Outside Obstacle Course Ideas


Setting up an obstacle course outside is an easy way to provide your kids with fun exercise. You can create an obstacle course even with things lying around the house--like hurdles made from piles of stuffed animals--or purchase equipment from a store. Either way, you'll want to make sure to encourage a variety of motions, such as crawling, jumping, balancing and running.

Balancing Obstacles

  • Balance beams are a fun part of any obstacle course. Balance beams are easy enough to make with a few stacked bricks and a long board. For younger kids, keep the balance beam relatively low, of course--and make sure to test the beam for stability before letting children run over and around it.

Jumping and Crawling Obstacles

  • Obstacles that force children to jump around are a popular part of obstacle courses. For more permanent obstacle courses, get a couple of old tires and place them in a zigzag pattern for kids to jump in. For an obstacle course that you're only going to set up for a little while, this can be done with hula hoops as well.

    If there's a paved area, you can draw hopscotch squares to serve as part of the obstacle course as well.

Weaving and Steering Obstacles

  • You can use traffic cones or sticks to create a line of obstacles that children have to zigzag around. It's okay to let them run around the traffic cones, but you can add an extra challenge by having them ride a tricycle or a scooter around the obstacles or having them run or walk backwards.

Water Obstacles

  • Particularly on a hot day, a water obstacle might form the piece de resistance of your obstacle course. You can make a slip-and-slide if you have a hill, or set up a sprinkler at the end as a course finale. You could also set up a wading pool for children to run through.


  • Photo Credit Tom Pennington/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images
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