19 Kids Backyard Obstacle Course Ideas

With all of this modern technology around these days, from smartphones to tablets to endless other screens, it might be a bit difficult as a parent to get your kid outside to enjoy some fresh air.

Cries of “it’s boring!” or “there’s nothing to do out there!” can be heard in homes all over the country as we try to get our little ones into the yard for some outdoor time.

19 Kids Backyard Obstacle Course Ideas

So what can you do to make the outside world more exciting? Well, how about building your own obstacle course?

While we admit that this sounds like a bit of a long and difficult task, building a DIY obstacle course in your backyard is a great way to not only promote teamwork if you let your kids help, but once you are done it will also keep them entertained for days at a time!

Building a DIY obstacle course and a fun area is also not as hard as you might first think.

With just a little bit of inspiration and some basic materials and tools, you’ll be able to create a fun and exciting adventure playground for your kids outside.

Keep reading to find some amazing obstacle course inspiration for this project!

1. Have Some Fun With Tires

Kids BackyardObstacle

You might be able to get your hands on some used tires if you have a friend who works as a mechanic or who is good at doing auto repairs on their own.

Paint them in brilliant, eye-catching colors using paint that is safe for the environment, and then place them in the backyard (see also ‘How Much Sand Do I Need For My Sandbox?‘).

Children are free to pass through, on top of, or even beneath the tires depending on how they’re positioned around the course!

2. Add Some Water Fun

Create a do-it-yourself water obstacle course by hooking up your garden hose to some PVC pipe that you purchased from the hardware shop and decorating it with some pool noodles for extra flair.

You have the option of making the PVC into a straight run or you may add some corners to create a long corridor that offers more excitement.

Aside from a drill and something to help you cut the PVC to the desired length, you don’t need any specialized tools to complete this project.

3. Home in the Trees

If you are skilled with woodworking, you may construct a treehouse for children that includes ropes and bridges for them to cross.

A thrilling outdoor obstacle course that ends in your kid’s very own clubhouse suspended in the air can include elements such as rope ladders, netting, and even zip lines, among many other exciting challenges.

4. Wooden Balance Beams

Children can improve their coordination and self-assurance by using balancing beams.

You can pick up the necessary amount of wood at any home improvement store for pretty cheap, making this a good budget project.

You also have the option of spending a little bit extra and using your imagination.

Make it more difficult for your child or youngsters to walk across the balancing beams by making the path into zigzags or other forms.

5. Slide

Kids Backyard Obstacle Course Ideas

Sides are a must-have in any kid’s playground, so why not add them to your obstacle course?

Slides, especially plastic ones, are pretty cheap to buy in most toy stores or online, but you can also make one if you’d prefer.

You can make a standard slide out of anything you have handy, like wood for the base and plastic for the slide part.

You may add rock climbing walls, netting, or other interesting new elements to your slide to make climbing up to the top even more exciting and challenging.

Put the slide at the end of the obstacle course for a big grand finale to the course!

6. Bounce House Obstacle Courses

If your child is having a birthday party or event at your home and you would prefer a more temporary obstacle course for the occasion, then you can rent out a bounce house obstacle course.

As these have become so popular recently, you can find a huge variety of inflatable obstacle courses to choose from.

They come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. The good news is that there is also a selection of price points to choose from!

These stand-alone obstacle courses are fantastic for developing your stamina and strength!

7. Nerf Gun Fun

If you don’t want to let your kids have all the fun then get involved by adding some Nerf Guns to the course.

Lay up sheets, plywood, or anything else that someone (including yourself) might hide under.

Then place some Nerf Guns around your yard for the kids to find, and let the battle commence!

8. Sack Race Obstacle

Kids Backyard Obstacle Course

The sack race is a time-honored tradition at many parties. They are also an excellent means of completing an obstacle course.

You may construct your own sacks or buy new ones if you want to make things easier. Once all of the kids are lined up in the sacks, give a countdown and let the race begin!

9. Pool Noodles

You can build tunnels to crawl through, agility football feet, a ball throw, and even a ring toss with only a few pool noodles, which are available at any dollar shop, Walmart, or even Amazon.

