What is obstacle course?

As you have already guessed, backyard obstacle course is a special simulator, which has a limited space with obstacles that cannot be overcomed without specific motor skills. And we’d like to share backyard obstacle course ideas. Of course, your little ones will not have to crawl under the barbed wire or jump over deep ditches filled with water.

wood obstacle course photo

Backyard obstacle course is also one of the most beloved children’s activites.  Obstacle course develops children physically, allowing them to explore the possibilities of their bodies, teach them cleverness and independence. Thinking about how to overcome an unfamiliar obstacle, kids learn to solve problems, look for a way out in difficult situations.

Advantages of outdoor activity for kids

brave and happy kids

All backyard obstacles in children’s way must be age-appropriate and be quite manageable. It will take a little work.
In a short period of time you will notice how confident your babies walk, how masterfully they own ther body. So here are the advantages of backyard obstacle course. It improves

  • muscle strength;
  • coordination of movements;
  • the vestibular apparatus;
  • the body’s endurance;
  • posture.

There is no need to talk about the healing effect of exercises:

  • Requiring more oxygen and nutrients,  exercises make the heart and lungs work.
  • By expanding the network of capillaries, exercises activate the entire blood circulation.
  • By improving the movements, they contribute to the maturation of the nervous system and the cortex.

Do not forget about the educational importance of such outdoor activities for kids. Each time, achieving small victories, children become more confident in their abilities, more persistent and purposeful.

What are you going to need

For a backyard obsticle course you’re going to need:

  • an empty backyard space;
  • objects that can be physically overcomed in one way or another (walk over, step over, jump over, bypass);
  • and, of course, fantasy.

Let’s see backyard obstacle course ideas.

Backyard obstacle course ideas for toddlers

Unfortunely, a child under two years old can’t do everything, but they can for example:

  • crawl;
  • bend down;
  • jump on two legs in different directions;
  • bypass the obstacles;
  • step over;
  • walk on narrow paths;
  • throw the ball;
  • climb up;
  • repeate adult moves;
  • go down, and much more.

How to make a backyard obstacle course for toddlers

toddlers play on the backyard

To create such an unusual simulator, you can use pillows from the sofa, rope, ball, boxes, chairs, mats, basin, dice, sticks. Everything that is at hand and can serve as a kind of obstacle.

Boxes, buckets, boxes, basins are perfect for creating an obstacle course for toddlers. Kids can: sit and spin, climb inside, put them in a row and step from one to another or use them as a container for throwing balls.

hand made box obstacle

Tasks with a chair or a stool

  • climb on a chair and get off or jump off it;
  • climb under a chair;
  • get around the chair;
  • jump around a chair with one or two legs;
  • go between two rows of chairs;
  • move a chair from one place to another;
  •  roll a ball or a car under a chair;
  •  walk on top of several standing stools (stools may stand
  • next to each other or at some distance from each other) and so on.

You can arrange a tunnel for your backyard obstacle course in several ways using:

tunnel obstacle for kids

  • large box;
  • rolled up mat;
  • table or several chairs covered with cloth;
  • children’s tent with two entrances and exits.

Boxes or basins can be used in many different ways:

  • kids can sit on them and spin around;
  • step on them;
  • make a chain out of them,
  • can throw balls or dice in them.

You can buy ready-made track elements or make them yourself. Arrange pencils on the floor, let a toddler walk on them. It is effective to walk this track barefoot. To create an obstacle course, use different arcs so that a toddler can bend and pass them.

kids jump through the obstacle

Prepare a children’s tent with a through passage, a small table, covered with a sheet or a rolled-up gymnastic mat. Ask the baby to get through it. At first, the baby can do something wrong, it’s no big deal.

Backyard obstacle course ideas for 3-5 years old kids

To entice older children, come up with an interesting scenario and turn into an exciting game. The number of exercises for kids from 3 years old increases. They become more complex and match the age of a child.

What kind of exercises can children 3-5 years old do?

kid does obstacle course

Kids at that age are capable of:

  • jumping on one leg;
  • keeping their balance;
  • hanging for a short time;
  • cleverly bypassing obstacles;
  • stopping at the right time;
  • running on your socks;
  • catching the ball;
  • going backwards, and more.

