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What Are The Benefits Of Obstacle Courses?

Obstacle courses allow us to tackle many different goal areas in just one activity! Find out the different ways below!

Social/Cognitive/Emotional Development:

  • Sequencing and Planning of Movements

  • Turn Taking

  • Following Multi-step Directions

  • Problem Solving

  • Initiation of Activity

  • Task Completion

  • Waiting for Turn

Gross Motor Skills:

  • Balance

  • Strength

  • Coordination

  • Motor Planning

  • Building Protective Responses

  • Timing and Accuracy


  • Proprioceptive input (climbing, pushing objects, animal walks, tunnels, crashing onto cushion, carrying heavy objects etc.)

  • Vestibular input (stepping stones, hippity hop, swings, hop scotch, balance beam, bosu, trampoline, slide)

  • Tactile input (change texture of obstacle course with use of tactile dots, shaving cream, bubble wrap etc. & put tactile bin at end of obstacle course to find item, foam/ball pit etc.)

  • Visual input (scanning obstacle course to collect items, tossing hoops onto cones, navigating in/around/under/on top of obstacles etc.)


  • Body Awareness: Navigating through obstacles helps improve a child's ability to understand where their body is in space to help develop coordination and strength and increase overall safety when navigating in different environments

  • Spatial Awareness: Obstacle courses help child develop proper spatial awareness by keeping their bodies a proper distance away from objects and navigating within obstacles with appropriate spatial relations

  • Safety Awareness: Obstacle courses help to build safety awareness in children by navigating through different surfaces and obstacles using appropriate and safe body movements to prevent getting hurt

Fine Motor Skills:

  • Therapists can sneak fine motor skills into an obstacle course in order to work on refined fine motor skills in a fun, interactive way!

  • For example, a child can crawl through a tunnel to retrieve a bead then sit on the bosu to string together the bead and bear walk to return to beginning. A child may see this as more engaging than sitting down to string beads.

DISCLAIMER: The content in this blog should not be used in place of medical advice/treatment and is solely for informational purposes. All activities/exercises posted in this blog should be performed with adult supervision, caution, and at your own risk. Big Leaps, LLC is not responsible for any injury while performing an activity/exercise that has been posted on this blog. If you have any information on the content of our blog, feel free to contact us at


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