Have trouble coming up with ideas to engage your students? A sensory play obstacle course is a super way to grab their attention and keep them entertained for hours all whilst exploring their senses and practicing those important motor skills. We’ve gathered 50 of the best sensory obstacle course ideas for you to pick and choose from to create your very own. Read on and pick out 5-10 ideas to use with your class!
1. Pool Noodle Tunnel
Use pool noodles to create tunnels to crawl through. Make the tunnel even more fun and creative by covering each arch with different fabrics for the perfect sensory input activity. Your kids will love crawling through the tunnel and feeling new textures.
Learn more: A Little Pinch of Perfect
Use wickets to get your kiddos picking up those feet and jumping around! To make the wickets even more fun for them, create different patterns and/or challenges like hopping over the wickets on one foot. Or, one foot, two feet, one foot. Or, zig-zag!
Learn more: The Artful Parent
3. Hula Hoop Jumping
Why not use hula hoops to spice up your obstacle course? Use them to create different patterns to either jump through or crawl through. For a bonus activity, you can put a hula hoop in a baby pool with water and have your kiddies jump into the hula hoop and out of the baby pool for extra sensory fun.
Learn more: Crafting Chicks
4. Army Crawl
Ready, soldier? Have your kids use an army crawl style to go through the obstacle course. A great idea is to use a slip n’ slide and have them army crawl from beginning to end in the water. This equipment obstacle is great for both coordination and sensory input.
Learn more: We Are The Mighty
5. Baby Pool
Create your very own sensory pool for inclusion in an obstacle course by inflating a baby paddling pool. If you have ball pit balls, you can put a bunch of them in your baby pool and invite your kids to hop through them, find items in the pool, or even sort the different colored balls!
Learn more: Organized Mom
6. String Web Crawl
Put your students’ agility and motor skills to the test! Use string to create a web for them to crawl through. Can they make it through without touching the string? For bonus fun, use different colored strings and set parameters for your kids based on the colors. For example, you can’t go over the red strings or under the blue strings!
Learn more: Entertain Your Toddler
Slides are a classic playground and backyard favorite and can add a whole lot of fun to your obstacle course. You can create a slide out of household items, use a slide you already have, or even better, set up your own obstacle course in a playground. Your kiddos will love this familiar and fun addition to the traditional play area setup!
Learn more: The Artful Parent
8. Dig for Treasure
Create a sand pit to bring a whole new element of sensory play to your obstacle course. Fill your sand pit with a bunch of mundane items and one piece of treasure (like candy or a new toy) and have your kiddos dig to unearth it. You could even hide something they’ll need for a later activity so that they have to find it before they can move on!
Learn more: The Imagination Tree
9. Basketball Hoop
Let your kids make the perfect shot with this next idea! Use a basketball hoop and have them practice an array of skills as a part of your course. Don’t have a basketball? No problem! Have your kiddos shoot anything into the basketball hoop- stuffed animals, bean bags, or even scrap paper balls! What a great way to add a little competitive spirit to play time whilst getting them to work on their hand-eye coordination.
Learn more: Ozswoosh
10. Bozo Buckets
Introduce your kiddos to the classic game of Bozo Buckets! Start by setting up a few buckets of water and then have your kiddies try to throw a small ball into each. They’ll have to accurately toss into all of the buckets before they can move on to the next obstacle in your course!
Learn more: Des Moines Parent
11. Water Slide, Slip n’ Slide, or Splash Pad
A slip ‘n slide is the perfect addition to a summertime obstacle course! Use a water obstacle to challenge your kids’ creativity as you ask them to go through the obstacle in a unique way, like relying on a bear crawl or holding a pose until they get to the other side. What a fun way to cool off!
Learn more: Des Moines Parent
Teach your kiddies how to play the classic lawn game of croquette! Use this fun activity to practice spatial awareness, aim, and coordination. They will love trying to get the balls through the wickets and you can make things even more interesting by using the croquet set to set up different patterns for them to try their hand at.
