My kids (like most of yours, I'm sure) have a TON of energy, so on rainy days they really need a great outlet to get moving. One of our favorite go-to activities when we're stuck inside is to create an obstacle course. We grab all of our gross motor type stuff, set it up in a particular order around the room, put on some good music and let them go-go-go!
The problem, though, is that my girls are super competitive with one another. Actually, Lena is competitive with Maggie, and she LOVES the reassurance that she is faster, stronger, and more agile than her younger-by-almost-2-years little sister. We're working on it, I promise. But for that reason, I always hesitate to set up or encourage anything that might bring out that competitive edge. As good as it makes Lena feel, it makes Maggie feel terrible.
For this obstacle course, I decided to add a twist. Rather than seeing how fast they could go, or how many times they could go through, they had to work together. I grabbed a scarf and turned it into a blindfold. They would lead one another through the obstacles.
Here's a peek at our course. The girls had to crawl under chairs, bounce 10 times on the trampoline, crawl through the tunnel, balance on one foot on a stool, walk a 'tightrope', go down the slide, and then travel around a loop in our kitchen in the little car.
For your obstacle course, you don't need to have all this stuff. Your kids can crawl under or over coffee tables, ottomans, or chairs. They could jump from pillow to pillow. They could ride on a bike or other ride-on toy. Look around and use what you have!
First I demonstrated by leading Lena through the course. I made sure to be very vocal in communicating with her where things were and what she needed to do. I showed how to move her foot into place or guide her head underneath obstacles.
Next I let the girls lead each other. I was always nearby, and helped encourage the 'leader' so that they could successfully navigate their sister through the obstacle course. I had to remind them several times that they weren't trying to go fast, but that they were just trying to help their sister through. They absolutely loved this activity! They led each other over and over again, getting better each time. I even let Lena lead ME through (leap of faith!) and she did a great job. They even asked for me to set the whole thing up again the next day!
I loved watching them work together. They needed a bit of help and supervision, but overall they did a great job coaching and looking out for each other. If you're looking for an activity to get your children to cooperate and work together, give a cooperative obstacle course a try.
This post is part of an awesome series of A to Z Rainy Day Activities (we were "O is for Obstacle Course") over at Something 2 Offer. Each day this month, you can find a great activity to keep in your back pocket for an afternoon when you're stuck indoors. To move straight through the alphabet, visit "P is for Play Dough Party," over at Life Over C's.
You May Also Be Interested In: