Indoor Obstacle Course
Get your kid movin' with this a-maze-ing activity.
- Course designers:Your kids. For crawling babies and toddlers, set up a miniature obstacle course with a few pillows. Let the older kids work out their own challenging course. Just make sure you let them know what items are off limits…like your antique lamps!
- Course competitors:Your kids. And hey, if you want to get in there and crawl around, that's just fine. Skip Pilates, 'cause it'll be a good workout.
- Course building blocks:Tables, sofa cushions, pillows, chairs, cardboard boxes— anything sturdy and unbreakable that the kids can crawl under, over or through.
- Extra challenge materials:To make it tougher on bigger kids, add jump ropes, balls, laundry to fold—anything they can do mid-course.
- Stopwatch or clock:So the kids can time themselves completing the course.
- Timer:That'd be you!
- Pick a room for your kid to use to build his course in (in other words, to utterly decimate) like a rec room or, if you're a chill mom and don't mind the sight of your sofa being used as a trampoline, the living room. Brace yourself for a mess beyond your wildest dreams (or nightmares.) You can clean up later. For now, try to ignore it...
- Help your child design the course by piling pillows, moving coffee tables, etc. Let him take the lead. If something he's attempting—like swinging from the light fixture onto the edge of the flatscreen TV— looks too dangerous, step in. Otherwise, let him run wild.
- Once the course is built have him do a test run to make sure it flows well and is challenging, but not impossible.
- Then pull out your stopwatch and have him go for it. Encourage him from the sidelines.
- When he finishes the first round, record his time, then have him run the course again to see if he can beat his personal best.
- Get him to do the course as many times as he can. Tire him out enough and you may get him to bed extra early!
- If he seems discouraged, encourage your kid to stick with it. If he's melting down into hysterics, however, either make the course easier or just bag the idea altogether.
- Finally, get your kid to help you clean up. Make sure he has a little energy left to replace all the pillows, tables, etc. Reorganizing the living room solo is not what you want to be doing at the end of a tiring day of parenting.
- This is a great activity for siblings to do together. Keeps both kids occupied at once. Imagine that! Just make sure the course is age-appropriate for all of the participants.