Little girl at top of slide before going down

5 Reasons to Install an Outdoor Obstacle Course

Outdoor obstacle courses are more than a fun playground feature. Kids can enjoy various benefits from playing on outdoor obstacle courses, from creating exciting adventures to developing their physical fitness. These courses are fully engaging — children can build upper body strength, coordination, creativity, balance, agility, and determination.

One of the best parts of adding an obstacle course to your organization is the variety of options you have to choose from and the way you can curate your play area. Courses can feature an assortment of components, from monkey bars and ropes to balance beams and gymnastic rings. Discover how an obstacle course can transform your playground below.

Why You Should Install an Obstacle Course

Playground obstacle courses add immense value in various ways. Explore five reasons to install an outdoor obstacle course:

1. Families Value Playgrounds With Unique Features

Families across generations value play areas. Playgrounds allow parents, caregivers, and children to socialize and form lasting connections. Installing a playground on your premises lets you build into the community by being an establishment that offers family-friendly activities. Outdoor obstacle courses fit various family needs perfectly, allowing kids of all ages different options for having fun and learning new skills.

2. Obstacle Courses Benefit Your Brand

Adding an obstacle course to your park, business, school, or worship center shows that you emphasize serving your community’s needs. Playground obstacle courses can also enhance your brand by increasing traffic and providing opportunities to partner with other businesses in the community through events and advertising.

3. Playgrounds Have Intrinsic Value

Play structures carry a lasting intrinsic value. When you add an obstacle course to your premises, you instantly have a feature that adds to the value of your property or organization. Families will always use playgrounds. A strategically placed playground with a unique feature like an obstacle course could attract visitors and boost the community’s engagement for years to come.

4. Obstacle Courses Develop Physical and Cognitive Abilities

Playing outdoors is one of the best ways for kids to learn and exercise. Apart from the sheer fun of enjoying the playground, there are also the many physical, emotional, and cognitive benefits children enjoy from obstacle courses:

  • Strength: Outdoor obstacle courses provide kids with a full-body workout. Playgrounds encourage different elements of fitness as children spend their time swinging across bars, climbing, and crawling.
  • Motor skills: Motor skills involve the muscle strength and abilities we need to accomplish everyday tasks and movements. Motor skills in childhood development range from small activities involving the hands, fingers, wrists, and feet to significant movements like running, jumping, hopping, and skipping. Playground obstacles engage these skills and help facilitate gross motor development in children as their reaction times, power, speed, and coordination improve.
  • Balance, coordination, and spatial awareness: Various playground components require balance, coordination, and spatial awareness, including swings, climbing steps, crossing ramps, and playing on balancing beams or wobble boards.
  • Problem-solving: Playgrounds may look simple to adults, but they’re a series of fun yet challenging obstacles for kids. This is even more true with obstacle courses. The child’s task is to get through the obstacle course, engaging their reasoning and decision-making skills.
  • Memory: When kids play on obstacle courses, they navigate their way through by paying attention, mind mapping, repeating tasks, and remembering different elements of the course. Children exercise their memory muscles by recalling sequencing information to know where to slow down, speed up, and jump.
  • Sensory development: Sensory play is any activity that engages a child’s senses. Playgrounds with obstacle courses are highly tactile, incorporating different materials and textures, such as metal bars, plastic swings, and rope.

5. Obstacle Courses Boost Social and Emotional Skills

Beyond physical benefits, obstacle courses can help kids build:

  • Social engagement: Children are drawn to exciting outdoor playground obstacles, so play areas will always be social hubs. Playgrounds create a space for children to interact with one another and learn social skills like sharing, communication, and teamwork. Playgrounds may also allow shy children to come out of their comfort zones as they play and interact with other kids in a positive environment.
  • Confidence: Obstacle courses help children develop grit and determination as they repeat the course to master a skill. Children also feel a sense of accomplishment when they complete obstacles, building their confidence.
  • Creativity: Children find creative ways to complete obstacles or find inventive ways to approach the same tasks. Playgrounds also make an ideal background for kids to explore their imaginations, pretending they’re navigating jungle treetops or performing as Olympic gymnasts.

Playground Obstacle Course Components

You can invest in a collection of obstacle course components to add to your existing playground or assemble an entirely new obstacle course with pre-configured designs. Some popular obstacle course components include:

  • Climbing rope: Ropes are simple elements that transform playgrounds into obstacle courses. You can add rope for climbing or for balancing support.
  • Bridges: Bridges are fundamental to obstacle courses, connecting different parts and allowing children to practice balance and coordination.
  • Decks and ramps: Transform your obstacle course with inclusive elements like decks and ramps. Kids will enjoy traversing the course with these versatile components that can act as walkways, platforms, and bridges.
  • Bars: Whether you incorporate monkey bars, turning bars, or parallel bars, bars are essential components that challenge kids in a fun way.
  • Climbers: Complete your obstacle course with an assortment of climbers, from spokes to arc chain climbers and everything in between.
  • Tunnels: Tunnels are another excellent connecting feature for sliding and crawling.

Browse Playground Equipment From Little Tikes Commercial

Are you ready to chart your obstacle course and add value to your school, daycare, park, worship center, or community project? At Little Tikes Commercial, we understand that each organization and every community’s needs differ. We value the individual requirements of your organization and provide you with all the commercial playground equipment you need to bring your custom play space to life.

We aim to enrich the lives of all children by offering quality playground equipment and inclusive solutions. We also believe in providing you with premium products that meet or exceed all applicable safety standards. Browse our wide range of playground equipment or contact us today for any support or queries — from design assistance to financing information.