Staying Active with a Fun, Family Obstacle Course

family obstacle course

My goal has always been to keep my family active, but a no holds barred family obstacle course was not on my radar at all. Maybe you caught my reference to a family jog we took a few weeks back. We’ve kept at it, following a Couch to 5K app on some evenings and other evenings, just going for a stroll to the playground. My goals were to help get the kids in shape for track and help us get out and be active as a family. Unfortunately, the kids didn’t understand how running or walking for 30 minutes would help them win a 40M dash, long jump or shot put toss.

While trying to explain all my well-intentioned goals and reasons in a calm and rational voice over dinner last week, some how, the idea for replacing our “boring” runs with a family obstacle course took hold. (But only after I quickly ruled out buying them each their own personal DVD player to carry while they were running.) I sort of forgot about it until Monday when after a rough morning I found myself dreading an evening family jog. After a bit of time on Pinterest I found all sorts of inspiration for a backyard obstacle course. ‘Train Up A Child’ had some of the best ideas, so it’s the one I re-pinned but a quick search will locate many other obstacle course party pins, indoor obstacle course pins and half-naked people scaling walls in a Warrior Dash. (That’s just a heads up if your kids like to sneak a peek over your shoulder. “Mom, why’s that lady in muddy underwear jumping over a bonfire?”)

Before long, I was dragging pool noodles, ladder ball rungs, bocce balls, scrap lumber, hose from the pool pump, a sprinkler, four unconverted rain barrels and a partridge in a pear tree out to the back yard. And by partridge I mean a few stray chickens that kept wandering onto the course trying to eat the bocce balls and by pear tree I mean our cat who kept trying to attack Edie (because he knows Edie hates him). Seeing as I was no longer angry and screaming, the children helped me get the course set up. Once Tony got home, the Mantoan Dash was on!

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GO! First, under the disgusting yoga mat supported by the ladder ball set.

Next, over the rain barrels, however you can manage!

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Then, jog to the shot put area, clearly marked with a pole and tube from the pool, and hurl your bocce ball!

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Like. A. Boss.

Then zig zag your way through the cones. “GO TO THE OUTSIDE OF THE CONES! Don’t cut through the middle…NO…the out….forget it…”

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The only child not confounded by the zig zag.

Avoid the cat and make your way around the burn pile and across the balance beam.

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Finally leap like a drunken gazelle over the pool noodle hurdles before the finish line sprinkler rewards you for your efforts. Proceed to whine to the time-keeper about why putting only one foot on the balance beam should count.

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So for family time guaranteed to wear everyone out; obstacle courses!

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Right after the dueling wheeled zig zag portion, Tony and I took turns having heart attacks.

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6 Comments

  1. I am super impressed with your creativity and touched that you included Fulton and Teddy!

  2. This is AWESOME!! I’m a big runner, and sometimes the boys like run with me, but for them it gets boring. Your idea is perfect! A couple of summers ago I made a version of a Tough Mudder course but it was too hard for the younger ones. I think everyone could get into something like what you created. Way to go on the family fitness (it’s not usually a priority for h.s. families!)!!

  3. Such great ideas! What did you use, inside the pool noodles, for your hurdles?

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