Obstacle course

3-5 years
Child Development
Vocabulary: location words (e.g. through, over, under, on, beside); map drawing and labelling; pretend play
Cardboard box
Pool noodle
Physical Activity

Vigorous play (building strong bones and muscles); developing movement skills (body and spatial awareness)

How to Play
  1. Set up an obstacle course with the children and talk about all the ways of moving through it (e.g. crawl under a chair, jump over cushions, log roll along a towel, stand on and jump off a low bench, walk backwards along a rope, move around a toy box, crab walk across a rug, etc.).
  2. Read “Comin’ Through,” then invite the children to create an obstacle course and have them describe the movements needed to get through it.
    1. COMIN’ THROUGH by Anonymous

      Over, under,
      between, around,
      Lots of ways
      to cover the ground.

      Crawling, creeping,
      leaping, too
      Watch out now,
      I’m coming through.
  3. Have the children draw a map of the course and trace with their finger: a) their favourite, b) the easiest, c) the hardest, etc. route through it.
Change it up / Alternatives / Additional Options
  • Together read the poem “Condo Kid” and make a course to match the actions (e.g. down, up, over, under, between, through, around, out); call out the lines of the poem as the children move through the course.
    • CONDO KID by Sonja Dunn

      In our condominium
      Down goes the elevator
      Over goes the airplane
      Under goes the motor car
      Between goes the balcony
      Through goes the pussy cat
      Around goes the rainstorm
      Out goes the puppy god
      In goes Me!
  • Pretend to be a snake, a cat, a cow, or the mouse in The Little Mouse’s Trail Tale by JoAnn Vandine.  Design a course for that animal.

Excerpt from the HOP Early Learning Practitioners Resource (Decoda Literacy Solutions)