Obstacles are hard. It can be tempting, when working with young children, to remove them so that things flow and ease is attained. However, in physical education, we prefer to add them. All the better to build resilience, strength, endurance, and grit.
That is why our pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade students jump into the year with obstacle courses early on. Running, leaping, balancing, crawling, and climbing are all gross motor skills that they’ll continue to hone in other units, but seeing how our students respond to these challenges can be instructive and inspirational.
There is often awe when first beholding an epic set-up of obstacles and then excitement as they begin to explore. There can be frustration when the going gets hard and fatigue when the course has been completed several times. Watching students help one another, reset an area of the course that was knocked over, and end class sweaty and smiling is what it’s all about. Bring on the obstacles!