Obstacle courses are a fun interactive way to make gross motor activities more entertaining for kids at home. They challenge balance, stability, and strengthening for a kiddo’s upper and lower body. Families can use household items versus purchasing equipment that can be bulky and take up space in the home. Here are 5 tips to create an obstacle course at home using materials you already have!
Painters tape can be utilized to practice balance walking in a straight line or practice animal walks navigating the line. It can also be used to jump over a line to work on jumping skills and lower body strengthening.
Use couch pillows and cushions! Walk across pillows playing “the floor is lava” to practice jumping and stepping onto uneven surfaces for balance challenges as well as strengthening the lower extremities.
Crawl under the table or build a fort to work on lower and upper body strengthening. This will also encourage core strengthening and working in a reciprocal manner.
Stuffed animals or playground balls can be used to hit a target or land in a basket. Squat to pick up five stuffed animals in a row to throw in a target to increase lower body strength and hand/eye coordination with throwing.
Sticky notes can be stuck high up on the wall to encourage reach. Try walking on their knees in tall kneeling or half-kneeling with upright posture to place items on the window using sticky notes or writing on the window with expo markers. This is a great activity to work on strengthening their lower body.
These are 5 great ideas for obstacle courses at home to help encourage strengthening, balance, and coordination skills. If you want more ideas on how to work gross motor skills within your environment, contact TEAM 4 Kids for physical therapy!
Chelsea Cregeen, PTA
In the video below, PTA Adam shows how you can make your own obstacle course at home for all ages and skill levels.