The Benefits of Adding an Obstacle Course to Your Playground

Playground obstacle courses can be fun and educational play spaces, helping children develop abilities like balance, coordination, communication and sensory skills. You can encourage learning and teamwork on the playground with obstacle course equipment like balancing beams, tunnels and ladders. 

Incorporating an obstacle course in a school or community playground also encourages physical activity, resilience and growth for kids.

What’s a Playground Obstacle Course?

A children’s obstacle course features equipment and elements that encourage children to work through various obstacles or challenges. Various obstacle courses encourage children to work together while having fun and helping one another. Children can also enhance their motor and cognitive skills with various obstacle course equipment and activities that promote climbing, crawling, balancing and communicating. 

Benefits of Obstacle Courses for Kids

Obstacle courses can promote fun and teamwork and help kids develop abilities like strength, speed, endurance and agility. Here are some benefits of obstacle courses for kids: 

1. Encourages Teamwork and Communication

Obstacle courses help children work through challenges and teach them the importance of teamwork and helping one another. Kids get to talk to one another, support each other through various activities and learn from each other. Obstacle courses also allow kids to cheer each other on, have fun and learn together. 

2. Helps With Problem-Solving and Memory

Kids can develop problem-solving skills when taking part in various obstacle course activities like climbing a ladder or crawling through or under obstacles. Kids get to find a way to complete challenges and improve on each attempt as they develop their memory skills. 

3. Helps With Coordination and Balance

Various balancing obstacle course equipment like an outdoor beam can help children develop their sense of balance, improving each time they cross. Obstacle courses also help children enhance their coordination skills because they have to use various body parts to move through obstacle equipment. Army crawling and weaving through obstacle activities encourage children to use their arms and legs, promoting complex bilateral coordination development.

4. Develops Motor Skills

Kids’ obstacle course equipment and activities encourage essential motor skill development, like jumping, crawling and walking. Developing motor skills from a young age is vital in helping children perform activities like playing sports and climbing up stairs. 

5. Helps With Strength and Agility

Children use various muscles and body groups when playing on obstacle course equipment. They jump over hurdles, climb up nets and weave through strings to develop their strength and agility.

6. Promotes Physical Activity

One of the essential elements of obstacles is that kids get to move every part of their body, encouraging exercising and learning through play. 

7. Promotes Growth and Resilience 

Obstacles courses encourage kids to try various challenging activities over and over until they get better, which teaches them the importance of resilience and promotes mental and physical growth. 

Children’s Obstacle Course Ideas

You can create fun, challenging and educational obstacle course activities using materials like tape, rope and buckets at schools or community parks. Here are some DIY obstacle course ideas for schools and community playgrounds: 

Adventure Tunnels

You can use pool noodles to create colorful tunnels for children to crawl under, challenging their motor skills. Place tunnels in different directions and angles so kids can turn and wiggle their bodies in different directions. 

Balancing Beams

You can use chalk or tape to create a line for kids to walk across, helping them develop their coordination and balancing skills. 

Treasure Hunts

Use your school or community park sand pit or use an inflatable pool to create a sandbox. Hide various toys and prizes in the sand so children can have fun navigating through the sand and digging up treasure pieces. 

Over and Under Hurdles 

Use pool noodles or plastic broomsticks to create hurdles for children to carefully weave under or climb over, helping them develop their agility skills. 

Hula Hoop and Wicket Jumping

Place different colored hula hoops in different directions and angles so children can jump from one circle to the next. You can also use wickets and encourage children to hop on one leg over each wicket to make it more challenging. 

Army and Web Crawl

Use string to create crawling obstacles and help develop kids’ sensory and problem-solving skills. Tie string between trees or beams and encourage kids to crawl under and over the string. You can create various angles with the string, use different string colors for climbing over and under, and use timers to see how fast kids can get through each string obstacle. 

Outdoor Obstacles

Use trees as obstacles for kids to navigate around. You can tie colored strings around various trees, signaling which trees to move around first. You can also play pick-up sticks, where kids pick up items like sticks and leaves with their hands or feet to help engage their motor and sensory skills. 

Basket Hoops

Children can throw balls, bean bag objects and soft toys through a basket hoop, helping them practice skills like coordination and throwing. 

Animal Walks

Encouraging children to walk, crawl or imitate different animals through an obstacle course can be fun and educational. You can ask them to walk like a crab or hop like a bunny through various obstacles. 

Musical and Light Signals

Use music and lights to signal when children should walk or freeze during an obstacle course to help teach self-regulation through sensory signals like sounds and color. Playing music or turning on green lights can mean children must start walking, and stopping the music or flashing a red light can signal they must freeze. 

How to Create a Permanent Obstacle Course

Add a permanent obstacle course to your school or community park playground. Obstacles courses are challenging and fun for children. Permanent obstacle course structures are durable, weather-resistant and challenging. You can add an obstacle course to your playground for school athletic training or incorporate a challenging addition to your community park. 

Obstacle course designs like circuits and weave structures can encourage physical activity, teamwork and development. Structure designs allow kids to crawl, climb and move all parts of their body and challenge their strength, speed and endurance. 

Learn More About Playworld’s Obstacle Courses for Your Playground

Playworld is passionate about creating dynamic and educational play spaces for kids. Our adventure series obstacle courses are durable and help develop kids’ coordination, balancing, agility and communication skills through play. 

Our obstacle course equipment can encourage fun physical activity and teamwork at school and in your community. Contact us online or request a quote for more information. 

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