Keeping children busy when they need a break from homeschooling, or on weekends while isolating can be challenging during COVID-19 but getting them active not only keeps them physically and mentally healthy, but sport can teach them valuable leadership skills.
There are so many creative after school sports activities for kids to do at home and we thought we’d give you a helping hand when it comes to keeping your children busy. To set up more sports activities at home, download the complete Fitness at home guide.
If you’re stuck with how to decide what to do after school, in this obstacle course example, children will love the challenge of having to complete each task. You'll love the energy it can burn off and the time it will keep them occupied. The best part? You can build this one with things you already have around the house.
Obstacle Course Guidelines for Keeping Children Busy
Gather any or all of these supplies:
- Empty paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls
- Bouncy ball
- Kitchen spoon or ladle
- Kitchen tongs
- Bucket or other large cup
- Pillows or couch cushions
- Sheet or blanket
- Alphabet magnets
- Junky toys you get in a party goodie bag
- Spinner from a board game
- Toy that rolls (like a car, bus, or doll stroller)
- Bandanna or scarf
- Tape or yarn
Map out some space inside or in your back garden for your course - it doesn’t have to be a lot! Place a piece of tape, or a piece of yarn, at the “starting line.”
Pick a silly move your kid can do at the starting line to begin the obstacle course. A few ideas: strike a pose, do a dance, do three jumping jacks, spin around three times, pretend to be a certain animal.
Decide on some fun ways that your child can get from obstacle to obstacle. Some ideas: crab walk, bear walk, slither like a snake, walk backwards, walk sideways, dance, walk with eyes closed, walk with a book on her head, and so on.
Set up some bigger physical obstacles. Some ideas:
- Drape a sheet between two chairs, where your child has to crawl under or limbo under.
- Pile some pillows that your child has to “mountain climb” over.
Obstacle Course Set Up Instructions
Mix the larger physical obstacles with smaller ones for fine motor skills. Some ideas:
- Pile some marbles or junk party favour toys on the floor next to some tongs or a ladle. Now, at this station, your child must transport each toy or marble, using the ladle or tongs, to a bucket or bowl at the next station. Make it more complicated by having them wear a blindfold.
- Or, set up a jar of alphabet flashcards or magnets and have them reach in, pick one, and say a word that begins with that letter before they can move on.
Personalise these ideas for your child. Are you trying to work on numbers? Use a spinner from a board game at one station – they have to spin it and count to that number or do that station a certain number of times. Are you trying to teach the value of different coins or how to tell time? Make one station about identifying coins and their value, while blindfolded. Do they need to work on their handwriting? Have one station with letters to trace on paper.
Obstacle Course Tips
The idea is to make a course suited best for your child. If all you want is to burn energy because you’re trapped inside during the winter, make every station about spinning, crab walking, climbing, and doing jumping jacks. A is to make a station where a task is repeated over and over, like having them roll a pair of dice and do a certain move that number of times, or move a pile of something back and forth. If you have small hand weights at home, use them! Your child will be thrilled to get to use grown-up equipment in the game.
In addition, make sure you time how long it takes your child to do the course, because when they finish it, you can say, “Great! Do you think you can beat your time?”.
We hope this obstacle course will bring hours of entertainment while at home after school or on weekends. For more ideas on keeping children and parents busy, head over to this article.
Each service at Camp Australia develops fun activities tailored to the needs and strengths of the children attending. Sport is incorporated at OSHC to develop their confidence and leadership skills, and for children to remain healthy and to burn off some extra energy after the school day. To find a location near you, please visit https://www.campaustralia.com.au/families.