Sample My Obstacle Course From Start To Finish

This is an outline of what I do when I set up My Obstacle Course for Andrew. This particular course is one we did a few years ago when he was 5 years old. I like to do 20 stations, which usually takes us about 45 minutes to an hour. Don’t panic at the number! This is what works for us but you can do whatever number works for you. Most of the stations are crawling through tunnels or if I know that a certain activity is more challenging for him, I break it into parts so he has a chance to move in between. The station activities are only meant to take a few minutes each but they let me know right away where he is with that skill or concept.

Personal Note: I consider this time with him sacred. I do not take phone calls, look at email, or fold laundry. I am there with him and he has my full attention. I have learned that he mirrors the attention and energy that I am giving him so if I am distracted or busy with something else, he will reflect that.  I want him to engage and work with me so I can help him and this time disconnected from everything but him is well worth it!

Sample My Obstacle Course From Start to Finish:

1. Choose theme (based on what they were doing in school) and review skills he is working on:

Theme: Land Transportation


  • speech- practice /f/ and /s/ sounds
  • fine motor- scissors, gluing, clipping, printing, peeling and placing stickers, stringing beads, track building
  • cognitive/problem solving- creating models using blocks, concept sorting (air, land, water), choosing based on question (what does it do?), pretend play
  • social- listening and answering questions, greeting

2. Look through materials to see what I have:

  • Car calendar cut outs
  • Car stickers
  • Vehicle manipulatives
  • Pattern blocks (tangrams)
  • Letter stamps
  • Letter beads for stringing
  • Scrabble letters
  • Construction paper, scissors and glue

Car calendar cutouts from Creative Teaching Press and car stickers

Vehicle manipulatives I got through the Scholastic book order, Scrabble letters and AquaDoodle.

3. Went on Enchanted Learning website ( ) to see what they had that I could incorporate:

  • Circle vehicles page- I could cut it up and turn it into a vehicle/non-vehicle sort
  • Beginning letter page
  • Vehicle picture/word matching page- I could cut that up and use it as clipping activity on clothesline or crawl and match on carpet runner
  • Vehicle book to practice printing vehicle words

Transportation vocabulary sheet from Enchanted Learning

More transportation pages from Enchanted Learning's website.

4. Went through toy closets to see what we had:

  • train and tracks
  • cars and trucks- could use for putting in order by size or have him get the vehicles that do a certain job (ex.  which vehicle tows?  which one hauls dirt? which one goes fast around a track?) or using a group of vehicles, match up the vehicles that do the same job (ex.  two tow trucks, two dump trucks, two fire engines, two race cars)
  • pretend play garage- could use with script to work on turn taking

Cars and trucks found during my "treasure hunt"

Train tracks and pattern pieces (Melissa and Doug) also found during "treasure hunt"

5. Made my list of 1-20 to scatter skills and activities throughout course:

  1. Social- hello!  how are you doing?
  2. Gross motor- crawl through tunnel
  3. Gross motor- ball rolling back and forth for visual tracking 10 times
  4. Cognitive/problem solving- unscramble scrabble letters to make vehicle words
  5. Math- vehicle manipulatives sorting (land, water, air) – which has most? which has least? how many in all?
  6. Fine Motor- write name on beginning sound paper (from Enchanted Learning)
  7. Literacy- beginning sound paper- circle beginning sound of each word
  8. Gross Motor- crawl through tunnel
  9. Fine Motor- string letter beads to write “train”
  10. Literacy- read “Go, Dog, Go!”
  11. Cognitive- pink bag with 8 vehicles to match up according to job (tow truck, dump truck, race car, fire engine)
  12. Pretend play- train track set up for Thomas
  13. Literacy/fine motor- clothesline clipping words (written on calendar cutouts) that rhyme with vehicle words, trying to include sounds he is working on in speech /f/ (ex. car/far, boat/float, train/plane, truck/luck, tow/low, race/face)
  14. Cognitive/Problem solving- “Make the Same” using pattern pieces to make car or train
  15. Cognitive/Problem solving- “What comes next?”  Patterning using car stickers on paper
  16. Fine Motor- cut out 3 pictures of vehicles from toy catalog
  17. Fine Motor and Literacy- writing one word- vehicle book from Enchanted Learning
  18. Fine Motor and Literacy- writing one word- vehicle book from Enchanted Learning
  19. Gross Motor- crawl through tunnel
  20. Literacy and Gross Motor- “Crawl and Match” vehicle pictures with words

6. Set up

Now is time for set up, which is easy because materials are gathered, plan is made.  Just a matter of arranging materials and doing some basic things like cutting, pasting and writing out some words.

Important Reminder – These are all skills and concepts that were at the level he was ready for. Every My Obstacle Course looks different because every child is different and every house has different materials, tools and toys. That is why I have the “My” in My Obstacle Course, because each Obstacle Course is customized for what an individual child needs. Talk about Individualized Education Plan!! 🙂

Engage, Encourage and Empower


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