No matter the time of year, children want to be entertained. Unfortunately, children are becoming more and more sedentary due to the increasing popularity of technology and parents' concern over their children's safety. Homemade obstacle courses can be a simple way to get children up and moving.
Since the great outdoors has more space than the inside of a house, there is more room to be creative with obstacle courses. PBS Kids suggests activities like running with a balloon between the knees, backward running and rolling eggs with your nose for some distance for your course. You can also set up cones to run around or jump over sticks or rocks. Outdoor courses are often more fun with larger groups of children, so be sure to invite friends.
Indoor courses are often easy to set up because you use materials already available. Children can crawl over or under chairs, slither through couch cushion tubes or limbo under string tied from a table to a chair. Tumbling exercises like somersaults or even jumping jacks can also be tied into an obstacle course, but ample space must be made to avoid damage to the child and the house itself.
Obstacle courses that involve water are an easy way to keep kids cooler during warmer months. A "Slip and Slide" can be utilised in this kind of course, along with water balloon tossing, running through sprinklers and carrying a bucket of water across a low balance beam. Water courses don't have to be limited to land, though. Set up a series of hula hoops to swim through in the pool or have underwater jumping jacks to achieve a unique underwater obstacle course.
Some children are unable or unwilling to participate in physical obstacle courses. If this is the case, online obstacle course games are also available (see "References"). While these games don't help fix the sedentary issues, they do provide an element of fun. Many games available online are free to play and those that cost money often have free trials available.