How to make a backyard obstacle course for 3-5 years old

The obstacle course adapts to any age. However, for children 3-5 years old it can be complicated by taking elements that require more endurance and agility.

Chairs and stools give a great variety of actions, for example:

  • get in and out;
  • move a chair from one place to another;
  • put the stools in a row and walk on them or climb;
  • jump around;
  • roll a car around in a chair.


Line exercise

balance exercise for kids

A great exercise for coordination and balance. You can use ropes, ribbons, threads, pencils to do this exercise. Dice, details from a large constructor, cardboard or sheets of paper are also suitable.
A line on the floor can be marked with a rope, ribbon, rope or books put in a row, a gymnastic stick, a hoop, you can use paint tape or an insulating tape.

obstacle line exercise

The line can be straight, curved or rotated at right angles. It is possible to make a maze from a long rope, blocks of large constructor, for the smallest – from blocks Lego DUPLO. A child can run to the center of the maze and back, can roll a ball or a machine.

Maze exercise

Older children can be given a task to overcome the maze without touching it or rolling a car on it. Older preschoolers love to compete. Go through the obstacle course for a while. Morever, kids can even compete with themselves, trying to pass the route every time faster.

obsctacle course backyard

If the space allows, you can draw a large obstacle course and pass it, driving a rope machine or a wheelchair, scooter, rollers, even a bicycle.
Include hopscotch of various shapes: round, rectangular, with rounds and pointed circles, with squares located on either side of the line and so on.

Plot for a outdoor activity for kids

Children from three years old are passionate about storyline and role-playing games. They like to be in the role of pirates, rescuers or travelers. The most popular style is Ninga warrior.

Ninja Warriors obstacle course has five major obstacles: PVC pipe obstacles (which can also be used to crawl underneath), wooden stairs, tilting stairs and balancing beams.

PVC Obstacles

Ninja Warrior backyard obsticle course

You can get PVC  barriers out of 3/4 inch pipe. Each barrier needs two T-joints and two 90 degree elbows. If you cut out a few extra pipe sections, children can rearrange the barriers at different heights for some variety.

Inclined steps stone

hand made obstacle

These inclined steps (built from pallets) are children’s favorite element! You can take a pallet of different sizes.

hand made pallet for obstacle courseYou can screwed two 12-inch legs, 2 x 4 legs each. The exact position of the 2 x 4 legs was slightly different on each pallet, depending on how it was built.

Here’s the view.
man using drill

Wooden steps

wooden steps for obstacle course

The flat steps are just 12 inches wide. Cut the boards into 12 x 12 squares. It’s just so much fun!

Balance beams

balance exercise for kids

4 x 4 large balance beams. Be careful, a beam placed directly on the ground wobbles, especially for small children.

The trunks of the trees

jump exercise for kids

They’re too shaky for babies, but they’re good for older kids!

Theme of an outdoor activity for kids

Safety note: make sure there is enough space for the obstacle course. Always be close to the baby. If somethng happens, you can always provide insurance.

backyard obstacle course birthday party

Keep in mind that the minimum number of steps for the smallest ones is from 1 to 4. From 5 years it is quite possible to increase tasks to 7 obstacles.

backyard birthday party for kids

Show imagination and think of a storyline like saving a mouse froma cat, helping the hedgehog get home or make a child feel like a pirate on a treasure hunt.

balance obstacle course

The obstacle course can also be used as entertainment for a birthday party. obstacle course jungle theme

diy backyard obstacle course

Make it harder to get through the obstacle course

kid gets through the obstacle

If a child has mastered all the obstacles in the lane you invented, try to make the task a little more difficult:

  •  Pass the obstacle course in larger shoes, such as daddy’s or mom’s slippers;
  • Pass the obstacle course with a soft toy or some other object, holding it in one or both hands or throwing it forward through the obstacles;
  •  Passing straight sections of the obstacle course with a bag of salt on the head;

kids exercise backyard

After passing the next stage of the obstacle course, you can give your child some task: to do a physical exercise, collect the tower, sort the balls, collect a slit picture, and so on.