The Best Obstacle Courses for Kids to Practice Their Ninja Warrior Skills (2024)

Table of Contents
Best Overall Trailblaze Slackline and Hanging Obstacle Course Why We Recommend It Key Specs: Best Budget Endless Games Obstacle Course in a Box Why We Recommend It Key Specs: Best Ninja Obstacle Course NinjaSafe Ninja Obstacle Course Why We Recommend It Key Specs: Best Splurge Little Tikes 2-in-1 Wet ‘n Dry Inflatable Bouncer Why We Recommend It Key Specs: Best Indoor EdxEducation Step-A-Trail Why We Recommend It Key Specs: Best Outdoor American Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course Race Set Why We Recommend It Key Specs: Best Montessori Tiny Land 5-in-1 Pikler Triangle Set Why We Recommend It Key Specs: Best With Water Banzai Aqua Blast Obstacle Course Why We Recommend It Key Specs: Best Inflatable Bounceland Obstacle Course Why We Recommend It: Key Specs: Best Indoor Jungle Gym ECOMEX Indoor Jungle Gym for Toddlers Why We Recommend It Key Specs: Best Tree Swing Jungle Gym Kingdom Tree Swing for Kids Why We Recommend It Key Specs: Best for Toddlers Sunny Days Entertainment Cocomelon Tunnel Why We Recommend It Key Specs: Best for Toddlers Runner-Up Hapinest Turtle Steps Stepping Stones Obstacle Course Why We Recommend It Key Specs: Best for Preschool Kids EdxEducation Step-A-Forest Why Recommend It Key Specs: Best for Older Kids Jugader Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course with Pulley Why We Recommend It Key Specs: Best for Backyards Hyponix Monkey Line Why We Recommend It Key Specs: Best for a Birthday Party Bountech 8-in-1 Inflatable Bounce House Why We Recommend It Key Specs: Best for the Whole Family Dripex Obstacle Course Why We Recommend It Key Specs: How We Selected the Best Obstacle Courses for Kids What to Look for in Obstacle Courses for Kids Frequently Asked Questions Why Trust Verywell Family References

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The Best Obstacle Courses for Kids to Practice Their Ninja Warrior Skills (1)

Sometimes all it takes is a few chairs and cardboard boxes scattered throughout the house for kids to create an obstacle course from scratch. While this is a fun impromptu activity for a rainy day, there are more durable and long-lasting options for kids to explore—without making the house a mess. Purchasing an obstacle course provides additional safety and can help kids improve their analytical thinking, confidence, coordination, and gross motor skills.

Obstacle course offerings vary widely, from simple options that inspire free play in toddlers to more complex ones that challenge your kiddos. To make our list, we consulted with experts and researched dozens of options on the market, evaluating them on material, assembly, safety, and durability. When choosing an obstacle course for your family, take into account the ages of your children, their ability levels, the item’s safety features, and the space you have in your yard or house.

Our Top Picks

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In This Article

  • Our Picks

  • How We Selected

  • What to Look For

  • FAQ

  • Why Trust Verywell Family

Pros

  • High maximum weight

  • Cost-effective

  • Lots of features

Cons

  • Primarily for outdoor use

Why We Recommend It

This all-in-one obstacle course instantly upgrades playtime in the backyard with its wide assortment of features. Attached to two 55-foot slacklines are two monkey bars, two gym rings, a swing, a spinning ninja wheel, a monkey fist knot, a climbing cargo net, and a rope ladder, so kids can put their strength and skills to the test. There are also 17 buckle straps for additional accessories if desired and a ratchet to keep the slackline secure. Recommended for children ages 5 and up, this obstacle course is great for playtime with siblings and friends.

In addition to the many features, this obstacle course is made from durable material to withstand all sorts of weather and repeated use. The slackline is made from polyester and nylon, while the accessories are made out of stainless steel and PVC. Plus, at $150, it’s more affordable than comparable options, and it’s a reasonable investment for the hours of fun it will provide.

Key Specs:

  • Size: 55-foot slackline
  • Material: Polyester and nylon slackline, rubber, PVC, and stainless steel accessories
  • Recommended Age Range: 5 years old and up
  • Weight Limit: 330 lbs

Pros

  • Affordable price point

  • No assembly required

  • Lots of games

Cons

  • Fewer features

  • Not suitable for young children

Why We Recommend It

With its 36-page booklet of ideas, this obstacle course can be used for dozens of kid-friendly exercises that you and your family can practice indoors or outdoors. The kit includes a jump rope and 27 double-sided foam tiles that describe different workouts, including calf raises, burpees, gator chomps, planks, and more.

