Winter is definitely upon us and with the cold weather here full force, you have to get creative to keep your little ones active and entertained. As it’s not always possible to bundle up in all our gear and head into the outdoors, creating this alphabet obstacle course for kids at home is a great way for your little one to expend some energy, learn and practice the alphabet, and have tons of fun!
This activity is a great one for those times of ‘expansion’ within our day. It is such a powerful way to structure our days for our little ones – alternating between times of ‘expansions’ and times of ‘contractions’. Here is a quick video explaining this idea and how you might choose to set up YOUR little ones for success:
Now back to the alphabet obstacle course!
Materials for this alphabet obstacle course are super simple, too. Your kids can be creative with just about anything you have in your home and of course, their imagination. The possibilities are endless!
When preparing your materials, I suggest you think of the activities that you want your child to engage in during the course. For this alphabet obstacle course for kids at home, I knew I wanted my little one to do some jumping, climbing and crawling. I also wanted to practice his letter recognition skills, and I knew that an activity using his name would engage him even more. This really helped sort out the course.
- Step stool
- Painters tape
- Paper chain links or streamers
CREATE A MAP for your obstacle course at home
Once I gathered my materials, I then designed my alphabet obstacle course for kids at home. While this may add to your already busy list of to-dos, I think drawing out a plan first will help with your set up in a big way. Since this is such a simple activity, we want to ensure that it stays that way! You also need to make sure your house has enough space for your little one to jump and climb.
With making space to move in mind, I took a few moments to move some furniture around, after I mapped out the course on paper. I am super cautious, so for me, this is an important step. My house is definitely one that has a lot of angles and corners, so making as much room as possible really helped give me more space.
FINALLY…SET UP TIME!
Area cleared: check! Materials gathered: check! Map ready: check. Now let’s set it up! I decided to hang the letters of my son’s name and then have him jump up and grab them. Next, he would place them in the right square (thank you painters tape!) of the course in the order that his name is spelled. I planned for this to happen before going through the course. This was a great way for him to practice letter order and also make connections to words like “before” and “after.” This was done as a small follow-up activity after he completed the alphabet obstacle course for kids.
I so love painter’s tape and it was definitely my best friend in this activity. Painter’s tape can be used for many other activities for your children, like this amazing zoom and sort the ABCs activity. It allowed me to create zig zag lines for my son to follow, and I even used some little lines to have him jump from one space to another. As this was an obstacle course, it was time to add in those obstacles! I added different items for him to climb and jump over in between! Step ladders and stools were such a quick and easy choice for this.
To add in the crawling, I would say streamers are the best. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any at the time and opted for some paper chain links we had made in another activity. You can easily repurpose other fun paper chain crafts or activities for this. Find some great ideas for construction paper activities here!
For the final stage of my alphabet obstacle course for kids at home, I used pillows. I placed them on the floor so that my guy could jump over the pillows until he reached the end of the hallway. To complete the first lap, he had to run back to the beginning and be ready to start again. Whew! My workout was done and now it was time for him to test it out.
ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GO!
What an incredible time my guy had completing this course. Each lap was a new experience, as we would mix it up a little with every letter of his name. My little guy loved this! As this was a circuit and these obstacles were repeated, we definitely found ways to get creative. By the last letter of his name, he added his own spin and instead of climbing his step stool, my little one decided to lift it over his head. It had now become weights!
As I mentioned previously, the possibilities for creating this alphabet obstacle course for kids at home are endless. There are no wrong ways to set this up and watch your littles shake their sillies and develop learning skills playing and giggling all the way. I couldn’t ask for a better learning experience than that!
Joanna is a full-time teacher and part-time mompreneur with a personalized and custom gift shop. She has a passion for writing and loves creating wonderful memories for her 3 beautiful children. As a huge fan of Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus, Joanna lives by her biggest lesson: “Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!” You can find her on Facebook.
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