Here’s a Valentine themed obstacle course that kids will love! It’s super easy to set up and will keep kids occupied for quite some time while challenging their motor skills and body awareness. The first step is to string yarn in a crisscrossing pattern between pieces of furniture. Your kids will need to navigate through this “laser maze” without touching the yarn lasers.
Add another layer of challenge by hanging Valentine cards or other small items to the lasers with clothespins. It’s your mission retrieve the Valentine cards by pinching the clothespins to release the cards. Carefully maneuver between the lasers to deliver your cards to the mailbox. To make it even more challenging, tie jingle bells onto the string. Be sure to move slowly and watch where you’re going so you don’t set off the alarm bells!
This fun obstacle course encourages your child’s imagination and pretend play while improving motor planning and fine motor skills. When it comes to self-regulation, it encourages kids to slow down their bodies because they’ll soon discover that if they move too fast or impulsively, they’ll touch the lasers or set off the alarm!
This Valentine obstacle course fulfill its mission when it comes to practicing a variety of skills such as sustained attention, body awareness, eye hand coordination, fine motor dexterity, hand strength and self-regulation.
Your kids are gonna love it!
How to make your own:
Find any two pieces of furniture (chairs and tables work well) and cross cross Chunky Yarn from end to end. Use real envelopes or make your own out of adhesive foam sheets (pictured are plain foam and sparkle foams with decorative heart foam shapes). Use regular clothespins or chip clips. The mail boxes and banner were purchased through Oriental Trading and craft stores, but you can also make your own using a shoe box for example.
To increase the challenge:
- Place the clothespins up high to encourage overhead reach. Place them down low to encourage lower extremity squat or kneel to standing.
- Place the lasers low to the ground to encourage prone position or army crawling which strengthens the arms and core.
- Add verbal directions to improve spatial relationships e.g ” Get the pink one on the right.” Or “Get the blue one below the white one”
- Consider using different types of clothespins (Wooden clothes pins, plastic clothespins and binder clips will all require varying amounts of strength and dexterity)
- Require “pincher fingers” only (thumb, index and middle finger).
- Separate two sides of the hand by placing an cotton ball or other small object to be grasped by pinky and ring finger against the palm of the hand while the pincher fingers pinch the clothespin.
- Time the child to see how quickly they can complete the maze and successfully deliver the mail to the mailboxes on either side.
To modify or make it easier:
- Put up fewer items.
- Allow whole hand grasp and release.
- Make fewer and wider zig zags with the yarn lasers.
- Color the tips of the wooden clothespins to make it easier for children to see which side to pinch.