Obstacle in a Box also comes with a stopwatch to add an element of competition and a drawstring bag to take the fun with you to the park or a friend’s house. And at $25, it’s a budget-friendly option for many families.

Key Specs:

  • Size: 10.5 x 2.38 x 10.5 inches
  • Material: Foam tiles and jump rope
  • Recommended Age Range: 7 years old and up
  • Weight Limit: N/A

Pros

  • Lots of features

  • Easy setup

Cons

  • Not suited for indoors

Why We Recommend It

Kids ages 5 and up can put their abilities to the test with the feature-packed NinjaSafe Ninja Obstacle Course. The set includes a monkey bar, a climbing ladder, two gymnastic rings, two monkey fist knots, two freestyle rings, a climbing net, a ninja wheel, and 13 extra connectors to add more features if desired.

To set it up, all you need to do is attach the slackline to two trees that are 15 to 45 feet apart, and your kiddos are off to the races.

Key Specs:

  • Size: 50-foot slackline
  • Material: Nylon
  • Recommended Age Range: 5 years old and up
  • Weight Limit: 250 lbs

Pros

  • Durable

  • Highly stimulating for children

  • Good for a variety of ages

Cons

  • Lengthy set-up time

Why We Recommend It

Trick out your backyard with this versatile obstacle course. The Little Tikes 2-in-1 Wet ‘n Dry Inflatable Bouncer can be used wet or dry, so kiddos can splash around in the summer but still enjoy the fun during cooler weather. Features include a large bouncing surface, climbing wall, splash pool, slide, and mesh tunnel at the top.

Four kids can be in the bouncer at once, making it great for play dates or a birthday party. Why rent a bounce house when you can buy one that your kids can enjoy for years to come?

Key Specs:

  • Size: 155 x 161 x 110 inches
  • Material: Vinyl body with mesh netting
  • Recommended Age Range: 3 years old and up
  • Weight Limit: 350 lbs

Pros

  • Portable

  • High maximum weight

Cons

  • Not stimulating for older children

Why We Recommend It

The joy of obstacle courses doesn’t have to stop just because the weather gets gloomy. Instead, the EdxEducation Step-a-Trail makes a great indoor distraction for younger kids who love imaginative play. They can set up their own fairytale forest or pretend the floor is lava as they jump between the three stumps and three logs. With its non-slip grip surfaces, kids can play safely for hours. Plus, as your child grows, the stumps and logs can be moved farther apart to create a more challenging course.

Key Specs:

  • Size: Varies between pieces
  • Material: Plastic and rubber
  • Recommended Age Range: 18 months old and up
  • Weight Limit: 792 lbs

Pros

  • Easy to move around

  • Simple assembly

Cons

  • Not suitable for toddlers

Why We Recommend It

If you’ve got kids with a healthy dose of competition in their veins, the competitive play that comes with the American Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course Race set is the match for them. With the two hop race sacks, three adjustable hurdles, and eight agility rings, there are endless course layouts that are adjustable depending on the age of the players. Kids can play head-to-head for some friendly competition or in groups to create a space for boosting confidence and teamwork.

Key Specs:

  • Size: 13 x 32 x 50 inches
  • Material: Plastic
  • Recommended Age Range: 6 years old and up
  • Weight Limit: N/A

Pros

  • Made from non-toxic, odorless wood

  • Can be reconfigured into different formations

  • Easy to assemble and folds up when not in use

Cons

  • Low weight limit

Why We Recommend It

The Tiny Land Pikler Triangle Set provides kids with a fun way to strengthen their motor skills while fostering their independence and inspiring them to be adventurous. It comes with three pieces—a pikler triangle, ramp, and climbing arch—that can be reconfigured in several different ways. We love that it’s easy to assemble, folds up when not in use, and is suitable for kids aged 2-12 years.

This pikler set is an obstacle course that will actually complement your home decor. It’s made from non-toxic, odorless wood and can withstand up to 132 pounds of weight. When compared to other obstacle courses, this weight limit is relatively low. However, it can endure the weight of three toddlers who are 44 pounds or less.

Key Specs:

  • Size: 41 x 3 x 16 in (ramp), 40 x 39 x 42 in (arch), 28 x 32 x 37 in (triangle)
  • Material: Wood
  • Recommended Age Range: 2-12 years old
  • Weight Limit: 132 lbs

Pros

  • Affordable

  • Multiple kids can play at once

Cons

  • May puncture easily

Why We Recommend It

Skip the season passes and long lines at the water park and splash around in your yard with a cool water toy for the kids. The Banzai Aqua Blast Obstacle Course features built-in sprinklers that will keep your kids cool during the sweltering summer months. Kids will enjoy the hurdles, 16-foot water slide with a limbo pole, and tire jump as they race against one another or beat their own time.

