Backyard obstacle challenge

Backyard obstacle challenge

We all know how much our children need exercise! Not only does it develop their muscle strength, coordination and control, but if they don’t get the chance to be regularly active, they can start to get a little stir crazy.

So, if you are running out of ideas for things to do in your own backyard, we have a challenge for your child: the backyard obstacle course.

Setting up the obstacle course is half the fun. The best part is that you can use whatever you have at hand to do it. You really can use anything!

To get started, ask your child to help you to hunt for things like sticks, rocks, plant pots, outdoor furniture, some rope, an old sheet or blanket, a broom or rake and you can start creating your special backyard challenge.

Next map out where your course is going to run and then work out the best places for your obstacles. Here are some ideas:


  • You can lay some sticks on the ground for your child to jump or hop over.
  • You could also turn two empty plant pots upside down with a stick or broom balanced on top to jump or step over.


  • A sheet on the ground or some outdoor chairs are perfect obstacles to crawl under.


  • You can set up obstacles balancing on a garden bed edge or a fallen log.
  • If you have a rope, you can lay it on the ground to safely balance on if your child is younger. You can even get your child to balance on one leg, and then balance on the other.

Running, walking and rolling

  • Get your child to climb up and down any outdoor steps.
  • Ask your child to run from one point in the garden to another – you can mark the points with a marker such as a piece of cloth or an upturned bucket.
  • Draw a ‘wavy’ or ‘zig zagged’ line in the dirt for your child to walk along.
  • Find a grassy hill to roll down or they can roll along the lawn.

Other obstacles

  • Lay two parallel sticks on the ground. Stand behind one and throw a rock over the other one (but make sure there is nothing on the other side that the rock can damage!).
  • Prop up or hold a broom or rake for children to limbo under.

That’s our ideas – what are yours? Let your (and your child’s) imagination run wild. Once you have created your course, get them ready, set and then GO! (You can even time it, so they can beat that time next time around.)