11 Obstacle Courses That You Can Set Up at Home

Get little warriors moving (and tire them out) with these 11 clever obstacle courses for kids. Participants will break a sweat and the best part? Each one of these DIY obstacle courses can be easily set up inside or in the backyard. From an all-star athlete adventure to easy sidewalk chalk, scroll down to see them all! On your mark, get set, go!

1. All-Star Obstacle Course

Whether your little sports star loves to dribble the ball or take free throw shots, this DIY obstacle course deserves a trophy. Find a big bucket and beach balls (easy on furniture!) and your good to go. Give a shout out to mom Paris over at My Big Happy Life for this sporty idea.

2. Learning Letters DIY Obstacle Course

Easy as A-B-C! Why not make learning fun? From teaching the alphabet to math problems, little learners can learn on the move with this studious obstacle course designed for kids from Hands on as We Grow. Find the details here.

3. Circus Obstacle Course

Get ready for the big top! This one is good for a backyard obstacle course; with plenty of room, you can have a circus-themed DIY obstacle course. From jumping through hula hoops to feats on the balance beam, we’ve found plenty of ideas over at Be a Fun Mum

4. Hot Lava Obstacle Course

Look out for the lava! Whether it’s walking over cushions, a balance beam or traversing a bench, your little explorers need to avoid the hot lava that’s oozing down from the giant volcano. Cruise over to Crumb Bums for the directions on making this hot indoor DIY obstacle course perfect for your adventurous crew.

5. Sidewalk Chalk Obstacle Course

Write it out! Grab a piece of colorful sidewalk chalk and give directions to jump, count, turn-around or whatever your half-pint loves to do. Then, simply draw a start and finish line and you're ready to go! This is an easy one to do on the sidewalk out front or on a patio in the backyard. 

photo: iStock

7. Bike Obstacle Course

Sports cones and sidewalk chalk are the basics you need to set up a simple tricycle obstacle course for your tiny tike. Think turnarounds and crazy eight loops when you set out cones to serve as the framework for the course. Then draw chalk arrows (and other helpful suggestions) to keep your tot on track. Once you’ve mapped out the basics, it’s time to get creative. Use what you’ve got to put in a few tame ramps, a cardboard box tunnel or two, and maybe even a sprinkler to ride under so little participants can cool off as they work through the challenging course. Run it as a relay between sibs if you’ve got multiple kids to entertain. Here are even more tricycle race ideas.

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

8. Tape Obstacle Course

We’re crushing on this unbelievably simple way to set up an obstacle course for your crew, and not just because you can set it up as easily inside as you do out. All you need is a roll of blue painter’s tape—use it to map out some balance beams, squares to be jumped in or over, squiggly rivers that need crossing … the list is endless. Then it’s up to the competitors to travel safely around, over, between and through all the imaginatively large obstacles you’ve laid out for them. The easy cleanup’s hard to beat, too!

9. Don’t Disturb the Obstacles Course

It’s time to dig out those winter holiday decorations because they’re the centerpiece of this inventive obstacle course dreamed up by the creative minds at Childhood 101. As they make their way over, under and around your tricky design, your normally noisy kiddos can’t make any sound here. Get the full scoop on how it works at Childhood 101.

photo: Gabby Cullen

10. Boot Camp Course

You don’t need to dig out fatigues for your kids to complete this army-inspired obstacle course. But you do need to think like a drill sergeant when you set it up. We’re talking tire ladders (or hula hoops) made for running, string suspended a couple feet off the ground for crawling under and boards made for balancing. Add in a few push-ups, jumping jacks and “sir, yes, sir’s” along the way and you’ve got a challenging course for your sidekick to soldier through. 

11. Glow-in-the-Dark Obstacle Course

If you buy glow sticks in bulk because you know you’ll need them some day, we’re here to tell you, the time is now. Break them out, and crack ‘em till they shine because a glow-in-the-dark obstacle course is gonna be your kids' new favorite thing. Once the sun has set, lay out your sticks, creating glowing patches that require jumping, paths that need careful crossing, even glowing sticks that need to be collected. Then send your crew off and running. A few porch lights or flashlights can help them navigate things safely. 

–Nikki Walsh with Allison Sutcliffe



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Featured image: courtesy Pixabay