I cannot tell you how much my girls have LOVED this simple obstacle course. The objective is to traverse the course without ringing the bells attached to each of the obstacles so not only are we exercising our ears and sense of sound but also our bodies!
We set up our course outside but as it didn’t take up a lot of room, it could easily be adapted as an indoor activity if it is very cold or hot where you live.
Our bells are all from Christmas decorations – the gold bells were cut from a rather gaudy group of hanging bells and the red and green bells were individual ornaments. You can use any bells you have – craft bells or hand bells from your musical instrument collection could work just as well. Just make sure your bells (especially those from ornaments) actually make a ringing sound when they move.
Here’s how we made our obstacle course…
For obstacle #1, I hung a hula hoop from the beam in the roof of our verandah and then tied Christmas bells to the top of the hoop (make it even trickier by tying them too the bottom too!) If you are inside or don’t have an exposed beam, you could tie your hoop to the side of a chair or if you already have a children’s tunnel, peg, tape or tie your bells so they hang at the entrance and along the inside of your tunnel.
Obstacle #2 is for crawling under. Use a piece of plastic pipe, a pool noodle or your broomstick to hang the bells from.
For obstacle #3, I used a short length of skirting board as a balance beam. You could also use a piece of decking board. Our beam is laying directly on the floor which is perfect for little ones (although Immy has had just as much fun with this and she is 6 1/2!) Place your bells along the beam for the children to step over. If they roll off too easily, place a small piece of modelling clay or playdough underneath each one to help stabilise it a little.
So first you have to get through that hoop without ringing those bells – tricky! For older children, make a rule that they can’t touch the hoop or hang the hoop higher to make it more challenging.
Then under the bar we go, watch you don’t knock those bells with your bottom! For a fun variation, have the bar higher and try moving under it limbo style.
Finally, along the beam, stepping over the bells…careful, don’t bump them!
Fabulous fun! In fact, both of my girls have been using this obstacle course over and over and over again the past few days!
This post forms part of the Christmas Sensory Play Series. Each week we are sharing festive play ideas related to each of the five senses. Check out all of the HEARING related sensory play ideas this week. You’ll find great ideas being shared on each of the following blogs over the course of today;
- Cathy of Nurturestore shares 5 listening game ideas using some very special Jingle Bell Boxes.
- Kate of Picklebums is sharing a fun Christmas Listening Drawing Game.
- Kristina of Toddler Approved’s Present Sound Match is perfect as a first listening game for toddlers.
- Head over to Ana of Babble Dabble Do’s blog to find instructions for making a Holiday Bell Tota.
- Meri of Meri Cherry’s daughter created some fabulous Jingle Bell Noise Makers. I love the open ended, creative approach.
Do you know someone who would have fun with a Don’t Ring the Bells obstacle course?