Learn more: Badge of Awesomeness
13. Small Ladder
Ladders are great tools for giving your kids a variety of skills to practice; making them the perfect addition to a traditional obstacle course. They’re a super way to help your kiddos with balance and coordination, as well as building confidence.
Learn more: Amazon
14. Hop Scotch
This outdoor obstacle requires little preparation – all you’ll need is some chalk. To amp up the fun and challenge your little ones that much further, incorporate a few coordination activities to have them practice using different hopscotch patterns. It’s perfect for a last-minute change of plan to burn off some energy and get them jumping around!
Learn more: Hands On As We Grow
15. Painter’s Tape
Painter’s Tape is another great resource for helping you design indoor obstacle courses. Use painter’s tape on the walls or floor to create different activities or pathways. You can set up a painter’s tape web in a hallway or create lines on the floor for your kids to balance on or jump over. The possibilities are endless!
Learn more: A Girl and A Glue Gun
Use simple household items like broom/mop sticks and chairs to make an over/under maze for your kids to go through. Tell them they have to maneuver themselves over the first obstacle before ducking down to go under the next. This weaving-like action is perfect for developing their spatial awareness and coordination skills.
Learn more: YouTube
17. Pick Up Sticks
This classic game and its variations are the perfect way to develop and practice fine motor skills with your little learners. For example, you could give them tongs to pick up small items to place in a bag or tell them that they can only use their feet to pick up the items. There are so many different ways to play this simple game.
Learn more: Tinkergarten
18. Add Wheels
Add a bicycle, tricycle, or scooter to your obstacle course to take the excitement up a notch! Your kids can use the wheels to get from one part of the obstacle course to the next in record time. This idea is a fantastic way to get them moving around in different ways and developing their skills on wheels!
Learn more: World at Home
19. More Wheels
Create secondary obstacles within your obstacle course for tiny toy cars! Have your kiddies “drive” their car around a track or mini obstacle course before they move on to the next section. This type of activity will help them build fine motor skills and is a favorite activity whether enjoyed indoors or out!
Learn more: Craft, Create, Cook
20. Frisbee Toss
Why not add a frisbee and a target to your list of activities for the perfect obstacle course? There are tons of different ways to include a frisbee toss: get your kiddos to aim it at a target or a hoop, toss it to a friend, or toss it into a bin. This idea is a super way to help them practice their dexterity skills, aim, and greater hand-eye coordination.
Learn more: Hillsborough County
21. Go Fish
Go fish! Create a fishing obstacle where your little ones will have to “fish” for certain items. You can use magnetic fish and a rod or you could place toys in a pool and have your kiddos fish them out with a spoon or tongs! It’s a game that will help your kiddos practice their motor skills and have fun trying to “catch” their fish in the process!
Learn more: Des Moines Parent
22. Use Nature
The natural world is just one big obstacle course waiting to be explored! Have your kiddos run a lap around the school or a couple of trees, roll down a big hill, or use natural landscaping as a balance beam. The world truly is their obstacle course oyster!
Learn more: PBS Kids
23. Giant Bubbles
What’s more magical than giant floating bubbles? Fill a paddling pool with bubble solution and have your kiddos create an enormous bubble using a hula hoop as they race through their obstacle course. They’ll be amazed at the giant, shimmering floating bubble they create before they move on to the next activity!
Learn More: The Bear & The Fox
24. Hay Bale Maze
Can your kiddies find their way out of a maze? Arrange hay bales into an intricate maze and let them navigate their way through it, to get to the next task! This isn’t just a test of their speed, but also a fun way to challenge their problem-solving skills and spatial awareness.
Learn More: Homestead Fair
Whack-a-Mole, anyone? Have soft toys or inflatables pop up, and let your racers hammer them all down before they move on. What a fun and hands-on idea to fine-tune their hand-eye coordination!
