A game that has great visuals is magnetic to any kid. They immediately become curious and want to play. And this DIY Viking Ninja Course is just that. Whenever I’m doing Ninja Warrior for Viking I boxes, steps, walls, lots of obstacles to challenge kids. But sometimes I want to bring that same experience home, which means I have to use things laying around my house. The goal of this game is to string together a series of obstacles that address fitness, agility, strength, stamina, and balance.  Here are some of the things I had laying around my house:

  • Milk creates
  • Scrap pieces of wood
  • PVC piping
  • Cones
  • Cinder blocks
  • Patio benches 
  • Tie down straps

Once you acquire the materials lay out a course. Make sure it has an easy flow and test things out before unveiling your Ninja masterpiece to the kids. When everything is set up, show the kids how the flow works and what to do at each obstacle. For the first round, have them get familiar with what they are actually doing by having them go through a few times. Then make it a little tougher by adding a time element. Have them race through the course to beat their previous time. When they finally beat their times, make it Legendary by adding some weight and some fitness based consequences. This new dimension makes things challenging… in a good way. 

If they’re holding a rock or something of weight in their hand, the course becomes hard and they aren’t able to fly through. What happens instead is they go slower because they begin focusing on doing everything correctly. After adding weight or holding an object in their hands runs it course, switch up by adding in a fitness based consequence. As kids become really familiar with the course and try to shave every second off their time, they begin to take short cuts. When that happens you can have them do a few push ups right after they short cut an obstinate or at the end of the course. It’s important they do them, finish strong, and don’t quit.

If you want to really kick up the fun, turn it into a family race. Kids always love it when grown ups join, so take advantage of that. Stagger the starts and the make the course continuous. Say “GO” and the race only ends when you get passed. Make sure they pass you otherwise it will never end. 

This game requires a little set up, but it’s all worth it in the end. On days when outside isn’t an option, be creative when moving things indoors. Also when everyone finishes the course make sure to give high fives. 

Don’t forget, if you don’t have fun it doesn’t count.