27 DIY Obstacle Courses for Kids That Anyone Can Build


Obstacle courses are terrific for field days, phys ed class, summer camps, birthday parties, and so much more. These DIY obstacle courses for kids are easy enough for anyone to create. We’ve got indoor and outdoor options too. Get ready to show off your moves!

1. Pool Noodle Obstacle Course

We’re always amazed at all the ways you can use pool noodles outside of the pool. These inexpensive toys are usually available at the dollar store, and there are so many cool ideas for using them in obstacle courses for kids.

Learn more: Friday We’re in Love

2. DIY American Ninja Warrior Course

Child navigating DIY obstacle courses for kids based on the American Ninja TV show

If kids can’t get enough of the hit show, they’ll love this course inspired by the ones they’ve seen top-notch athletes tackle on TV.

Learn more: American Ninja Obstacle Course/Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

3. Dollar Store DIY Obstacle Course

Collage of DIY obstacle courses for kids using items from the dollar store

In addition to pool noodles, you can pick up all sorts of inexpensive items at the dollar store to incorporate into obstacle courses for kids. Don’t be afraid to be creative!

Learn more: Starts at Eight

4. Sidewalk Chalk Obstacle Course

An obstacle course for kids drawn with chalk on a sidewalk, starting with a grid of letters where kids must jump to spell out their name

Sidewalk chalk obstacle courses don’t require any special equipment, and they’re perfect for a playground or neighborhood. Add your own creative elements to challenge kids, and don’t be surprised when passing adults join in too.

Learn more: Sparkling in Second

5. Super Mario Obstacle Course

A collage of photos showing children running through an obstacle course with a Super Mario theme, as an example of DIY obstacle courses for kids

Video game fans, put down the controllers and jump into the action instead! This clever course lets kids feel like they’re living out their favorite game.

Learn more: Kids Activities Blog

6. Knight’s Jousting Course

A child riding a hobby horse and stick a cardboard tube through a hoop

Travel back to days of yore, and turn kids into knights as they take on this unique course idea. If you don’t want to sew your own hobby horses, just make paper heads to attach to broomsticks instead.

Learn more: Amy Latta Creations

7. DIY Water Obstacle Course

Little girl in a bathing suit running through a backyard obstacle course with sprinklers and other water features, as an example of DIY obstacle courses for kids

Every kid gets excited when you add water into the fun! Dash through sprinklers, jump into kiddie pools, and dodge water balloons to make your way to the end.

Learn more: Meaningful Mama

8. Rainbow Obstacle Course for Kids

Child setting up colorful plastic cones as part of a rainbow-themed obstacle course

There’s something about bright colors that just makes kids want to get up and play. This is also a terrific way to learn the order of colors in the light spectrum.

Learn more: Sunny Day Family

9. Don’t Ring the Bells Course

Toddler climbing through a hula hoop with jingle bells attached to it

Kids will need to move quickly but carefully if they’re going to make it through this one! Attach jingle bells to a variety of obstacles, and challenge little ones to complete the course without making a sound.

Learn more: Childhood 101

10. Nerf Obstacle Course

Child throwing a NERF football at a stack of colorful plastic cups

We love obstacle courses that include tasks to complete, like cups to stack or targets to hit. This one fits the bill perfectly.

Learn more: Toys ‘R Us

11. Snowy Obstacle Course for Kids

Child climbing through a hoop stuck into a pile or snow, as part of a winter obstacle course for kids

Winter doesn’t have to slow you down! In fact, snowy landscapes add their own special challenges to a good course.

Learn more: Paper Heart Family

12. Spy Training Course

Child climbing over and under strings taped to a wall, trying not to touch them, as an example of DIY obstacle courses for kids

Head to spy training school and learn to wriggle, duck, slide, and maneuver with the best. You can build a course like this one indoors or out.

Learn more: Spy Training Course/Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

13. School Skills Obstacle Course

Two children hanging up their backpacks on hooks on the wall

Getting ready to start school? Use this ingenious idea to teach kids skills they need to know, like hanging up backpacks, sharpening pencils, and more.

