GREAT FOR DEVELOPMENT, EXERCISE AND FUN!
An obstacle course is a fun activity that doubles as a functional exercise to enhance your child’s motor and sensory skills. It is also great fun for the whole family, a playdate, or a birthday party! Let’s learn what areas we can improve in our children’s life with obstacle course fun!
• Sequencing and Memory: Obstacle courses can teach your child to sequence a multi-step activity as well as challenge their memory by progressively increasing the demands of the activity. Start with writing down the steps of the obstacle course on a piece of paper or dry erase board and transition into memorizing the steps without writing down the sequence. In addition, you can increase the number of steps as your child’s sequencing and memory skills improve!
• Sensory Input: Within the course, you can incorporate various activities to provide multiple sensory inputs! Activities provide proprioceptive (deep pressure), vestibular movements, including linear (up and down), saggital (side to side) and rotary (spinning).
• Strengthening and Balance: There are multiple activities you can incorporate within an obstacle course to provide opportunities to build your child’s strength.
• Motor Planning: Obstacle courses provide a great opportunity for your child to improve motor planning (jumping rope, crab walks, hopscotch, etc.) as a transitional step to get from one location to the next or to deliver a puzzle piece to the puzzle.
• Bilateral Coordination: You can incorporate steps that challenge your child’s bilateral coordination by having him or her climb across 10 monkey bars, play catch by catching the ball 5 times or playing tug-a-war.
Let’s have some fun with an obstacle course! Follow this idea or be creative with your own!
What you will need:
• Sidewalk chalk
• Hula hoop
• Jump rope
• 2 buckets filled with water, weight appropriate
• Scooter or bike
• Paper to keep track of time/score
Set up 5 stations in an oval shape around your yard and driveway. It can also be a straight line. Space the stations as far apart or as close as you see fit for your child.
Station 1: Draw a hopscotch
Station 2: Place hula hoop
Station 3: Place jump rope
Station 4: Place buckets
Station 5: Place scooter or bike
Have children line up at a station:
• Each child will take a turn going through the circuit and you will time how long it takes them to complete the circuit. The child with the fastest time wins.
• At station 1, kids hop on one leg across the entire hopscotch. At station 2, they hula hoop for 5 rotations. At station 3, they jump rope 5 times. At station 4, they carry the 2 buckets of water, one in each hand, to station 5. At station 5, they get on the bike or scooter and ride back to station 1.
For more information contact the Fitness Center of Thibodaux Regional, 985.493.4950.