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Activity Documentation: Make an Indoor Obstacle Course

Wintertime brings out the antsy side in all of us. My kids are no exception. With subzero weather and a bit of a cold running through our house, we've been feeling a bit trapped. This activity box was the perfect activity to get some blood moving in their little bodies and keep them entertained for quite a while.

The kids did a great job following instructions and we had a lot of fun with this activity. After helping clean everything up, Kniya was asking when we could make another one. This is a great activity to do as a family with kids of all ages.

I kept the kids out of the living room while I set up the obstacle course. When they were allowed to come in (about 10 minutes later), they were very excited. It felt like part of our house was transformed and they were ready to try out each part.

I set up the obstacles in another room and then directed the older two (ages 4 and 3) as to how to go through each part. I set up a tunnel with a blanket, chairs and an end table. Next, a folded blanket served as a balance beam. Four masking tape X's served as spots for them to jump from one foot to the other.

The last part of the course was a foot rest and pile of throw pillows -- perfect for somersaulting from. Kniya was scared and needed some help at first (she doesn't like feeling out of control at all), but Kaleb was more than up to the challenge.

The kids have been taking some basic gymnastics classes and they were very excited about having a homemade balance beam. A folded blanket gave them something to walk on that wasn't too challenging, but allowed them to practice balance and foot-eye coordination.

After a few times through, I let my youngest join in (Kamden is 15 months old and I knew he would add some chaos, so I held him off at first). He was so excited to participate after watching the older two, that he actually did a lot of it correctly and didn't try to tear anything down.

During some parts, Kamden actually added to the obstacle difficulty level, which was pretty fun for everyone. It gave the older kids a live object to dodge and it helped teach Kamden about following directions and order of operations. After a many rounds one way, we changed direction -- clearly Kamden didn't get the memo at first.

Tunnels are a must have for the basic obstacle course. From babies to bigger kids, everyone loves diving through a tunnel for some reason. A few chairs next to a couch with an end table and a throw blanket made the perfect tunnel for us.

The kids burned a lot of energy and got to test their bodies with our obstacle course. I love watching them try new things and I'm always up for activities that strengthen them in any way.

►  Activity
Make an Indoor Obstacle Course

►  Idea Box
Family Games & Activities

►  Age of child(ren)
4, 3 & 1

►  Length of time spent on activity (approx.)
45 minutes

►  Materials needed/chosen
Furniture, blankets, masking tape

►  Any prep-work? If so, what?
Assessing materials at hand to create an obstacle course that was challenging and fun.

►  Directions / What we did
I set up the obstacles in another room and then directed the older two (ages 4 and 3) as to how to go through each part. I set up a tunnel with a blanket, chairs and an end table. Next, a folded blanket served as a balance beam. Four masking tape X's served as spots for them to jump from one foot to the other. Finally, a foot rest with a stack of pillows made a great place for somersaulting off. After a few times through, my youngest join in (he's 15 months old and I knew he would add some chaos). He was so excited to participate, that he actually did a lot of it correctly and didn't try to tear anything down. We then changed direction and went the opposite way through the course. The kids even helped clean up after they were done.

►  Possible ways to expand on the activity
You could always add more items to the course. Older kids could have to do the course walking/crawling backwards. Toddlers could do different rounds being various animals (hop like a frog, roar like a lion, flap like a bird, etc.). For babies, you could make each activity more about textures and small feats (like the tunnel was perfect for the 1-year-old and he loved it). During the summer, this would be a lot of fun to do outside.

►  What would you do differently next time? 
Everything went surprisingly smooth and I'm not sure there was anything I would have changed.

►  What my child was able to do by themselves
My kids were able to do the course on their own and then help with cleanup.

►  What my child needed help with
I set up the course, instructed the kids on what they should do at each station, and helped the kids with the somersault part. 

►  My child's thoughts about the activity
The kids had a lot of fun. It was a perfect activity for the sub-zero temperatures we are experiencing right now. The kids were able to burn some energy without having to leave the house or make a big mess.

►  Any other thoughts or info about the activity? 
This kept my kids very entertained. Afterwards, my daughter was ready to set up another one..


Alethea is a freelance writer, blogger, art teacher and influencer. Four kids within 5 years has kept her on her toes, but she loves having a family so closely spaced. She takes pictures regularly to document daily life and children's small shop fashions.


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