Exercise for kids is a tricky topic, as many adults believe that children burn off enough energy on their own. However, as kids have increased access to sit-down entertainment (TV, video games, etc), it’s very important to actively encourage your kids to burn off some steam. Obstacle course games offer an exciting, varied and challenging alternative to normal exercise, and can be built for kids of all ages.
The Physical Benefits
Many healthy kids have a natural supply of energy that gives them the endurance they need to complete an obstacle course. Whether the activity involves running, balancing on a beam or throwing a ball, obstacle course games for children are great for developing gross motor skills. They are also great for helping kids practice coordination and speed.
The Mental Benefits
Listening and comprehension are important skills for completing an obstacle course successfully. Obstacle course games - especially fun, creative ones - require kids to follow instructions from a teacher or parent, and recognise time penalties for finishing a station late.
Preparing a Course
Preparing an obstacle course for kids is easy particularly if you have moveable playground equipment. If not, obstacle courses can also be built in, around and over playground equipment and outdoor fitness equipment. Equipment such as climbing nets, rock walls, ladders, platforms, slides, rope challenges, poles, monkey bars and tunnels all make great ‘obstacles’. Courses can incorporate other parts of the park and playground as well and extra challenges may also be provided by asking participants to use different hands and feet, being blindfolded or timing them to complete. Of course, safety is always top of mind when setting up and overseeing obstacle courses and play on playground equipment.