Make an Obstacle Course!

by: Diane Flynn Keith
posted: May 31, 2005

Here's a way to get a little exercise while introducing vocabulary and concepts needed for reading readiness skills.

Make an Obstacle Course!

Use whatever materials you have around the house to create an obstacle course before you invite the kids to do this activity.

Some things you can use are: chairs, tables, rope or strong string, masking tape, scarves or fabric scraps or dish towels, large boxes, blocks, etc.

Once you've assembled the Obstacle Course, start the kids off at one end and guide them through it by telling them what you want them to do. Use terminology that will get them familiar with concepts such as in, out, over, around, up, down, and through.

You may start by having them jump from one scarf (or fabric scrap/towel) to another that you placed on the floor like stepping stones. Then, as they come to a large box that is open on both ends tell them to crawl IN the box and then go THROUGH the box . Have them walk ON or BETWEEN or BESIDE an S-shaped series of sturdy wood or plastic blocks. Then, you might have two chairs that are back-to-back and separated with a string or rope tied between them.

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Have the kids limbo or crawl UNDER the rope. Let them climb OVER foot stools or ottomans, roll ACROSS the floor, and hop AROUND the couch. Ask them to walk ALONG a straight line made with masking tape on the floor with one foot in front of the other, like they are walking on a balance beam. Tell them to climb UP the stairs, and come back DOWN the stairs.

If you think they are ready, you can introduce the concepts of LEFT and RIGHT as well.

You can rearrange the obstacle course and try it again as many times as you like. Let the kids suggest ideas for making the obstacle course more challenging. Have fun!