Outdoor Activities/Problem Solving: Overcoming Obstacles
There are no obstacles to learning with this fun-filled activity!
- Grades: PreK–K
Skills: Children will develop problem-solving skills by moving through an interesting obstacle course.
- Balance beam
- Large cardboard boxes
- Traffic cones
- Large plastic "move through" cubes and other objects to be used to create an obstacle course
1 Set up an obstacle course outdoors with a variety of obstacles that require different physical skills. For example, set up a low balance beam to walk across, a tunnel or a large box opened on both ends to crawl through, and traffic cones or boxes to walk around.
2 Encourage children to use the materials to set up different kinds of obstacles that can be increasingly more challenging.
3 Lead children through the course using appropriate directional words such as over, under, around, and through.
4 Encourage children to find ways of moving through the obstacle course that are different from those of their classmates. For example, children might hop like bunnies through the course, tiptoe like ballet dancers, or crawl like caterpillars.
5 Later, hide assorted objects at various spots along the way as children move through the obstacle course. Offer clues as to where children might find these objects.
For younger children: Ask children to walk across a line of tape instead of the balance beam.
For older children: Use more complex obstacles such as a wooden bouncing board placed over very low sawhorses. (Supervise carefully.)
Observations: Can all children perform the physical tasks required? Do some children have trouble? Do children seem confident trying out new skills? Are some children hesitant? Do children understand the directional words? Do they have ideas for creating their own obstacles?
Back in the classroom, invite children to create a village. They can paint a large piece of cardboard and then place the houses they created on it.
Animal Tracks by Arthur Dorros
A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle
A House Is a House for Me by Mary Anne Hoberman