On the days when the sun doesn't come out and you're stuck inside, it can be even tougher to keep the family fit during lockdown. We've put together a list of ideas to make a fun indoor obstacle course to provide some inspiration.
Obstacle courses are a fun way to keep fit and healthy during lockdown, and you don't even need a garden. Kids obstacle courses also improve motor skills so they're great for development. As well as improving motor skills, it's important for the mind and body to keep doing regular exercise during lockdown and an indoor obstacle course is a fantastic keep-fit activity for kids and the whole family to enjoy together.
How Do I Make An Obstacle Course At Home?
You don't need anything fancy to build a great indoor kids obstacle course at home. You can make fun obstacle courses for your kids out of things you already have to hand at home. We've provided suggestions in this guide, but you can choose to get as creative as you like with your own obstacle course by adding unique items from around your home.
Choose The Right Space
First things first, it is is important to choose the best and safest space for your indoor obstacle course. Avoid things like stairs or anything you might bump your head on! We suggest a ground floor hallway, sitting room or bedroom. You could use a combination of rooms for the activity depending on the layout of your home. Move any furniture that would disrupt the activity to the side of the room or to another room if possible. That said, some pieces of furniture might actually be safe and fun obstacles to include in the activity! For example, how about using sofa cushions propped up by two chairs to crawl under? Use your own judgement with the furniture around your house, ensuring the obstacles are safe as well as fun.
Some Great Materials To Use
You don't need to search too far for materials, we've listed some ideas for materials to use for your DIY obstacle course.
- Tape - For one of the obstacle course activities, you can use duct tape or masking tape to create lines on the floor which can be used to walk and balance along. You can use tape to create the boundaries of the obstacle course or paths to help your child navigate.
- Books and bedsheets - Use a bed sheet to create a magical tunnel to crawl under. Using two chairs or a sofa, throw the sheet over the top to form the tunnel and use a book as a weight to keep the sheet from slipping. Make sure the book is positioned in a way so that it won't fall on your little ones when they are taking part in the course.
- Hula-hoops - You can use hula-hoops as one of the activities of the obstacle course. Perhaps you could make your children do it whilst singing the alphabet for an extra challenge. Or you could simply use the hula-hoop as a marker for a place to jump ten times.
- Fun games - Your kids' board games or other toys could be used as an addition to the indoor obstacle course. If they've got Jenga, perhaps one of the activities could be to stack them eight pieces high. This introduces a concentration and steadiness challenge to the activity as well as speed. Other fun games could include dominoes or Lego.
- Clothes - For one of the activities of the course, your kids could see how quickly they can put on five shirts or t-shirts and take them off before moving onto the next obstacle. Other ideas can include hats, socks and gloves.
- Rope - You can use string or rope to recreate lasers for your kids to dodge and watch your children become secret agents! Tie the rope or string around the room or on the floor and your kids have to dodge and crawl to avoid touching the lasers.
- Eggs and Potatoes - You could add the famous egg on the spoon or the less messy indoor potato on the spoon! If your child is upset that sports day has been cancelled, then this could be a good activity to recreate some of that atmosphere.
How Do You Make The Obstacle Course For A Toddler?
Obstacle courses are great if you have smaller children too. Toddlers are naturally finding lockdown confusing and difficult as they're unaware of the bigger reason for being indoors all day; this makes it even more difficult for them to be stuck inside. But fortunately, obstacle course activities can be suited to toddlers too. In fact, activities like obstacle courses are a perfect way to improve gross motor skills! A gross motor skill requires the use of the large muscle groups to perform everyday tasks. A gross motor skill develops when we are toddlers and the skill remains the same even after periods of non-use. So by practising balancing, crawling and rolling in the obstacle course activities, your toddler is developing and improving more than one motor skill.
To make an obstacle course suit younger children in the family, simply make each activity in the course slightly easier. If your kids have a wide range of ages and they all want to get involved, then you could make two obstacle courses, if space allows it, one easy and one more difficult. For example, when you use the tape to create a balancing line, use a few strips to make the width even bigger. Or if you include jumping or building, you could give them a helping hand and reduce the number they have to complete compared to your other children.
How Do You Make An Obstacle Course Even More Fun?
Once the obstacle course has been built, now it's time for the games to begin! Have some fun music ideas ready to make the day feel like a party. You could time your kids so you can keep track of their personal best and include some prizes for the winner and everyone who takes part. Tell your kids' friends that you are doing an obstacle course and they might want to do one of their own and tell each other about it. You can then share ideas with other kids to make it feel more social. Just make sure you take lots of photos to look back on and remember to have fun!
Having loved everything art and crafts so much as a child and wanting to pursue this when she grew up, Eleanor recently moved to London from Bath to study for a degree in Fine Art. Eleanor loves exploring the city in her spare time, especially visiting galleries and seeking out new arts events to go to with her partner. When she’s not out enjoying what the capital has to offer, Eleanor is a keen outdoor adventurer and lover of all things travel, always looking for a new destination to discover.