on the driveway.

How to make an easy obstacle course: hose balance beam

Spread the garden hose out in a loopy pattern on the grass. Walk on the hose like a tightrope until you get to the sprinkler at the end, then jump over the water spray. (I particularly liked this one because it was a team effort. One of the kids thought up the sprinkler idea, then the other thought up the hose idea.)

How to make an easy obstacle course: pool noodle tunnel

Crawl under a pool noodle set on top of two chairs.

Easy Obstacle Course: chairs

Set a few chairs in a row, then walk across them.

Other stations they included that are not pictured included:

  • Wade through the little pool. Smack the water with a pool noodle to make a big splash.
  • Run in circles around three buckets set up in a row. (Or hop over each one.)
  • Throw a frisbee into a cardboard box.
  • Throw a ball into a bucket.
  • Rotate the compost bin. (We have the spinning kind and it’s heavy so they had to do that as a team.)

What easy ideas would you include in a backyard obstacle course?

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  • Anne

    My daughter’s school does an obstacle course every year for field day. Their course is a straight line, the kids go to the end and then turn and come back doing everything in reverse. They always have a station with three lunch trays in a stack. The first time through they unstack the trays, and on the way back they have to stack them up again. If you didn’t have trays you could just use nested bowls.

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