Get your Preschoolers Moving Outside this Fall
Our latest 30 days of fall blog post is from Britt at The Ankle Biters. This fun outdoor activity is an easy way to incorporate some outside time for your preschooler in your own yard.
When my son first started Occupational Therapy two years ago one of the first activities they worked on with him was an obstacle course. He LOVES obstacle courses. We set them up inside our house all the time and as often as possible I like to take it outside as well. He has Sensory Processing Disorder, any type of Occupational Therapy that we can take outside is a major win for him and me.
An Obstacle course can help kids work on gross motor skills. They can help with balance and coordination as well as planning. Living in South East Georgia it takes a little while for the Fall to truly hit. Our yard has lots of trees but we won’t start losing leaves for several more weeks. When it does happen, it hits us hard and our yard is a disaster.
Last year was the first time I came up with the idea of the Fall Obstacle Course. I was outside raking our yard (constantly) and realized I needed to keep my son occupied so I could get it done. We are homeschooling Pre-K this year and we will be setting up lots of Fall Obstacle Courses. Here are a few ideas that we use when doing a Fall Obstacle Course in our Homeschool Pre-K.
Fall Obstacle Course Ideas
1) Leaf Piles– This one is pretty obvious but what I try to do is rake the piles in different sections and then he has to weave in and out of the piles.
2) Fallen Branches– We always look for some fallen branches to use as something to jump over. We set them up as a ladder sometimes and he has to jump over them and into each section.
3) Raking– Sometimes to start off the obstacle course he will have to rake a small amount of leaves into a bucket, then he must carry the bucket with him through the course and dump it out on the other side.
4) Leaf Bags– Heavy work is a good thing for my son so we often look for these types of activities for him but it can work for any child. Have your child grab the leaf bag and move it several feet as a way to finish or end the course.
5) Acorn Collection– Another way we add to the obstacle course is by having him fill a small cup or bucket with some acorns or pinecones. We generally choose a number he must put in so that he can work on some counting skills as well.
Obstacle Course Activities
Here is what a typical obstacle course could look like for us . . .
Option 1: Take an empty bucket in your hand, weave through the large leaf piles and pick out a red, a green and a yellow leaf to put in your bucket. At the end of the leaf piles there are six sticks laid out on the ground like a ladder. You must jump over each stick. After the sticks you can dump out your three leaves, put your bucket next to them and run to pick up your rake. Rake a pile of leaves the size of a baseball and then run and touch the leaf bag.
Option 2: Start out by filling your bucket with 10 acorns. Then you must carry those acorns over to the largest leaf pile and jump in it. After jumping in the leaf pile you must find 4 sticks and make a square for the leaf bag to be put in. Then put the leaf bag in your square and you are done.
Be Creative with your Obstacles
There are hundreds of options for these outdoor fall obstacle courses but you will see what your child likes and what they don’t like. We have a swing set in our yard that I almost always incorporate in the actual obstacle course but its certainly not necessary. There are also many ways to include learning. Sometimes we will bring a piece of paper out with us as well and add things like writing his name as a step in the obstacle course. This can be easily done with chalk as well.
Its Preschool so its really ok to think simple, they will still love doing something new and different! Want to take your kids out of the yard? Find inspiration for taking them on a simple nature walk here.
About Britt – PinterestBritt is a former golf professional who still enjoys golfing when she’s not blogging or chasing after her kiddo’s. They are a family of 4 living in gorgeous Savannah, GA with their 2 beautiful little’s. Their son is a homeschooling preschooler with sensory processing disorder and they love the life they chose after leaving their corporate jobs that allows them to be present with their kid’s daily. You can find Britt blogging about homeschooling and small business ownership over at The Ankle Biters Blog or follow her on for some visual inspiration.
Looking for some more inspiration for outdoor activities? Check out this easy and fun nature art project.