Learn More: YouTube
26. Log Balancing
Let’s do the balance beam—nature style! A fallen log is the perfect natural balance beam and will challenge your little ones’ motor skills as they try to make their way across. This element of the obstacle course won’t just be about speed- they’ll need to take their time and stay steady!
Learn More: Self Magazine
27. Leaf Pile Jump
Add a touch of autumnal bliss to your obstacle course! Gather the fallen leaves from your school’s grounds and invite your kids to experience the joy of diving in! As they leap and laugh in the dried leaves, they’ll hear the crunching, feel the crispness, and breathe in the scent of the great outdoors! What a treat for the senses!
Learn More: Kindergarten Readiness
28. Color Mixing
Brighten up your obstacle course with this fun, colorful activity! Set up a color-mixing station with primary-colored water and challenge your kiddos to make a certain color before they can move on to the next part of the course. What a super way to get them either using their knowledge of color or just experimenting to see how close they can get!
Learn More: The Chaos and the Clutter
29. Ice Age Excavation
Why not start off your obstacle course with a literal icebreaker activity? Freeze small toys or tokens in an ice block for your students to dig out in order to move on in the obstacle course. They could use tools to chip away at the ice or enjoy the sensory experience of trying to melt the ice with their hands.
Learn More: Parenting Chaos
30. Trampoline Bounce
Jump for joy! Set up a trampoline element for your obstacle course and have your kiddos do a set number of bounces or get them to bounce and create different shapes as they soar through the air. This bouncing idea is a super exciting addition to your sensory obstacle course that kids will just love!
Learn More: Playgrade Trampolines
31. Balloon Keepy-Uppy
Don’t let the balloon hit the ground! Give your children balloons and challenge them to keep it up high using only their breath or with a few gentle taps! This fun sensory activity allows kids to understand the lightness and unpredictability of the balloon while improving their hand-eye coordination. What a fun addition to your obstacle course!
Learn More: YouTube
32. Blindfolded Texture Walk
Heighten the senses with a blindfolded texture walk section of your obstacle course! Create a pathway for your kiddos using different textures like grass, sand, pebbles, and soft rugs. Blindfold them and let them walk along the pathway, as they identify and call out the textures underfoot. With blindfolds on they’ll really need to rely on their sense of touch for this one!
Learn More: Messy Little Monster
33. Feather Race
Why not add a feather race element to your obstacle course? Give each kiddie a feather and have them blow it across a table or the floor, keeping the feather moving without touching it. This light-hearted challenge is a fun and exciting way to help them understand the cause-and-effect relationship between their breath and the feather!
Learn More: Tots Play
34. Smell Station
Freshen up your obstacle course with a fabulous-smelling station! Set up a series of jars with different aromatic substances like coffee, lavender, lemon, and more, and have your kids guess the content of each jar based purely on its smell. It’s a playful way to activate the olfactory senses.
Learn More: The Chaos and the Clutter
35. Sound Mystery
Can you hear that? It’s your next obstacle course idea! Blindfold your kiddos and make a sound using objects that produce distinct sounds like a set of keys, a whistle, a drum, or a paper bag. Their challenge is to correctly identify the sound before they can move on to the next part of the course. How many will your kiddos guess?
Learn More: San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum
36. Texture Bag
What’s in the bag? Grab some bags and fill them with various textured items like soft toys, beans, rice, or marble then, let your kids put their hands in and try to guess the contents. This sensory game is a challenge for their tactile senses, so no peeking!
Learn More: Active Littles
37. Mirror Movements
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s copying my movements best of all? For this idea, you can set up a mirror and have your kiddies mimic any movements you do like waving a hand, jumping, or pulling a face. It’s a super way to promote coordination and mirroring skills as well as having a bit of silly fun!
Learn More: Happy Toddler Playtime
38. Musical Texture Mats
Get your kids moving with this fun spin on musical chairs! For a section of your obstacle course, lay out some differently textured mats and play some music. As it plays, have kids walk, hop, or dance from one mat to another and when the music stops, they should stand on one and describe the texture under their feet. This activity is sure to be a highlight of your obstacle course.
