Benefits of Obstacle Courses
- Obstacle courses provide a fun and creative way to support the development of sensory and motor skills.
- You can construct a course inside your home using common household items such as chairs, tables, boxes, pillows, and blankets.
Give your child the opportunity to design and plan a 4-6 step obstacle course to encourage motor planning.
- Brainstorming an idea facilitates ideation skills.
- Organizing the steps encourages planning skills.
- Moving through the steps and completing the task challenges your child’s motor performance.
Movement-based activities that include a change in head position provide input that stimulates your child’s vestibular system.
- Log rolling, jumping, somersaulting, yoga poses, or using a therapy ball to bounce on or roll over are great whole body movement ideas.
- Encourage your children to crawl over, under, around, and through obstacles.
Heavy Muscle Work
Including heavy muscle work throughout the obstacle course will provide proprioceptive input and complement the movement challenges. Include activities such as:
- Crawling or crashing onto pillows or couch cushions.
- Pushing or pulling heavy items can be a step in the obstacle course or part of set up and clean up fun.
- Completing different animal walks (e.g., bear, frog, crab, and penguin).
Include activities that challenge your child’s balance during the obstacle course such as:
- Walking over pillows or on uneven surfaces.
- Balancing on a pillow.
- Making your own balance beam with a rolled up towel or tape on the ground.
- Hopping on one foot.
- Walking with eyes closed (if safe).
- Include a theme for the obstacle course such as pirates, princess, or pretend the floor is lava.
- Incorporate fine and visual motor skills, such as having your child write or draw a list of the steps, complete a block design as part of the obstacle course, or throw bean bags into a bucket.
- Encourage speech and language skills with concepts such as around, under, and over.
- Remember to label steps as you go.
At CPT, we provide one-on-one therapy services for children in the Fairfield, Westport, and Wallingford, CT areas. We are here to assist if your child has sensory issues, poor coordination, or clumsiness. Do not hesitate to reach out to us to learn more bout our therapy options.