backyard obstacles

Okay so this post doesn’t have too much to do with gardening but it did happen in my backyard & I was so surprised by all the things it taught my daughter so I wanted to share!

Every 4th of July since my husband & I got married we have a party.  Adults only party, no children or dogs allowed. We act like were in college again & have a wonderful time every year!  This year 5 couples got together for two days. We had a lot of good laughs (& drinks) but one of my favorite things we did was an obstacle course.  I am the organizer of the group & therefore the party planner each year. I suggested the obstacle course idea & it went over like a flop. “We are going to do WHAT?!” “I don’t know about that!” Blah blah blah was all I heard.  I have met resistance from this crowd before so it didn’t stop me.  After setting up the course & telling them I even had a real prize for the winning couple, I finally got the group to agree to participate.  Of course, everyone laughed & enjoyed themselves. I even had a few request for us to have one every 4th of July party from now on (and we probably will)!

Here are the specifics of the course:

The couples had to decide who is going to be blindfolded & who isn‘t.  The blind partner will run the course, the one with vision will verbally tell the other one what to do (no touching, no hand holding, etc.).  While going through the course my husband would distract them by throwing water balloons & shooting silly string. Of course, all the men elected to run the course & the women told them what to do. 🙂  My husband also ran the course at the end so all was fair & everyone could return the water balloons & silly string distraction on him too!

Station #1:

Enter bounce house with 99 plastic balls inside. Find the one with a quarter taped to it. Give the ball to your partner.

Station #2:

Find four bugs in the mud & rinse them off & give them to your partner. Since there is down time in the garden right now I dug up the richest thickest soil I could find.  It was deceivingly hard to find the bug.

Station #3:   


Go to the cooler & get a beer. Chug it & then wave an American flag & say the pledge of allegiance. I will note here that we were responsible enough to stop throwing water balloons while they were chugging the beers.

Station #4

Jump into an oversized kitty pool & find the letters U, S, A. Once you give all three letters to your partner time will be stopped & recorded.

Our winners Matt & Malisa (Time: 1:47.52)

What my daughter learned…
After getting a 48 hour break from our children, my oldest came home to investigate what remained of the obstacle course.  I had left everything as it was after the race (minus the beer chugging station) because she had been so interested in our pre-party planning.  Of course we let her run the course.  The best part is what followed when we started to clean up:

  • We turned the bounce house clean up into a game.  She cleaned up all 99 balls for us & had a blast doing it.
  • The water balloon pieces were everywhere… we decided to give her a penny for every piece she picked up.  She was a little sad when I only gave her two quarters & two pennies after all her hard work, but it was a great lesson in earning money! She thought picking up the all 52 balloon pieces would make her enough money to by a new toy she wants (a toy that costs $50). Since then she wants to do chores around the house for pennies all the time because she’s on a mission to buy that toy! Love it!
  • Our daughter wasn’t so happy about the mud on her bugs but she got over it when I told her each bug had made her additional nickel for their participant in the obstacle course. 😉 
  • Then she helped me collect & dry all the letters from the pool. We tried to name all the words we could think of that started with different letters that we picked up.  In a flash the letters were picked up & we were laughing & sounding like a Dr. Seuss book trying to make up words for q & x.

It felt like play & the obstacle course was all cleaned up!  Our daughter had a great lesson in making money & hard work & we had a wonderful weekend with our friends! Happy 4th of July!

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