Learn more: Coffee Cups and Crayons

14. Backyard Obstacle Course

A map drawn on a whiteboard showing the plans for a backyard obstacle course

Tip: Let kids design their own DIY obstacle courses for each other—they’ll love it! Lay them out on paper (or whiteboards) first, then build what you’ve envisioned.

Learn more: Jac of All Things

15. Masking Tape DIY Course

Toddler walking along a masking tape line on a floor, as an example of DIY obstacle courses for kids

Grab some painter’s tape in different colors and plan out a fun movement adventure. Assign a different color of tape to each kid, then create paths that cross and separate, requiring them to really think about what they need to do next.

Learn more: Masking Tape Course/Hands On as We Grow

16. DIY Maze Obstacle Course

Child standing at the beginning of a maze made of CAUTION tape strung from stakes

Building a maze like this is fun, but if you add some obstacles around the various twists and turns, it gets even better!

Learn more: Our Curious Home

17. Indoor DIY Obstacle Course

A toddler completing an indoor obstacle course by jumping across colored plastic stepping stones

Stuck at home on a rainy day? Use what you’ve already got to build a course for kids to conquer.

Learn more: Celebrating With Kids

18. Backyard Wipeout Course

Child crawling over exercise balls balanced on inflatable rings, as part of a Wipeout themed obstacle course

This one is inspired by another popular TV show, and kids will adore getting the chance to take on similar challenges right at home.

Learn more: Mob Truths

19. Going on a Bear Hunt Course

Toddlers climbing through a crepe paper curtain strong across two chairs

Read the book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. Then, stage your very own bear hunt for kids to join.

Learn more: My Little Happies

20. Squirt Gun Obstacle Course

Kids using squirt guns to propel plastic cups along strings strung over a swimming pool, as an example of DIY obstacle courses for kids

This combines a bit of a STEM challenge with obstacles. String a course throughout your yard with plastic cups attached. Kids have to use squirt guns to move the cups along—no touching with your hands!

Learn more: This Grandma Is Fun

21. Apple Picking DIY Obstacle Course

Toddler stretching up to pick a plastic ball off a white column

This sweet little idea helps wee ones build their agility and motor skills. Simply attach red and green plastic balls to various locations along the course with packing tape. Kids “pick the apples” as they go along.

Learn more: The Inspired Treehouse

22. Balancing Act Course

Two kids balancing on narrow beams, holding a plate between them

Everything gets trickier when two kids have to work together to complete a course. Whether they’re balancing along planks or trying to figure out how to go over or under an obstacle without dropping their plate, they’ll learn important lessons in teamwork.

Learn more: Learn as You Play

23. Follow the String Course

Child following a string obstacle course maze, as an example of DIY obstacle courses for kids

All you need is a ball of yarn to create a course that will keep kids busy for ages! Create a giant web for them to follow. The only rule is they can’t let go of the string.

Learn more: String Obstacle Course/Hands On as We Grow

24. Alphabet DIY Obstacle Course

A series of letter cards hanging from a doorway spelling out the word "chase"

Sneak some learning into the active fun with this smart idea. You can add an alphabet aspect into any kind of course.

Learn more: How Wee Learn

25. DIY Mud Run Course

Child crawling through the mud underneath planks laid across hay bales

If you’re willing to get pretty messy, a mud run can be a real blast. Put on your oldest clothes and dive right in.

Learn more: Our Little Backyard Farm

26. Loose Parts DIY Obstacle Course

Child balancing on a plank of wood over a round piece, as part of diy obstacle courses for kids

Provide kids with simple items like planks, logs, and more. Then let them design their own DIY obstacle course for others to take on.

Learn more: How To Run a Home Daycare

27. In TRAINing Obstacle Course

Children working their way over and under a series of ropes in an obstacle course

This mom designed a course inspired by the TV show Chuggington, which is all about trains. If your kids love it too, then this is a must-try.

Learn more: Celebrate Every Day With Me

What are your favorite ideas for DIY obstacles courses for kids? Come share in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, Everything You Need To Know About Setting up a School Sensory Path.

What could be more fun than DIY obstacle courses for kids? Get incredible ideas to use inside and outside, at school or at home!


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