Indoor Obstacle Course: Make Your Own Superhero Training Camp

OSC challenges you to make an indoor obstacle course Superhero Training Camp in your own home!

Through working together and using the Engineering Design Process to build your obstacle course, you may discover that you have superpowers of your own!

 

  1. Ask: Can you make a training camp that shows you what it takes to be a Superhero? What skills does a superhero need? How can you create challenges that highlight some of those skills?
  2. Imagine: Think about different things you could use around your home to make obstacles. Imagine how those objects can work together to make the best superhero course.
  3. Plan: Draw or write out your materials list so you can plan your course. Create layout of what you want your course to look like.
  4. Create: Assemble your course! Think about the different steps needed to bring your ideas to life. Adjust your diagram as necessary and make sure the course is safe!
  5. Improve: Once you’ve given it a try, think about if there are ways you could improve your training course. Can you make it more challenging? Did everything work the way you planned? If not, you can use the Engineering Design Process to help you improve your course!
Engineering Design Process Circle Diagram: Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, Improve

Here are some suggestions to get started:

Item: Couch cushions or pillows

 

Uses:

  • Stand them up and weave around them
  • Climb over them
  • Jump on them
  • Crash through them

Item: Laundry basket

 

Uses:

  • Toss small items into them
  • Duck inside them
  • Use them as large obstacles to maneuver around

 

Item: Clothing

 

Uses:

  • Gear up with different clothing items throughout the course such as hats, jackets, gloves, scarves, etc.

Some of our other favorite prop ideas:

  • Cardboard boxes are great for tunnels!
  • Masking tape on the floor makes for an instant DIY balance beam.
  • Blankets make good tunnels and can separate one challenge from the next.
  • Chairs or stools are great obstacles that you can also drape blankets over.
Child in superhero costume navigating obstacle course at Science Center

More ways to conquer the obstacle course:

 

Spy Mission: Go through the course as quietly as possible! Shhh!

 

Save the Citizen: Grab your favorite stuffed animal and go through the course while keeping your citizen safely by your side.

 

Freeze Blast: Grown-ups can freeze their hero in training during different parts of the course to catch them off-guard.

 

“Superman Says”: Grown-ups can choose what actions their superhero in training does while going through the course.

 

Grown-ups can also act as a cheering section or blow bubbles while little ones conquer the course!

 

Share your design, results, and in-action photos with us!

 

DIY Rock Candy

While rock candy may be a tasty treat, the chemistry behind this candy makes for a great at-home experiment to do with children! Follow these directions to create your very own rock candy. All you’ll need are a few household items to become a chemist without leaving your kitchen! Recommended age range: 5+

 

Materials:

  • Five cups sugar
  • Two cups water
  • Two clean 16 oz jars
  • Food coloring
  • Flavoring extract
  • Stirring spoon
  • Medium sized pot
  • Stovetop
  • Two bamboo skewers
  • Four clothes pins
  • Measuring cups

Make a prediction! You’ll come back to this experiment each day for a week to check on your rock candy! What changes do you expect to see on the first day? How about the second day? What do you think your experiment will look like at the end?

 

Write down or draw your predictions and compare them to what you see during this experiment!

 


 

Step 1:  

  • Cut the skewers to the length of the jars. Wet them with water, leaving 1 ½ inches dry on one end of each skewer. Spoon sugar onto the damp skewers, rotating to coat evenly and then set aside to dry thoroughly.

Step 2-4:

  • Pour two cups of water into a pot. Place the pot on the stove and turn the burner to medium / high heat.
  • Slowly begin to pour five cups of sugar into the water and stir continuously until dissolved. Once most of the sugar has been added, the mixture will become thicker and cloudy as the sugar breaks down
  • Once the mixture comes to a steady simmer / low boil, add in 2-3 drops of any desired flavoring (orange, pineapple, grape etc.) as well as 2-3 drops of food coloring and wait for the mixture to come to a low boil once more before removing from the heat. 

Step 5 & 6:

  • Let the rock candy mixture cool down in the pot before pouring it into the two mason jars. Help the process along by placing the jars in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
  • Once the mixture is completely cool, place a dry sugary skewer into the center of the mixture with the 1 ½ inch uncoated end sticking out. Use a clothes pin to secure the skewer in place and rest the edges of the clothes pin along the top of the jar, keeping the skewer in the center of the liquid

Step 7:

  • Leave the jars on a counter top with a paper towel draped over the clothes pins and check on your rock candy creations each day for one week. You should notice crystals forming after just one day!

After the experiment, think deeper about the reactions you saw! Ask questions like:

  • What did you notice as you observed your experiment each day? What changes did you see?
  • Did anything in your experiment surprise you?
  • How long did it take to see crystals forming? Keep a log book or photo journal to keep track!
  • What would happen if you added more/less sugar to the mixture? Do the experiment again to find out!