Hi, I’m Trisha from Inspirational Laboratories here to share an activity for the Make and Takes Get Out and Play summer series! Are you looking for games to play outside? Kids will have tons of fun with our Follow the Numbers Obstacle Course. It’s easy to set up and requires materials you already have on hand.
Follow the Numbers Obstacle Course
My 6 year old and I thought up obstacles we could create for the backyard. He was imagining an American Ninja Warrior set up. I was imagining something a little more practical and doable with things we already had around the house. We came up with 9 different obstacles for the course.
To add an extra bit of learning to the course, I numbered the obstacles using cardboard from cereal boxes. You can rearrange the numbers on the course and your child has to follow the numbers to do the obstacles in a different order.
To begin, I introduced my kids to the obstacles. I asked my 2 year old to touch the number at each obstacle. Then, I had her find the next number to take us to the next obstacle.
We started with jumping squares. Stand on the box and jump from one cardboard square to the next.
Second up was the string balance beam. (You could also use a long piece of wood here.)
For the cup and bucket obstacle, they had to carry the cup of water to the bucket and pour it in. To reset this obstacle, I just poured the water from the bucket back into the cup.
Then, we had the box tunnel crawl. A simple empty cardboard box made for their 2nd favorite obstacle.
The squirt bottle knock over obstacle was next. For setup, fill a squirt bottle with water. The goal is to squirt water at the plastic jar and knock it off of the platform. My 6 year old figured out that you had to get close and low in order to knock it off quickly.
The scooter run was the next obstacle. Ride your scooter from one number to the next.
I created stepping stones with peanut butter jar lids. Step on the stones to complete the obstacle.
Jump over the golf clubs to compete the next obstacle. You can vary the distance between the clubs to make it more or less challenging for your kids.
Our final obstacle was the sprinkler. Cross under the sprinkler without getting wet. I made it pretty low to increase the difficulty of this obstacle. After the obstacle course was finished, my son liked to run through the sprinkler. Do be careful with running the obstacles while wet. Kids can slip and fall more easily.
Take a look around your house and see what obstacles you can create.
More Ways to Play with Numbers
- Go on a Number Walk – Grab a piece of chalk and head outside.
- Try a jumping experiment. It’s a fun way to practice measuring while getting moving.
- You can find 20 more hands-on math activities in our ABCs and 123s ebook.
Trisha is an educator with a passion for science literacy and mom to Aiden, Lily, and Elon. She’s the creator of Inspiration Laboratories, a blog dedicated to encouraging learning through creativity and play. Follow Trisha on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or subscribe to the Inspiration Laboratories weekly newsletter. Each issue has exclusive hands-on science explorations for children, a recap of our latest activities, and special resources selected just for you!