Obstacle courses provide a simple way to get children out of the house and moving. Use the course as an extra game during party time or as a family-friendly event that gets everyone outside. Obstacle courses typically have different stations, where participants do a specific activity before moving on. This provides ways to turn ordinary items into new activities.
Old tires are common in obstacle courses because they are easy to find and inexpensive to buy. You need a minimum of eight to 10 tires. Decide on the location of the tire run and arrange the tires side by side. When runners reach the tires, they have to run across them, placing a foot in each of the tires. The longer you make the run, the harder it becomes.
Add a balance beam to your obstacle course, which forces participants to climb onto the beam and walk carefully across the top, maintaining their balance the whole way. If they lose their balance and fall off, then it's back to the start until they can walk across it in one try. For older kids or those with more coordination, place a tray of cups near the end of the balance beam and fill each cup with a small amount of water. They must grab a cup, carry it with them across the balance beam and drink the water at the end.
Obstacle courses for animals typically use runs made from old barrels. If you can't find barrels, then use traffic cones, dustbins or just make X marks on the ground with duct tape. Place the objects at least one foot apart. When participants reach the obstacle course, they must weave in and out through the obstacles. The farther you place the obstacles away from each other, the easier it is to get through the station. Try using more space for younger kids and decreasing the space with older kids.
Create one station by putting hula hoops on the ground. When participants reach the station, they must grab a hoop and work it continuously for 20 seconds before moving on. Hula hooping is a cardiovascular exercise that helps increase heart rate. Make the event more challenging by requiring the kids to use each hoop at the station, or by requiring they hula hoop for a longer period of time.
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