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Preschool Obstacle Course

written by: Sharon Dominica • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 9/11/2012

Bored of the same obstacle course? Here are some brand new ideas for an obstacle course for preschool children that you can use in your classroom.

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    An obstacle course for preschool is a popular game where the teacher sets up a course that requires several physical activities like walking, climbing, crawling and maintaining balance, and children cross all of these obstacles to reach the end of the course. The game is not about the end result, but about the fun of facing and conquering the obstacle course. For preschool children, encountering obstacles is fun because they are developing physical skills at this age. The obstacle course gives them an opportunity to test new skills and understand more about their physical abilities.

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    Materials for the Obstacle Course:

    Here are just a few ideas for things that you can use to make an obstacle course for preschool children:

    • Tables
    • Chairs
    • Stools
    • Benches
    • Rugs and carpets draped on furniture to make tunnels
    • Graded stools arranged to make stairs
    • Trampoline
    • Inflatable pools filled with water or sand
    • Toy slide
    • Bean bags
    • Balance boards
    • Rice scattered on the floor
    • Tires
    • Tubes

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    Variations on the Obstacle Course

    With a traditional obstacle course for preschool children, students usually have their hands free to be able to use them for climbing and other activities. If your obstacle course is too easy, here are some twists you can add to make it more interesting for the children:

    Ending with a countdown: End the obstacle course with a really fun activity like jumping on a trampoline, or swinging on a swing. When the child reaches the end of the course, the class counts down from 10 to 1 and the child jumps 10 times, or is swung by the teacher 10 times. This gets the class involved in what the other child is doing, and is also a good way to learn backward counting.

    Lemon and spoon obstacle course: In this variation, the child has to balance a lemon on the spoon and hold it in their hand or mouth as they complete the obstacle course.

    Water on a tray obstacle course: In this variation the child has to balance a plastic glass of water kept on a tray, and carry it through the obstacle course without dropping the water.

    Crawling obstacle course: In this variation, the child is not allowed to stand, but needs to crawl through the entire obstacle course. You can also tie the feet together to make it even harder.

    Timed obstacle course: In this variation, the child is given a specific amount of time to complete the obstacle course. You can use a timer with an alarm for this. Another alternative is to get the rest of the class to count till 30 or 20 depending on how much time you want to give the child.

    Here's a fire safety variation to the obstacle course you can read about.

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    Some Precautions:

    Obstacle courses can sometimes be rough and dangerous, so do make sure that it is safe. Test the strength of all the parts of the obstacle course before the children try it. Don’t allow too many children to be on the course at the same time, as it can cause accidents. Ensure that kids are not pulling or pushing during the game. Keep the atmosphere fun, and non competitive.

    Hope these ideas were useful to you. All the best for setting up your own obstacle course for preschool children.