Sanity Savers : Yard Obstacle Course

Presented by BlueCross BlueShield of WNY

By Julia McMahon
Lead Play to Learn Facilitator


Outdoor space
Chalk and/or outdoor items such as toys, sports equipment, rope, etc. 


Set up: 5-10 minutes
Active: 10-30 minutes

 Academic Subject(s):

This lesson supports your student’s curriculum: Physical Education Standard 1 – Health and Fitness


Step 1: Discuss or draw up plans for the type of physical challenges your child would like try. Examples include running, leaping skipping, jumping, jumping jacks, jumping rope, rolling, hop scotch, balancing, dribbling, passing a ball, squats, kicks, crawling, etc.

Step 2: Decide where you would like to play; on grass or on pavement. A grass obstacle course is ideal for activities like rolling or crawling that require a softer surface, while a chalk obstacle course is ideal for pavement.

Chalk Obstacle Course:
Step 1: Using chalk, draw up an obstacle course that includes the physical challenges you’ve chosen. Be sure to mark the start and finish and discuss the order of the obstacles.

Step 2: Make up a story to go with the obstacle course. For example, pretend you are an explorer looking for a secret cave. You have to jump from rock to rock without falling in the rapids. Then you have to tip toe over the ladder that hangs above molten lava. Next, you must complete the hop scotch without stepping on the trap door that leads to a pit of snakes. Then you must walk a tight rope over the spikes.  Finally, you must do 40 jumping jacks to reveal the opening of the cave!

Step 3: Complete the course!

Grass Obstacle Course
Step 1: Place outdoor items in the yard. Be sure to include the physical challenges you’ve chosen.

Step 2: Mark the start and finish and decide the order of obstacles.

Step 3: Complete the course! Tip: Parents, make sure you join in on the fun! Obstacle courses are great exercise! 


• Using a watch or stop watch, time how long it takes to complete the course one or more times. Try to improve each time!
• Pretend you are the announcer, like in a sporting event!  Narrate and provide positive comments as the other person completes each section of the course.  

For more Sanity Savers projects click here!

Field trips are back! Please be aware that it will be busier than usual.