Especially on cold winter days, it’s important to help children get a daily dose of physical activity when they can’t be in the fresh air. Indoor obstacle courses are a fantastic busy activity that builds up gross motor skills while stimulating friendly competitive play.
And they can be made simply with masking tape.
Start with a balance beam along the floor, encouraging your child to first walk toe to heel, then hopping along then at last walking across the beam with a block or small ball in a spoon to balance, cheering them along the way.
Then, extend your obstacle course with zig-zag masking tape lines across the floor, challenging your child to jump side to side then backwards. Or create boxes out of tape that they need to hop from one to the other, like hopscotch.
Aside from masking tape, if you feel comfortable with it, use couch cushions for your child to jump from one to the other. Or place down toy storage bins as either stepping stones or for your child to jump over. As part of our obstacle courses, my son likes to go “bowling” at the end, where we put down plastic cups as pins and use rolled up socks or soft balls as the bowling ball. We also like to use pillow cases to hop down the hallway or build mini sheet forts to crawl under in between the balance beam and the bowling.
Use your imagination, and ask your child what ideas they have, too! When I asked my son, he brought out all his blankets then asked us to help him lay them out across the living room floor, and we each had to hop from blanket to blanket, being sure not to land on the carpet. And he loves cheering us on! It’s great for your child to take turns and encourage others, so please do jump in on the obstacle courses.
It’s a long winter, and we need to shake our wiggles out, too!
About the Author
Angela Tewalt is a writer, storyteller and mother to two boys. She shares parenting stories and inspiration in Guidepost Parent.
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