You may or may not have seen the popular show called American Ninja Warrior, but it can be a great way to get you and your kids out and exercising this summer! You can create your own course to run in your own backyard, making it a great project for you and your kids, plus you then get to run through it together!

The Show

First popularized in Japan, the show pushes contestants through a series of obstacle courses designed to be super difficult to surpass. If someone can make it through all the obstacle courses within a certain time frame, they are crowned a Ninja Warrior. It was brought over to America and has become very popular, with actual gyms being created to help train to people making their own obstacle courses in their backyards. Of course, you do not have to be so bold as to create an entire, in-depth obstacle course area in your backyard, but you can certainly make some unique games to test yourself and your kids. 

The Course Itself

You can go as intricate or as simple as you want, especially if you don’t have a lot of extra supplies lying around. Brainstorm with your kids on what they enjoy doing, and fashion the obstacle course around that. Think of it as like a huge jungle gym that your kids (and yourself!) can run around through and try to defeat. You can make monkey bars, or use old tree stumps as jumping blocks that are certain distances away. You can attach rope from trees a few feet from each other and try to swing from one to the next, maybe with a few blankets on the ground to soften the landings. You can even climb the trees if they have enough branches, and attach some sort of flag to the top that your kids need to grab in order to win and move on to the next section! If you have a pool, you can incorporate that into your games. Throw some frisbees or balls into the pool that your kids would need to swim down and grab. Make sure you are following all the necessary safety measures when dealing with swimming, though. You can get as creative as you want! 

The Sky Is the Limit

You can really fashion anything you want in your backyard to keep it interesting and challenging for you and your kids. You can look at videos of other families’ obstacle courses for inspiration, or simply grab some tools and start DIY’ing it!

Katie Kyzivat