Over and Under Obstacle Course

obstacle courseActive coping skills are an important part of Please Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff Coping Tool Box. The Over and Under Obstacle Course is a fun way to help kids deal with difficult emotions and can be a powerful visual reminder that life events can be like an obstacle course. There will be ups and downs, but the most important thing is to keep going.

Setting Up Your Obstacle Course

  • Use you imagination. Your obstacle course can be inside or outside.
  • If you’re building inside, use furniture, cushions, blankets, doors and anything else you can think of to use.
  • These obstacle course also work in an education setting. Use desks, books, doors and other items in the room.
  • If you’re working outside, use playground equipment, toys, sporting equipment, leaves, creeks, etc. to build your course.
  • Try to make your course doable but make sure it requires some effort on the child’s part.

Using Your Obstacle Course to Reinforce Emotional Resilience

  • Run the obstacle course with the child.
  • Time the child and see if they can improve on their time.
  • When you are finished with the course, discuss with the child how, like the course, life is not always easy. Ask them how they dealt with the obstacles on the course. Talk about other obstacles in their life and how they can deal with those obstacles.
For more awesome resources for learning about and dealing with emotions, please visit our Hope 4 Hurting Kids Emotions Help Center.
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Written by Wayne Stocks
Wayne is the founder and executive director of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. He is a happily married father of four kids with a passion for helping young people who are going through rough times. In addition to Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne previously started I Am A Child of Divorce and Divorce Ministry 4 Kids to help kids who are dealing with the disruption of their parents' relationship. These are now part of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. Wayne speaks frequently at conferences and churches on issues related to helping kids learn to deal with difficult emotions and life in modern families.Wayne lives with his wife, three youngest kids, three dogs and an insane collection of his kids' other pets outside of Columbus, Ohio. In addition to his work with Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne is a partner in a local consulting firm, an avid reader, coaches his son's soccer team and is a proud supporter of Leicester City Football Club (and yes, for those in know, his affinity for the club does predate the 2016 championship).You can reach Wayne at wayne@hope4hurtingkids.com.