Motivating students to develop a life-long love of healthy movement and physical activity is just one of several unique challenges for PE educators. One opportunity to engage students in a unique and challenging lesson plan is to create an obstacle course. A class period full of agility and skill-building movements can be fun and an adventurous change of pace.
What Are the Goals of an Obstacle Course?
An obstacle course, much like stations, combines a variety of different skills and movements to create a larger challenge for students to complete. There are two big goals that your obstacle course creations should try to accomplish:
The biggest goal of an obstacle course should be to keep students moving and active for as much of the class period as possible. This might mean making two of the same course set-up, to split the students into two groups, or creating a longer, circular course so that students can keep going once they’ve cleared all the obstacles.
If you decide to design a relay, or have students compete with each other for speed, it’s important to consider safety. Be sure to go over each of the different obstacles and how students should use the equipment.
Skill-Building & Review
Obstacle courses are a particularly excellent opportunity to have students continue to build and review motor skills they’ve been working on in class. Students may be working on balance, throwing, climbing, jumping, and more all within a single class period.
Students who are struggling or dislike certain activities may also be more engaged during obstacle course lesson plans because they are completing many different tasks during the same time period. Even if climbing a rope causes frustration, they may really enjoy jumping over hurdles and the opportunity to do both can balance out any negative.
Obstacle Course Equipment & Ideas
Creating an obstacle course may require a little more preparation and set-up, but once you’ve designed a course, it’s easy to develop and change the individual parts to fit your students’ specific needs and abilities. Whether you set up your course indoor or outdoors, your students are sure to enjoy the challenges you designed for them.
Classic Obstacle Course Equipment
These classic pieces of equipment may already live in your storage space, but combining them with a little creativity can result in an engaging lesson plan.
Creative Tools for Your PE Obstacle Course
If you want to take your PE class obstacle courses to another level, there are high-quality mats and tools available from our online store!
Make PE Engaging and Fun for All Students
Looking for more fun ways to get your students moving all year round? Head over to the Physical Education category page to see what’s new. Also be sure to explore the Group Activities & Games tag page to find inspiration for lesson plans and active games for the whole class. The online store features thousands of teacher favorite products in one location, making it easy to find anything you need for your PE learning space.