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Toy Store Pros Share How to Build the Ultimate Indoor Obstacle Course
by The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association   |   November 11   |   0 Comments
It's starting to get cold outside and snow days are coming. Worried about how to get the wiggles out while keeping the walls intact? We talked to the toy store pros about the best ideas for indoor obstacles. So you can be the coolest parent on the block.

First tip? You don't necessarily have to take the lead on creating the obstacle course. Kids can take turns creating, completing - - and if you're lucky cleaning up - - their very own obstacle course. Best part? Obstacles can be anything! From things around the house, to relay race style activities its a great way to flex those creativity muscles.

Use everything and anything around the house. Everything is fair game.

“Kids can jump over stuffed animals, balance books on their heads, and use large soft blocks to build tunnels or other constructions to maneuver through or over,” suggests Susan Adams of Wings of the Winds Kites and Toys. She also suggests coming up with fun ways to end the race, like sitting on a balloon to see who can pop it first.

Pull out the couch cushions, baby tunnels, stuffed animals and jump ropes to come up with all sorts of kooky ideas. Have kids arrange couch cushions on the floor and have them hop across -- and make the rule that for that section of the course no one can touch the floor. Or, using yarn and some chairs, arrange your own “tunnel” that the kids have to army crawl through to get to the other end.

Whether they are creating the course solo or as a team, kids will be able to envision their toys with multiple purposes and problem solve. The possibilities are endless.

Don't forget toys that lend themselves to indoor obstacle fun. Lewis Tigorath of Tipos Toy Box suggests trying Kidoozie Foam Pogo Jumper. Similar to a pogo stick, this fun device lets kids hop all over - - a perfect addition to an obstacle course that needs a little pizazz. Adding activities to your obstacle course can help make it more diverse and can be done in a relay race style so that more kids can play.

Tipos Toy Box also suggests bringing in kids' imaginations by including train sets and toy car in the obstacle fun. Kids can make their  favorite monster truck Evel Knievel over the couch cushion (instead of themselves) or have them arrange the tracks in a way that the kids can jump over them in a single bound just like their favorite superhero! Just don't forget the cape!

Making an indoor obstacle course is a great way to keep active kids active inside, and for the truly brave and adventurous kid Julie Marix from Homewood Toy and Hobby suggests a Flack Line Tight Rope.

“We had one set up for kids in our store and they loved it," said Julie. "It doesn't have to be high at all.”

The rope just has to be secured between two sturdy objects by mom or dad before kids can add “tightrope walking” to their obstacle course, but it definitely makes things exciting!

Bringing obstacle courses indoors can be tricky, but can combine the best of creativity and athleticism into one unbelievably fun afternoon.

And earn you lots of cool parenting points.


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