A gymnastics obstacle course for grades 3-5.
Submitted by Patti Kassay and Jeff Syrop, Fairfield, Connecticut.
This activity is an obstacle course that we do during our gymnastics unit so that we can utilize our gymnastics equipment, cargo net, and climbing ropes.
Equipment: Gymnastics mats, fire hose (we got an old one with the nozzles removed from the fire department), climbing ropes, cargo net, wedge mat, tunnels, low balance beam, three chairs, etc.
Background: The object of the obstacle course is to perform the task at each station without making a mistake and to stay on the mats. The second a student performs the task improperly or steps off the mat, he must go to the “Waiting Room” which are the three chairs in the center circle of the gym. The first student who makes a mistake must sit in the first chair. When the second student comes into the “Waiting Room,” he sits next to the first student and so on until all the chairs are filled.
When the fourth student comes to the “Waiting Room,” the first student goes back into the obstacle course; everyone shifts over one chair so that the second student is in the first chair, the third student is in the second chair, etc. The length of time a student stays in the “Waiting Room” is not very long (ranging from 1-3 minutes).
Descriptions of the Stations:
1. Ropes: Sit or stand on the rope knot. Swing from one mat to the other without falling down in the middle (snake pit). If you fall, go to the “Waiting Room.”
2. Cargo Net: You need to wait for a partner to come to you. Throw a yarn ball through the net to a partner. The partner throws it back to you and you return it to the pail or bin you have next to the station. Throws must be accurate. If the ball rolls onto the floor and cannot be obtained without walking on the floor, then you both go to the “Waiting Room.”
3. Log Roll: On the wedge mat, one at a time, the student log rolls down the mat. If more than one person is on the mat or the task is performed incorrectly, the student goes to the “Waiting Room.”
4. Tunnels: Students, one at a time, will crawl through the tunnels.
5. Beam: Students, one at a time, will walk across the low beam while maintaining his balance. If he falls or if more than one person is on the beam, the student goes to the “Waiting Room.”
6. Balloon Tap: Take the balloon out of the bin, tap it five times in the air, while staying on the mat, and return it to the bin.
7. Roller Racer: Students must get on the Roller Racer, travel around the cone and back while keeping all body parts off the floor. If not, the student goes to the “Waiting Room.”
8. Walk Across the Hose: Students walk across the hose without touching the floor; otherwise, the student goes to the “Waiting Room.”
9. Hoops: Step cleanly into each hoop. I had to put my hoops on the floor because I did not have enough mats, so students may touch the floor at this station. If a hoop is moved, the student goes to the “Waiting Room.”
10. Push Up Alternate Shoulder Touch: Students get into push-up position. They should touch alternate shoulders 10 times.
11. Limbo: A bamboo bar is placed across two bolster mats. Students must pass under the bar without knocking it down.
Other: Any student who makes an error at a station or who steps on the floor winds up in the “Waiting Room” as a consequence. You may make any changes or modifications that suit your situation. Please remember to have ample matting if there is a climbing activity.