Human Performance and Rehabilitation Centers, Inc.

Play At Home: Sidewalk Chalk Obstacle Course

Sidewalk chalk is a magic tool for every therapist, teacher, and parent alike. Whether you are learning letters, drawing artwork, or just drawing a hopscotch board – sidewalk chalk can keep your kiddos busy for hours! Have you seen all of the chalk art challenges that are on social media during the quarantine? Well, we have a new challenge for you! Use your sidewalk chalk to build an obstacle course for your kids! Here are a few ideas on how to make this an effective exercise activity to promote milestone achievement in your child:

1. Build a bridge or balance beam

Challenge your child to walk across the bridge (don’t fall off, the floor is lava!), or if gymnastics is more of their style, create a colorful balance beam! Having your child simulate walking across a balance beam is a great way to challenge their balance in encourage tandem stance walking.

2. Hopping

Hopping and jumping is a great exercise for kids in so many ways. This is where you can get creative! Depending on the skill level of your child, some ideas for hopping include two feet jumps from color to color, single leg jumps with one foot on purple and one foot on pink, frog hops to each “lilly pad”, etc. Here you see Ellie using both feet to hop and “stomp” out each color as she hops along the course.

3. Bear Crawls

This is another exercise where you can get very creative! I asked Ellie to choose two shapes – one for her hands and one for her feet. The shapes are a great cue for kids to know where to place their hands and feet for learning to bear crawl – which then becomes a challenging exercise. Make this more advanced by having kids jump from shape to shape (frog jumps) or spacing the shapes out further away so they have to go a longer distance.

4. Agility Ladder

If you’ve ever competed a workout with an agility ladder – you know how challenging it can be! The great thing about drawing an agility ladder is it provides so many ways to challenge your kiddo. Have them step over the line forward, sideways, backward to promote standing on one foot. Have them jump over the line forward or sideways to further encourage jumping skills. If you have an older kiddo, use this as a true agility ladder and try hopping in and out of the boxes, grapevines, or seeing how fast they can hop through!

5. Swirly Walks

This is such a fun way to send your obstacle course! Use your imagination and “walk into outer space” or to “the center of the earth” or anywhere else your kiddos creative mind takes them! The swirly walk will challenge your child’s vestibular system and make them a little dizzy – which is usually a sensation they enjoy.

Download the full PDF here!

Learn more about the clinician behind this article, Shelbi Moxley, PT.

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