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An obstacle refers to an indoor or outdoor activity that involves movement such as running, climbing, crawling, or simply walking through a maze. Obstacle courses for toddlers and preschoolers can help kids improve their gross and fine motor skills, bilateral coordination, and build stamina. Obstacle course activities are not just fun but can push kids to think out of the box and build creative and logical skills. If you are looking for ways to improve your toddler’s motor skills, then obstacle courses can benefit to a large extent (1).
How To Introduce And Teach An Obstacle Course To Toddlers
All you need to create obstacle courses for preschoolers and toddlers are creativity and making the best use of stuff lying in the house. When you are creating an obstacle course, you must ensure the safety of children to avoid any risk of getting injured while playing these games. Here are some tips and tricks you may follow to introduce an obstacle course to your little one.
- You may get bollards or orange traffic cones to designate an area for the obstacle course.
- Use equipment such as pool noodles, hula-hoops, tables, chairs to set up the obstacle course. Before you begin, you may also explain the process of using each of these items.
- While setting up the obstacle course, you may incorporate jumping, crawling, climbing, walking, and running activities to make it challenging for the child.
- Explain the importance of safety to your child. Let them be cautious while playing. Therefore, set up the obstacle course in a risk-free manner.
- Having a reward at the end of the activity can keep them motivated during the entire course.
15 Obstacle Courses For Toddlers And Preschoolers
Indoor Obstacle Course Ideas For Toddlers And Preschoolers
When the weather is bad, or you just want to stay indoors, try indoor obstacle courses for toddlers that are fun and engaging.
- Laundry basket push game: For this game, you need a laundry basket, a few books, and some favorite toys. You can draw an obstacle course on the floor using a chalk piece or sticky tape. To play, place a few heavy books at the bottom of the laundry basket. Now, ask your toddler to pick out some favorite toys and then push the basket alongside the obstacle course.
- Balloon paddle ball: Balloons can get anyone excited. Isn’t it? Grab some popsicle sticks and glue them to paper plates to play this game, forming paddles. Then, blow up a balloon. Using the paddles, row the balloon around the house. The furniture around the home can double up as the obstacle course.
- Tossing a ring: Grab some bollards and place them at random places in the house, barring glass furniture or crockery. Now, children have to use a ring to hit the bollard.
- Indoor hopscotch: Draw hopscotch on the floor using a chalk piece. Let your child jump and hop around from one square to another. You may also use a tiny ball to hit the squares and make it challenging.
- Water bottle bowling: Place nine water bottles in a triangle pattern as found in a bowling alley. Now using a lightweight ball, ask the kids to hit these bottles. Encourage them to hit all the bottles in one strike.
- Balloon volleyball: You can turn a balloon into a volleyball and set up a court at the dining table. Stand across the table facing each other. Now hit the balloon and play catch. To make it furthermore enjoyable, keep track of the score.
- Walk in the line: You need house tape and a few stuffed toys for this game. First, map the tape around the house. Then, place toys at random spots in the mapped area. Now, the kids have to walk inside the mapped lines and collect all the toys on the way. Set up a timer to double the fun.
- Across the room: How many different ways can you find to get from one side of the room to another? You can walk, run, crab walk, bear crawl. Ask your kids to get creative and find a unique method to cross the room.
- Ninja box kick-down: Stack some boxes on top of one another. You may use shoe boxes, mailing boxes, cartons, etc. The task is for the kids to kick these boxes down. It would be fun to watch how many boxes they are able to kick in one go.
Outdoor Obstacle Course Ideas For Toddlers And Preschoolers
Head out to a garden or play in the backyard. These outdoor obstacle courses are sure to get your little one excited.
- Skipping: This activity helps build motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Ask your child to jump the skipping rope and reach from one spot to another.
- Treasure hunt: Who doesn’t enjoy a treasure hunt. Hide some toys or most cherished belongings of your kids at various spots in the backyard. Now ask them to begin the treasure hunt. You may also give some hints to help them find the treasure.
- Climb: Take your child to a park or a playground. Now, let them climb up the slide, tree, or play with other equipment. This can help strengthen their legs and arms and build stamina.
- Muddy play: Let’s get messy. Your child can enjoy squishing, sculpting, patting, and making unique objects with this sensory activity.
- Tunnels: If you have recently purchased a large home appliance and have its packaging or cardboard box at home, make a tunnel out of it. Place it in the backyard and let your child go inside the tunnel and play. They can also take turns to come in, go out, or just pass through the tunnel.
- Red light green light: In this activity, the children have to freeze at the red light and start moving when the light is green. It can help in improving your child’s coordination and fine motor skills.
Benefits Of Obstacle Courses For Toddlers
Obstacle courses offer multiple learning outcomes (2). Here are some benefits of obstacle courses for toddlers:
- Creativity: When they engage in an obstacle course, children tend to devise creative strategies making their playtime fun and interesting.
- Strength and balance: Outdoor obstacle courses can help your child improve their strength and stamina. It also makes them physically active and up their energy levels.
- Problem solving: Children can enhance their problem-solving skills through obstacle courses as they have to find a way out and complete the assigned task. This enables them to think out of the box and boost their problem-solving skills.
- Motor Skills: While children jump, crawl, climb or engage in various activities, they develop their gross and fine motor skills.
- Coordination: Obstacle courses can help a child build hand-eye and bilateral coordination. When they have to move various body parts at the same time and apply their minds to finish the goal, kids can improve their coordination skills to a large extent.
Let your child explore and put their minds to work through participation in obstacle courses. Whether indoors or outdoors, obstacle courses for toddlers are not just fun but can challenge them to think out of the box and push beyond their limits. So, if you are ready to challenge your little one, set up an obstacle course now!