Key Specs:

  • Size: 16.5 x 12.1 x 3.1 inches
  • Material: Plastic
  • Recommended Age Range: 5 to 12 years old
  • Weight Limit: Not listed

Pros

  • Blower included

  • Easy to inflate

Cons

  • Costly

Why We Recommend It:

Be the talk of the neighborhood when you purchase the brightly-hued Bounceland Obstacle Course for your backyard. Kids can compete as they dive through the fan tunnels, dodge the poles, and jump down the slide. The powerful blower inflates the whole house in less than a minute so kids won’t have to wait for their fun to start. Plus, the heavy-duty, puncture-proof material and 9-inch ground stakes keep kiddos safe as they bounce.

Key Specs:

  • Size: 19 x 9 x 7 feet
  • Material: PVC-coated Terylene and laminated Oxford Terylene
  • Recommended Age Range: 3 to 10 years old
  • Weight Limit: 400 lbs total, 100 lbs per individual

Pros

  • Equipped with eight play features

  • Made from durable pine wood

  • Complements home decor

Cons

  • Takes a long time to assemble

  • Not for older kids

Why We Recommend It

The Ecomex Indoor Jungle Gym is a wonderful solution for rainy or snowy days because it lets kids get their wiggles out when cooped up inside the house. Our favorite thing about this jungle gym is that it has eight different play features to keep kids occupied. This inevitably makes it time-consuming to assemble; however, it’s a small price to pay to get your family through the cold winter months.

We appreciate that this jungle gym has a weight limit of 220 pounds and love that it’s made from pine wood, which is eco-friendly and won’t compete with your home decor.

Key Specs:

  • Size: 49 x 83.5 x 47.6 in
  • Material: Pine
  • Recommended Age Range: 3 years and older
  • Weight Limit: 220 lbs

The 20 Best Climbing Toys for Toddlers

Pros

  • Helps build upper body strength

  • Made from weather-resistant materials

  • Built-in safety features

Cons

  • Rope is longer than expected

Why We Recommend It

Swing sets are a favorite with kids, but if you have a tree in your yard or neighborhood, the Jungle Gym Kingdom Tree Swing is the perfect addition. We love that kids can either sit or stand on the textured disc and try their hand at ascending the colorful climbing platforms. We also like that it’s built to resist all types of weather and is equipped with several safety features, including a 3-inch leg protector and a locking carabiner.

Before you purchase this swing, we recommend measuring the height of your tree limb as the rope tends to be longer than what most parents expect.

Key Specs:

  • Size: 12 x 12 x 80 in
  • Material: Polyethylene (rope), polyester (tree strap), metal (carabiner)
  • Recommended Age Range: 3 years and older
  • Weight Limit: 150 lbs

Pros

  • Affordable

  • Great for imagination play

Cons

  • Not engaging enough for older children

Why We Recommend It

When it comes to toys for toddlers, a tunnel can offer tons of play potential. Kids can use their imagination to dive into a burrow underground, create a bridge between two worlds, or simply pretend to be a worm wiggling their way through the living room with the Cocomelon Tunnel. No matter where your kid’s imagination leads them, this simple 5-foot-long tunnel is a fun companion. Thanks to the pop-up design, it’s super easy to assemble and store when not in use. In case of a spill, you can use a damp cloth and mild soap to clean it.

Key Specs:

  • Size: 60 x 19 x 16 inches
  • Material: Polyester
  • Recommended Age Range: 3 to 12 years old
  • Weight Limit: N/A

Pros

  • Portable

  • Comes with cards and a spinner

Cons

  • Shell color may fade in the sun

Why We Recommend It

Keep toddlers entertained indoors or outdoors with this cute obstacle course set, which includes three large turtle shell stepping stones and three medium ones that kiddos can hop between. A spinner tells the player which color shell to move to, and anti-slip rubber edging keeps the plastic shell in place as they hop. The shells can be placed as close together or as far apart as kids desire to create the right level of difficulty.

For a more structured competition, use the 24 activity cards to explore different challenges. Regardless of the type of play, these stepping stones aid in coordination, balance, and concentration.