Learn More: Barefoot Kids UK
39. Jelly Slime Pit
Including a jelly slime pit in your obstacle course is sure to be exciting! Use a small container or paddling pool and fill it with non-toxic jelly or slime to create your slime pit and let your kids walkthrough! The squishy sensation will offer an exciting and unique tactile experience for all!
Learn More: Honey Kids Asia
40. Shake and Guess Jars
Put your little ones’ detective skills to the test with shake-and-guess jars. Fill some jars with different items like rice, beads, or water. Seal them up, cover the outside with tape or a bag, and have kids shake them to guess what’s inside based on the sounds they make. They’ll need to use their auditory and kinesthetic sense for this intriguing idea!
Learn More: Modern Homestead Mama
41. Taste Test Challenge
Put your students’ palettes to the test! Have them wear blindfolds and give them the chance to taste a few foods and guess what they are. From sweet fruits to tangy snacks, this game excites the taste buds and introduces them to a spectrum of flavors!
Learn More: Create. Play. Travel
42. Nature’s Paintbrush
Set up a nature painting station on your obstacle course to inspire some creativity! Collect some natural items like leaves, twigs, or flowers and leave these at the station with some paints. When kiddos reach the station, have them dip one of the items in paint and let them use it as a brush on the paper to paint a phrase or picture of their choice. This idea is a fantastic way to provide both tactile and visual sensory stimulation.
Learn More: Messy Little Monster
43. Bubble Wrap Path
Who doesn’t love to pop some bubble wrap? Create a pathway out of a strip of bubble wrap and let your kids walk, jump, or crawl over it as part of the course. They will love the popping sound and the feel of it underfoot! It’s a brilliant way to repurpose any bubble wrap you have lying around!
Learn More: Teaching Mama
44. Sensory Stepping Stones
Watch your kiddos hop, skip, and jump their way to the finish line with this next idea! Create stepping stones using various materials like foam, rubber mats, and fabric and as they step from one to the other, they’ll experience a variety of textures, promoting sensory awareness and balance.
Learn More: Amazon
45. Sensory Balancing Beam
Design a balance beam but with a tactile twist! Cover your balance beam with a range of different textured materials like faux fur, sandpaper strips, or spare pieces of carpet. As your children walk along, they’ll feel the changing textures underfoot, which will help them focus on their feet and enhance their balance as well as their tactile sensory awareness.
Learn More: Pinterest
46. Glow-in-the-Dark Pathway
Turn off the lights and turn up the excitement! Using glow-in-the-dark tape or sticks, you can create pathways, shapes, or even mazes for an obstacle course in a dark room. As the lights go down and this luminous, glowing visual experience is revealed, your kiddos bursting with excitement and raring to go!
Learn More: Learning and Exploring Through Play
47. Tactile Wall
Engage your kiddies’ sense of touch by adding a tactile wall to your obstacle course. Set up a vertical board and attach various textured materials such as sandpaper, silk, wool, and bubble wrap. Encourage them to touch, feel, and describe the textures as they go!
Learn More: Sensory One
48. Nature Bracelet Station
Challenge your kiddos to make some natural jewellery on the move with this next idea! Start them off with an adhesive tape bracelet (sticky side out) then as they move through the course let them stick on leaves, flower petals, and other natural treasures they find! This idea is perfect if you’re holding an outdoor obstacle course!
Learn More: Gryphon House
49. Musical Footprints
Step into a world of musical fun! Lay out a series of large footprint cutouts on the ground in your obstacle course and play a different musical note or sound as your kids step on each one. They’ll love the unexpected auditory surprises with each step!
Learn More: Edulepki
50. Feely Box Mystery
Recycle some old cardboard boxes for this mystery feely box idea! Cut some small openings for little hands into your cardboard boxes and then place different textured items in each box. As they move through the course and reach into each box to guess what the item is, they’ll be full of excitement and anticipation at what they’ll feel next!
Learn More: N Family Club