To build the rings or any other obstacle, all you need is some good old-fashioned duct tape!

10. Cones

You can construct an obstacle course with road cones.

Cones are pretty cheap if you buy them online, as they usually come in a pack of multiple that will only cost a few dollars.

This provides you with a lot of room to experiment and develop new things!

You can make hurdles by attaching thread or even pool noodles to the cones and using them to toss rings over, or you can create a whole new and unique obstacle or game for your kids to try!

11. The Perfect Balance Challenge

The Perfect Balance Challenge

This works best if you have more than one child, or if you will be taking part in the obstacle course too.

The goal of this challenge is to achieve a perfect balance on both sides of a see-saw-like structure.

You can make a very basic version of this challenge using two cinder blocks and an old piece of plywood that you might have lying around.

Tell your children to find out where to position the wood so that it would allow them to both stands on it without causing either of them to fall over.

If your children have significant weight differences, this activity will be more difficult.

If you just have one child, give them the task of figuring out what they should place on one end so that it will remain balanced when they stand on the other end.

12. Add a Swing Set

If you don’t already have a swing set, getting one is a smart investment because it can accommodate your children as they become older.

These days, there is such a wide variety of equipment and accessories available that children of all ages may have a good time while also getting some energy and engaging their imaginations.

13. Tunnels

You can either make these yourself or buy them.

Tunnels should have a diameter that is large enough for your child to pass through without difficulty.

Make the tunnel even bigger if you want your child to still be able to fit as they grow bigger.

If you don’t want to buy a tunnel, you may make your own from big drainage pipes or other large tubing that you can find in hardware stores.

You may construct tunnels out of numerous huge tires, pool noodles, cloth, wire, plastic, or whatever else you might have to lie around your home or be able to buy for a low price.

14. Hop on a Tree Trunk

A Tree Trunk Hop is something that you may build if you have recently chopped down a tree or have many big logs lying around.

Your children will have a blast hopping from one log to the next if you get several logs of varying sizes and ensure that the bases are stable.

This is fantastic for improving their coordination and balance!

15. Rope Climb

Kids Backyard Obstacle

It is not difficult to construct a rope climb. Your children will develop upper-body strength as well as determination by trying out this activity.

Rope climbs can vary in terms of both their length and their height, and you can even have more than one at a time.

You may make the goal of the activity swinging from one rope to the next if you set up a series of ropes in a row.

16. Hula Hoops

When you can’t get your hands on tires, hula hoops are a terrific alternative to use because they can be put to a variety of different uses.

An agility course may be created by placing two hula hoops in a row. Crawling through them might be fun for children if you make them into a tunnel structure.

You could even hold a competition to see who can keep their hula hoop spinning for the longest amount of time.

17. Nighttime Time Fun

You don’t need to go outside during the day to have fun, add another exciting activity by completing the course at night!

But how are your children supposed to see? When it’s dark, light up a large number of glow sticks and use them to create trails and routes for people to follow.

You can also use the glow sticks to light up your obstacle course while it’s still daytime as well, so it’s double the fun!

18. Catch the Bugs

If you want to include some extra challenges and games in the obstacle course, then this is a great option.

Give each youngster a plastic cup or a mason jar. Whoever is the first to locate five distinct bugs and place them in their containers wins and moves on to the next task.

19. Cardboard Boxes

If you have loads of cardboard boxes from many online deliveries, then put them to good use in the obstacle course!

Children of all ages like playing with boxes. You may use enormous boxes to construct playhouses, stores, or whatever else you can think of.

Another fun option is to use the boxes to make a maze.

By unfolding the bottom and connecting it to the bottom of other boxes, you can construct a huge maze for your kids to run through and explore.


If you are looking for a way to get your younger kids out in nature, then buying a DIY obstacle course in your backyard or surrounding areas is a great idea.

There are an endless amount of obstacles that you can build or challenges that you can make out of just a few simple materials.

Try any of the above DIY obstacle course ideas to create a fun-filled adventure land for your kids!

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