Skills kids develop on the Railyard Obstacle Course.

Listed below are some of the skills engaging in obstacle courses helps to build:

  1. Sensory processing

    • Obstacle courses can engage multiple sensory systems at once, which helps improve sensory processing skills
    • Types of sensory input and obstacle course activities to address:
      • Vestibular input: 
      • Proprioceptive input: 
      • Tactile input: 
      • Visual input: 
      • Auditory input:
  2. Gross motor strengthening

    • Obstacle courses help with full body strengthening including core and trunk strengthening which is important for the development of fine motor skills
    • Obstacle course activities that address gross motor strengthening:
      • Swinging prone on platform swing: core and trunk strengthening
      • Climbing large pieces of equipment: lower body, core, and upper body strengthening
      • Pulling/pushing equipment:
      • squatting to pick up items: core/trunk and lower body strengthening
      • And many more!
  3. Memory and Sequencing Steps

    • Obstacle courses challenge children’s memory; when steps are reviewed at the start of the obstacle course, children must remember the steps while completing the course
    • Obstacle courses also challenge children’s sequencing skills; when the child is asked to plan the steps of the obstacle course or recount the steps of the course, they are working on sequencing
  4. Planning (Cognitive)

    • When the child is asked to plan the steps of the obstacle course, planning skills are challenged
  5. Motor Planning

    • Motor planning, also known as praxis, involves remembering and performing body movements
  6. Problem Solving

    • When a child completes an obstacle course, they must problem solve to figure out how to navigate through the obstacles
  7. Coordination

    • Coordination involves using multiple body parts (arms, legs) together to execute a controlled and organized movement
    • Obstacle courses also challenge bilateral coordination (the ability to move both sides of the body together in an activity) which is an essential skill for many functional tasks
  8. Balance

    • Many obstacles that challenge balance can be incorporated into obstacle courses
    • Balance activities: balance beams
  9. Endurance

    • Obstacle courses challenge endurance which is the ability to sustain an activity for a period of time
  10. Fine Motor Skills

    • Fine motor activities can also be incorporated into obstacle courses
    • Children may write the steps of an obstacle course before completing the course
    • Puzzles or games that challenge fine motor skills can be incorporated into the obstacle course if your child is working on fine motor skills
    • Incorporating fine motor skills into obstacle courses is a great way to motivate children to engage in fine motor activities if writing or other fine motor activities are not a preferred activity

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