Introduction: How to Build a Backyard Obstacle Course

Building a backyard obstacle course out of natural obstacles and objects in your backyard is a great way to have fun and get exercise. It will work both your mind and your body! After building the obstacle course, time yourself going through your obstacle course and keep trying to improve your time. Challenge your friends to beat your time as well! Please ask your parent or guardian for help when building your own backyard obstacle course! Remember, you want to have fun and exercise while also being safe!

*Note: Building an indoor obstacle course is also an option if you do not have a backyard. The process would be much the same.


1. Natural objects already in your backyard like trees, bushes, bird feeders, gas meters, etc.

2. Objects from around your backyard and house.

3. Paper

4. Pencil

5. Stopwatch or digital timer (smartphone).

6. A parent or guardian.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

Gather all the needed supplies that will become your obstacles, your paper, pencil, and stopwatch. Don't forget your parent or guardian!

Step 2: Plan Out Your Obstacle Course

Plan out your obstacle course on a piece of paper by making a rough picture of your backyard and obstacles you want to challenge yourself with. Your obstacle course should take up most of your backyard. You will need at least 6 objects to run around to have the most fun!

Step 3: Number the Obstacles

Number each obstacle so you have an idea of the route to take when going through the obstacle course. Start numbers at 1, then 2, and so on until you have all the obstacles labeled.

Step 4: Draw the Course Path

Now that you have your picture diagram on paper, using your pencil, draw a path that you must follow to complete the obstacle course making sure you go around, through, or over all of your obstacles.

Step 5: Place Your Starting and Finishing Line

Any good obstacle course has to have a good starting line and finishing line. Place the starting and finishing line (circled above) in a way that the obstacle course is the longest length. This will help you time yourself by having a starting and finishing line!

Step 6: Creative Moves!

To make it more fun and challenging, when going from one obstacle to the next, pick a crazy way to move. For example, you might bear crawl from the starting line to the first obstacle (circled above). Have a crazy way to move between at least 3 of the objects to maximize the fun!

Step 7: Set Up Your Obstacle Course

Now that you have your obstacle course designed and your obstacles ready, now the work begins setting up the obstacles in your yard. With your parents or guardians help, move the obstacles you found in the yard and around the house to the designed areas as you planned in the diagram you drew. Now the real fun begins!

Step 8: Let's Warm Up!

It's always a good idea to stretch and warm up your muscles (see above picture) before doing any physical exercise or activity to prevent injuries. So bend down and touch your toes, raise your arms above your head, and do a few jumping jacks for a few minutes before running through your obstacle course.

Step 9: Ready at the Starting Line!

Now that you're warmed up, get to your starting line! Have your parent or guardian, say 3...2...1...GO! and you will run through your obstacle course as fast as possible. Don't forget your creative moves on at least 3 of your obstacles. Don't forget to start the timer on the word GO! and stop it the moment you cross the finish line.

Step 10: Beat Your Time

Now that you have run your obstacle course for the first time, it's time to start running it over and over to keep beating your previous best times. Have fun and keep challenging yourself and your friends!