Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Parent-Tot Indoor Obstacle Course!

This morning while I was working, I put on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for Pumpkin and listened as they talked about obstacle courses. Memories of my childhood love of obstacle courses started playing through my mind until I decided that I was going to pass on the tradition to my 16 month old! So I started thinking about all the supplies I had on hand-toys, art supplies, features of the house and the skills I am working with Pumpkin on and inspiration took hold! Here is a simple obstacle course that parents can do with their toddlers. This course includes fine motor, gross motor, sensory, cause and effect and cognitive experiences all bundled together into a super fun activity that my daughter absolutely loved!

We started the obstacle course on her Minnie Mouse Train ride-on toy and went through the paper towel roll zig zag maze (I knew I was saving those paper towel rolls for a reason).

Next we walked over (or kicked over as Pumpkin decided kicking was more fun) the mega block mini walls.

Then we rode the big blue blanket over the hard wood floors...

...and stopped at the crayons and paper. I was hoping I could get her to draw a line across the paper, but sitting on the paper coloring was more fun. Which works just as well.

After she was done coloring we walked on the pillow balance walk.  This was actually a lot more challenging than it looks for her, but with some help from Mommy's fingers for balance, she got the hang of it!

Then we copied mommy at putting the correct colored peg into the peg boards. She watched me do one and she did the other. Her sorting skills aren't very advanced yet, so I pre -arranged the colors. Plus she was in more of a "running around" mood this morning. Perhaps well do more with obstacle courses another day when she is feeling more calm.

Then we ran to the stairs and crawled up together (Pumpkin has been practicing stair safety for at least 4 months now and is very skilled or I wouldn't have used stairs at all. As it is I allowed this activity only because I was right there the whole time).

At the top of the stairs we found 6 different sizes and textures of balls ready to be thrown down the stairs. I saved what I knew would be Pumpkin's favorite for last. She LOVED this-each ball bounced down the stairs a little differently and throwing toys down stairs usually isn't allowed, so this was an absolute BLAST for her. For added educational benefit I counted the balls as she threw them.

And that's our obstacle course. Pumpkin loved it so much we did it 3 times and had fun each time. Indoor obstacle courses can be a great way to combat winter "stuck inside" boredom. It certainly gave us a break from our usual routine (and I liked that I was able to incorporate several of the skills we have been working on).

What are some of your indoor winter boredome busters?