Sunday, August 17, 2014
Kids Mud Obstacle Course
So,.....although we can take credit for all of the building of this obstacle course, we can not take credit for blogging it first. A very good friend of ours (Christy Marshall) blogged our son's party last year and she did a FANTASTIC job. Her cover photo, and blog address is at the bottom of this post. You gotta check it out, because all of her pictures are closeups of the obstacles prior to the race. She focuses more on the "fun" aspect of the race, while I will explain more of "the build", and hopefully show everyone how easy and cheap you can create the birthday party adventure of your childs' life. This course cost us only $60.00 to build (and about 40 man hours). It was large enough that it took our kids over three minutes to run it at a dead sprint when everything was dry.
Throw in a LOT of mud and about 30 more bodies, and it makes for quite a fun race.
First thing's first, I needed to make a track. The easiest thing to do was to let the grass grow well over the length that I would normally cut it. Then I just mowed a loop-De-Loop track which weaved in and about itself. The fact that we live on 3 acres was definatly a plus, although we only allowed the track to be on the south acre and a half. Over the course of the next two weeks, and one more mowing, the track became very VERY clear.
Besides obstacles, the only other thing we needed was direction arrows. (I used an old can of orange marking paint.)
For the obstacles:
-Hay bales - $60.00 for 20 bales
-Pallets - free from local lumber yard
-tunnel - free from kids play things (ready to toss)
-rope - free (old clothes lines we were replacing)
-4x6's - free cribbing from lumber yard
-stumps - free, from a dead tree on our property
-tires - free from tire repair shop
The rat run was an easy build. each hump took two pallets, 1 hay bale, and a little bit of rope. I began by taking two apllets and standing them up next to each other. On the top, rope was used to lash the two pallets together loosely. Then the pallets were spread out at the bottoms, over a hay bale, until the pallet touched the bale. This made for a very stable platform. Three of these humps were placed together to make the rat run.
The log climber took a little bit more muscle to complete. It started with a tiller and shovel. I boxed out the area I wanted to make the pit in, and began running a tiller back and forth to loosen up the soil. After a few passes, the easy part was over. A shovel was then used to mound up the dirt on both the front and the back of the pit. Actually, the mounds create another element to the obstacle. Then I took a few longer logs and spanned the pit to complete it.
Some kids climbed over the log, and some were much more adventurous and crawled underneath them (They got a little bit more muddy than the others!!)
The rope crawl was easy. Like the log climber, I used the tiller to prep an area for the mud pit. The only difference is the depth of the pit (The climber was much deeper).
A few short stakes were cut from the dead tree and used to suspend the old clothesline above the mud.
Most of the kids didn't want to crawl, so they elected to try to hop through it. The best part was that the mud made this very difficult and it caused a few faceplants directly into the mud. (I had silent giggles every time this happened.)
The tire hop was the easiest of all. Almost any tire repair shop will gladly give you as many old tires as you want. They have to pay for disposal, so why the heck would they not want to get rid of them for FREE!!!!. If they try to charge you......go to the next one.
As far as set-up.........Ummmm.......I don't think i'm gonna explain this one. Just look at the picture and replicate it.
The balance beam was completed with a shallow mud flat which was tilled first. Then a few stumps were buried partially into the flat at the right distance apart to allow for the 4x6 cribbing to lay on top of them.
4x6's were used flat to add stability to the obstacle.
Another one which needs no explanation.
The corn tunnel consisted of two hay bales on either side of a shallow mud flat, with 1 pallet spanned across them. A bundle of corn stalks were placed across the top to sort of conceal the tunnel and allow for a little bit of variation among the tunnels.
Just like the corn tunnel, only without the corn. (Duh!!!)
The rabbit hole was made just like the corn and pallet tunnels, only it included a childs tunnel which was about to be thrown away. This constricted the tunnel significantly for the larger kids and it too was filled with mud. So for anyone who was "TRYING" to stay somewhat clean.......lol...not anymore.
This Mud pit was made just the same as the log climber, but instead of logs, we just added more water to help "soup things up" a bit.
After all of the racing was done, most of the kids went back to their favorite obstacles for a second, third or even endless chance to have morefun. Miranda and her friend decided to chill in the mud pit while soaking up a little sun. THAT'S MY GIRL!!!!!!
NOW......since you have a better idea of how to build this friggin' AWESOME course. Go check out Christy's blog too for a close up of each of the obstacles (including a few which are not on here.)
Thanks for checkin' us out.