Are your children looking for a way to beat the heat? Then make an awesome obstacle course for them right on your lawn! This simple activity is something you can do together, especially the design and building.
One reason to consider an obstacle course is the physical health benefit. Obstacle courses get children moving, test their agility, and stretch their minds in various and exciting ways. Best of all, it can help them cool down during the hot summer months by drenching them with a burst of cool water.
To build your obstacle course, you won’t need too many items. We suggest the following (adapt as you see fit):
- Multiple pool noodles
- Small foam bricks
- Large pieces of plywood
- Several sprinklers hooked to hoses
- Buckets filled with water balloons
- Slip and slide area
All of these items are fairly inexpensive and easy to find just about anywhere, often in bulk. Pop into Double Edge, TC Christian’s very own thrift shop, and see if they have what you need. In your travels, you may even find one of those automatic water balloon fillers that helps increase the speed of your preparation.
BUILDING THE COURSE
Once you’ve obtained all the materials that you need to build your course, it’s time to design it. This can take up a whole afternoon and is something that’s fun to include your children in. This way, they feel like the course is truly theirs and may even have more fun playing on it. The basic steps are as follows:
- Design the course on paper before building it
- Use the pool noodles to create pathways for your children to run
- Place plywood walls around the area to keep them focused
- Position hills made out of plywood to challenge your children’s running skills
- Place sprinklers and water balloon buckets throughout the course
- Practice running through it a few times before they play
- End it with the slip and slide area
Once you’ve finished building your obstacle course, give your children an opportunity to ‘kick the tires’ and try it out. It may take a little time for them to get used to it, but it’ll provide them with hours of fun on those hot summer days.
PLAYING ON THE OBSTACLE COURSE
Once you and your children have built the course, it’s time to take a trip through its difficult paths! Children will need to crawl over blocks, wiggle under difficult hose locations, climb plywood hills, and avoid water balloons flying at them from the sides. The latter aspect of this obstacle course is perhaps the most fun part. Children love water balloons and will have a blast getting wet.
Spread sprinklers throughout the course for your children to run through or attempt to avoid! Building a sprinkler archway out of PVC pipe is just one way to increase their fun. However, make sure that they are being careful on slippery surfaces to avoid injuries while playing.
Building an obstacle course is a fun way to engage with your children and keep them active. While your obstacle course won’t be permanent or last longer than the summer, you can always put it up again next year! In fact, you can even create new designs to challenge your children and their friends.
Please share your pictures of your kids and their friends having a blast in your very own backyard water park!