How to Set Up an Obstacle Course

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This easy-to-make obstacle course is a great way to get kids excited about exercise.

Things You'll Need

  • Tables
  • About 24 Large Used Vegetable Cans
  • Tires
  • 4 Gymnastics Mats
  • Short Jump Ropes
  • Stopwatches
  • 5 or 6 cardboard boxes
  • 8 hula hoops

Setting Up

  • Place a short jump rope on the ground at Station 1.

  • Fill four or five large cardboard boxes with large (institution-sized), empty vegetable cans, bottom side up, for Station 2. Place these "jumping boxes" in a straight row 3 feet apart from each other and 10 or more feet away from Station 1.

  • Put a large gymnastics mat on the ground for Station 3. Set it several feet away from the jumping boxes.

  • Place a large (2 by 6 feet), sturdy table perpendicular to the direction of the course and at least 10 feet away from the gymnastics mat for Station 4.

  • Lay a large gymnastics mat across the table with the folds of the mat at the table's edges. Place another mat on the ground on the far side of the table.

  • Place another jumping box (or other sturdy wooden box) several feet past the table for Station 5.

  • Make a row of four hula hoops (or tires for more agile runners) farther down and in the direction of the course for Station 6. Make sure each hoop touches the next one.

  • Place another row of four hoops alongside the first row, nestling the rows into each other so that the end result is eight slightly staggered hoops.

  • End the course with another gymnastics mat for Station 7.

Running the Course

  • Begin the obstacle course by jumping rope 10 times.

  • Run to Station 2, and jump onto the first box with both feet, then jump onto the ground, then hop onto the next box with both feet and so on.

  • Speed over to Station 3, and move across the gymnastics mat any way you choose - crawling, inching like a worm or somersaulting.

  • Head over to Station 4, and climb or vault over the table.

  • Dash to the box at Station 5. Step up and down on the box 10 times using only one leg at a time.

  • Run to Station 6 and the rows of hula hoops. Place only one foot in each hoop - and don't miss a hoop.

  • Dash to the mat at Station 7, and do 10 quick sit-ups.

  • Take a breather; the course is complete!

Tips & Warnings

  • Use vegetable cans of the same size in Station 2 so the inner surface is level.
  • If your children have any condition that would impair or limit their ability to engage in physical activity, please consult a physician before attempting this activity. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

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