Key Specs:

  • Size: 13 x 17 inches (large), 11 x 8 inches (medium)
  • Material: Plastic
  • Recommended Age Range: 3 years old and up
  • Weight Limit: 195 lbs

Pros

  • Lots of configuration options

  • High weight limit

Cons

  • Older kids may not find it as interesting

Why Recommend It

Preschool-aged kids can go on an adventure in the woods (safely!) with this Step-A-Forest set. There are tons of configurations to make with the 22 plastic pieces, which come in a handy carrying case for storage or a playdate. The assortment of logs, stumps, and leaves gives children a variety of ways to increase their balance, coordination, and gross motor skills. To make the obstacle courses more challenging, pieces can be moved further apart and laid out in more complex paths.

Key Specs:

  • Size: Varies depending on configuration
  • Material: Plastic
  • Recommended Age Range: 2 to 8 years
  • Weight limit: 792 lbs

Pros

  • Zipline

  • Multiple configurations

  • Comes with everything you need for installation

Cons

  • Not suited for indoors

Why We Recommend It

Older kids can put their upper body strength to the test with the unique zipline on this obstacle course. In addition to the zipline pulley, this obstacle course comes with a rope ladder, two gym rings, three monkey bars, and two rope knots to play on. The set also includes everything you need for assembly: tree protectors, triangle clips, carabiners, a ratchet, and two slacklines (but you'll need your own tools). One slackline holds the pulley and the other holds the other features, but if your kiddos want extra support while they play, you can attach one of the lines closer to the ground for them to walk across.

Key Specs:

  • Size: 50-foot slackline
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Recommended Age Range: 3 years old and up
  • Weight Limit: 250 lbs

Pros

  • Versatile features

  • Easy setup

Cons

  • No extra parts available for purchase

Why We Recommend It

For anyone needing an easy setup for their backyard, the Hyponix Monkey Line’s ratchet-tight technology makes for quick work. You can leave it set up in your backyard without the danger of weather destroying the product. It’s made from high-quality, durable nylon to withstand rain and sunlight, allowing for year-round use.

Plus, a wide range of ages can use the obstacle course thanks to the variety of features, including a rope ladder, spinning wheel, monkey bars, and climbing net, among others. All you’ll need to assemble it is two trees or posts that are 15 to 45 feet apart.

Key Specs:

  • Size: 50-foot slackline
  • Material: Nylon
  • Recommended Age Range: 5 years old or up
  • Weight Limit: 250 lbs

Pros

  • Fun water play

  • Entertaining for a variety of ages

Cons

  • Low maximum weight

Why We Recommend It

Renting a bounce house can cost several hundred dollars, so buying your own bounce house is a smart investment if you plan to use it for birthday parties or family get-togethers. The Bountech 8-in-1 Inflatable Bounce House is a relatively affordable option with a variety of games to keep kiddos entertained for hours. The bounce house includes a jumping area, climbing wall, basketball hoop, football goal, ball pit, target game, ring toss game, and dual slides.

Three to four kids can play the games separately or run through the entire course for some friendly competition. Plus, the whole thing inflates in a matter of minutes.

Key Specs:

  • Size: 168 x 120 x 96 inches
  • Material: Oxford cloth
  • Recommended Age Range: 3 to 10 years old
  • Weight Limit: 265 lbs

Pros

  • Two slacklines for added safety

  • Safe for adults to use

Cons

  • Mostly for outdoor use

Why We Recommend It

If you’re looking for a backyard activity that’s fun for the whole family, the Dripex Obstacle Course is engaging for kids and adults alike. The maximum weight of 450 pounds means multiple kiddos (or their family members) can use the obstacle course safely, with additional security from the dual slacklines on the top and bottom of the course.

Accessories include a swing with a belt for younger children, a climbing ladder, a trapeze swing, two monkey bars, three gymnastic swings, and two rings. The only problem you’ll have is who gets a turn first—the kids or the adults?

Key Specs:

  • Size: 60-foot slacklines
  • Material: Polyester slackline with wood, iron, and stainless steel accessories
  • Recommended Age Range: 3 years old and up
  • Weight Limit: 450 lbs

How We Selected the Best Obstacle Courses for Kids

There are several factors to consider before choosing the ideal obstacle course for your child. To make our picks, we researched dozens of obstacle courses and well-known brands, evaluating them on their safety features, durability, ease of use, and overall versatility. For information about how obstacle courses can aid in muscle coordination and development, analytical thinking, and problem-solving, we spoke to two experts:

  • Bethany Brown, a Massachusetts-based physical education teacher with 13 years of experience
  • Kimber Kurr, PT, DPT, PCS, a registered physical therapist, pediatric clinical specialist, and assistant professor at Ithaca College

What to Look for in Obstacle Courses for Kids

  • Material: Obstacle courses can be made from several different types of material, depending on their intended use and if they’re built for the outdoors. Some obstacle courses, like the NinjaSafe Ninja Obstacle Course, are constructed from nylon or UV-resistant materials, which are inherently weatherproof and can be stored outside. Larger courses often have sturdy stainless steel accessories to support the kiddo’s weight. Other options, such as the Endless Games Obstacle Course in a Box, have foam or plastic components and should be stored inside.
  • Assembly: Since obstacle courses are designed to allow your kids to leap and jump and play, the structure and its features must be sturdy. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely. If you select an obstacle course with slackline features or hanging rings, tightly secure the features to trees or posts so that they are taut and do not sag. Likewise, secure an indoor obstacle course per the manufacturer’s recommendations to prevent instability and tipping.
  • Safety: According to Kurr, choosing the location for an obstacle course is one of the most important steps to keep your child safe. “If a child happens to climb on it in an unintended way, you want to make sure it won’t fall over into anything,” she says. Keep the space around the obstacle course free from anything that could hurt your child, such as a rocky patio or a coffee table.
  • Durability: When looking for a long-lasting obstacle course for your family, keep the physical space you have in mind. If your backyard doesn’t have many trees, for instance, a slackline ninja warrior obstacle course that must be secured to trees or posts might not be your best option. Additionally, be sure to choose the best material for your intended use. If you plan on using the obstacle course outside, opt for tough plastic or wood rather than foam that will disintegrate from exposure to the elements.
  • Recommended Age: While having a wide variety of features can lead to more stimulation and analytical thinking, it might also not be appropriate for younger children and their skill sets. Brown encourages a diverse amount of features to challenge children but also recognizes the importance of setting kids up for success to build their confidence. Even if your kiddo falls into the recommended age range, they should be always supervised by an adult when playing on an obstacle course.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I set up an obstacle course for kids?

    Setting up an obstacle course can be as simple as laying out foam stones in your living room or as complicated as constructing a ninja warrior course with over a dozen obstacles between two trees. Those designed for toddlers and younger children are usually easier to set up since the courses aren’t complex. When you purchase ones that are for older children, the setup may be more time-consuming and elaborate, so make sure you have the time to build it safely.

  • How does an obstacle course help a child’s development?

    Obstacle courses provide many benefits to a child’s physical and cognitive development. According to Kurr, children improve their balance, muscle coordination, and gross motor skills as they work through an obstacle course, whether they’re walking across a narrow beam or maneuvering through a ninja warrior course. This can in turn improve their skills in other physical activities, such as riding a bike. Plus, if multiple kids are playing on a course together, this can help with communication and teamwork, Brown says.

    Children also learn to think critically when overcoming an obstacle, helping them improve their analytical thinking. “Maybe they’re successful the first time [they try to get around an obstacle] but maybe they’re not. And then they have to figure out how to be successful the next time,” Kurr says.

    The challenge of an obstacle course can also increase kids’ self-esteem and confidence. While an appropriate challenge is beneficial, it’s also important to find an obstacle course that fits your kiddo’s skill level. “Make sure it’s not overly challenging, so your child is set up for success while also pushing themselves,” Brown tells Verywell Family.

  • How much do the best obstacle courses cost?

    Obstacle course prices vary greatly depending on the type and complexity of the setup. A DIY obstacle course can be free, depending on what you have around your house. If you’re looking for longer-lasting and more complex systems, the price increases significantly.

    Obstacle courses that are geared towards toddlers and younger kids are usually around the $50 mark, like the Hapinest Turtle Stepping Stones and the EdxEducation Step-a-Trail.

    For ninja warrior obstacle courses that have around a dozen accessories, the price point reaches upward of $150, like the Trailblaze Slackline and Hanging Obstacle Course. If you are looking for large, inflatable obstacle courses, you’ll likely need to invest a few hundred dollars. For example, the Bountech 8-in-1 Inflatable Bounce House retails for $250 while the Bounceland Bounce House was just under $450 at the time of publication.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Heather Balogh Rochfort is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, fitness, travel, and the outdoors. In 2017 she became a mother and immediately found herself entrenched in the beautiful-yet-demanding world of parenting. Since then, she has broadened her scope to include the gear, products, and experiences that go hand-in-hand with motherhood. She has written for The Washington Post, Outside, Parents, and more.

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