If there’s one thing we can say about toddlers, it’s that they’re always on the move! To make things easier for parents, we’re put together a few different ideas on how to channel that energy.
Check out the list below for information on how to put together the ultimate obstacle course for toddlers. Most can be constructed using just a few items found around the house and a small dose of creativity. To help encourage growth in all areas, we’ll introduce obstacle courses designed with different skills in mind.
Now, let’s get started!
WHY BUILD A TODDLER OBSTACLE COURSE?
Toddlers may be small, but they are plenty capable. By 30 months, your toddler may be jumping in place with both feet, walking in a straight line, walking on their tiptoes, catching balls, and even standing on one foot!
And they aren’t just developing physical capabilities. At this age, toddlers are beginning to solve problems by trial and error, understand shapes and sizes, recall past experiences and demonstrate an increased attention span.
Obstacle courses are a great way of engaging kids in both areas. Whether you’re working with a backyard obstacle course or something set up inside of the house, you’ll be providing your little ones with different ways to develop their cognitive and fine motor skills.
BACKYARD OBSTACLE COURSE FOR KIDS
WATER OBSTACLE COURSE
Now if there’s something toddlers can really excel at, it’s making a mess. Let’s indulge them with this next obstacle course for kids. For this next activity, fill up a small bucket with water. Ask your child to carry it from point A to point B. See how many times they can make the trip without spilling!
Incorporate a few other materials to make this obstacle course even more of a challenge. Give the little ones some water balloons after they’ve completed the first part of the obstacle course. Ask them to toss it into the bucket, squat on them until they pop, or drop them from different heights until they go splat!
First up on our list is the famous “chalkstacle course.” As the name suggests, this activity requires some sidewalk chalk and some outdoor space. Think about what activities your toddler can already do. If they’ve demonstrated the ability to walk in a straight line, then start there! Draw a line with the chalk for them to run down.
You can also draw a spiral for spinning, a zig-zag to test their balance, and small circles to hop through a few times. Remember, there are plenty of other items you can use if you’re all out of chalk. Some painter’s tape, a jump rope, or even some yarn will do the trick!
CLIMBING OBSTACLE COURSE
Toddlers love to climb! Give this instinct a little structure with some large, soft climbing blocks. You can also include a simple toddler slide. You can stack the blogs together to make them harder to climb or see how well they can stack them themselves.
Think about bringing in a few different materials to make the course even more of a challenge. Ask the children to jump through a hula hoop or over some pool noodles before climbing up the slide. You can also ask them to do a few jumping jacks once they reach the ground!
Remember, the more sequential your obstacle courses become, the more it will engage your child’s memory. What’s more fun than watching the kids play around in a backyard obstacle course, you ask? Knowing that it was designed with a little learning in mind, that’s what!
HOW TO TURN YOUR LIVING ROOM INTO AN INDOOR OBSTACLE COURSE
Not every obstacle course for kids needs to be stationed outside. Some you can set up in the comfort of your own home. This can be a great alternative when cabin fever strikes during the winter months.
Select a starting point for your indoor obstacle course and think about what kind of challenges you want to include. Rolled-up rugs are great substitutes for balance beams and a row of chairs can make for an awesome tunnel. You can also use hula hoops for the kids to jump through, or pillows for them to hop across. The more creative you get, the more fun the challenge becomes!
HOW WE HELP BRING FAMILIES TOGETHER
We hope you enjoyed our post on how to create an obstacle course for kids! At Great Wolf Lodge, we create family traditions, one family at a time. These days, we’re looking to take that mission out of the lodge and into your home. Check-in each week to see what Wiley and the rest of the Great Wolf Kids are up to.
You can also explore our blog for other activities designed for all ages. You’ll find birthday party ideas, backyard games, cooking challenges and lots of other fun things to do! Don’t forget to share your experience on Facebook, Twitter, or TikTok.