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05/20/2020

5 Fun and Easy Indoor Obstacle Courses for Kids

Maybe it’s too hot to play outside or you live in the city with not an ideal park for your kids to get the physical activity they need! But who says you need playground equipment to have fun? Bring the excitement indoors for your little ones with these 5 indoor obstacle courses for kids! It’s a fun way to keep kids busy without screen time. Not only will they have a blast, but you’ll be entertained and laughing for hours as they navigate through the obstacles ideas below.

How Much Physical Activity Do Children Need?

It’s incredibly important for a child’s developmental health to get ample amounts of playtime. Depending on your child’s age, they require different amounts of playtime. The average amount of time is an hour for most children — but it’s recommended that children stay active throughout the day for a cumulative time of three hours. This may sound like a lot but with the time spent setting up indoor activities for your young ones it’s easy to achieve this, and a fun way to bond with kids!1

Indoor Obstacle Course Ideas for Toddler-Aged or Preschool-Aged Children (ages 3 through 5 years)

#1 Hula Hoop Hopscotch 

Set up time: 5 minutes

Objective: The child will hopscotch in each of the hula hoops laid on the floor.

For this remix on hopscotch, your preschooler will jump hoop to hoop to complete the indoor course – no chalk required! Jumping in and out of hoops is a perfect indoor activity to get your kid moving and grooving. Below are a few ideas to make the challenges more difficult:

  • Spread the hoops further apart
  • Make different moves for each colored hoop (E.g. Blue hula hoop you hop in with your right foot, green hula hoop you do jumping jacks, and red hula hoop you frog jump to the next hoop) 
#2 Pool Noodle Sword Fight

Set up time: 1 minute

Objective: First child to tap their noodle on the other wins the round

This is a quick set up! For your child’ safety, it’s a good idea to clear the room of any fragiles before the pool noodle sword fight commends between your little ones. It’s a great game that can last for quite a while and exhaust your preschooler just in time for a nap.

#3 The Hot Lava Obstacle Course

Set up time: 10 minutes

Objective: Race to the finish line but don’t touch the floor (it’s hot lava!)

Maybe you played this game when you were younger so you remember just how fun it is! To play this game, it’s best to use multiple rooms to set up the hot lava obstacle course. Your role in this will be the referee. If your kiddo jumps into the hot lava, it’s back to the start line for them!

“Stepping stones” or objects to act as safety from the hot lava, should be placed throughout the course so that your little ones can cross the finish line. Examples of items to use as household “stepping stones” include:

  • Chairs
  • Couch cushion
  • Pillow
  • Towel
  • Rope (this can be used as a balance beam)

This game does not just have to be for your toddler or younger children – little ones aged 5 or older can play as well! Sometimes even older kids and adults can’t resist the fun of this game.

Indoor Obstacle Course Ideas for Elementary-Aged Children (ages 6 through 13 years)

#4 Hula Hoop Challenge

Set up time: 5 minutes

Objective: Time your child to see how quickly they can complete all the hula hoop challenges.

With this indoor obstacle course for kids, set up different colored hula hoops across the floor with about at least 5 feet in between each so every child playing has their own space to move around. Every color of hula hoop represents a different activity with the hula hoop. Below are some examples of what each hula hoop color can represent:

  • Yellow – Do jumping jacks in the hula hoop 5 times
  • Red – Jump rope with hula hoop 5 times
  • Blue – Hula hoop around your hips 10 times
  • Purple – Throw 5 bean bags into the hoop 

If you want to professionally set this hula hoop course up, create colorful signs that are assigned to each hula hoop station! 

#5 Laundry Basket Bean Bag Toss

Set up time: 5 minutes

Objective: Child to get the most bean bags in the laundry basket wins the round

Although an easy game to set up, this challenge can get competitive pretty quickly. Set up two laundry baskets on each side of the room and give each child the same amount of beans bags to toss. Additionally, join in on the competition by challenging your kiddo to a laundry basket bean bag toss! 

Here are a few alternatives to beans bags:

  • Stuffed animals
  • Bouncy ball or whiffle ball
  • Soft toys

This laundry basket bean bag toss can be combined with other indoor obstacle games that we have mentioned.

We hope these obstacle courses for kids spark a bunch of fun playtime with you and your kiddos. By keeping them active with indoor activities, your child will strengthen their bones and muscles, while also boosting their imagination. For more fun activities and parenting advice, visit the Children’s Bureau parenting blog or talk with one of our helpful team members today!

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/children/index.htm

 

Reviewed by:

Ronald E. Brown, President & CEO

Dr. Ronald E. Brown has been the President & CEO of Children’s Bureau since 2018. He joined Children’s Bureau in 2000 where he managed the operations of Children’s Bureau’s foster care, adoption, mental health and child abuse prevention programs. He holds a B.A. in Social Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara, an M.B.A. from California State University, Long Beach, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University.

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