Little Life Ninja Warrior

Little Life Ninja Warrior


To test our balance, precision, and coordination as we race an obstacle course.

Supplies: (all are optional)

  • 2 x 4's

  • Ramps

  • Inflatable Pool

  • Rope

  • Slack line

  • Child's toy buzzer

  • A large piece of wood

  • A few bricks

  • 2 Hula hoops

  • A cushion

  • 2 chairs

  • A pole

  • Child's slide

  • Small trampoline


  1. Set up the ramp. Children will run up the ramp.

  2. Place a swinging rope hanging from a tree. Children will grab the rope and swing.

  3. Place the two hula hoops on the ground. Children will land in the hula hoops.

  4. Place a 2x4 on some bricks to slightly elevate it from the ground. Children will walk across the balance beam.

  5. Place a large piece of wood with a few bricks or other pieces of wood under the middle section, so the large piece acts as a seesaw. Children will run up and then down the seesaw.

  6. Place another hula hoop. Children will land in the hula hoop.

  7. Place a small piece of wood on a cushion so it is slightly springy. Children will jump off the the spring board.

  8. Place a pole on top of 2 chairs. Children will duck under the pole.

  9. Attach a slack line to a tree with an inflatable pool under it. Children will swing over the pool.

  10. Attach a slack line to two nearby trees. Children will hold the slack line as they walk across.

  11. Place the slide. Children will go down the slide.

  12. Place the trampoline. Children will land and spring off the trampoline.

  13. Place another ramp. Children will run up the ramp.

  14. Place a step stool. Children will run across the step stool.

  15. Place the buzzer. Children will hit the buzzer when they finish.


Do you remember when American Ninja Warrior began, it was excitingly popular. My family would get together and have viewing parties to watch it. That was pre-most of our children, of course. Viewing parties are a luxury we can't afford anymore. My husband swore up and down he was going to get in shape so he could compete on the show. (He did not.) Was that your thought too? I know it was a lot of others'. But why was that our thought? Why did we suddenly yearn to be in peak physical shape to compete on an oversized obstacle course? That show ignited something inside of people. That sense of adventure and accomplishment, that naiveté that we can achieve anything or be the best just because we want to.

So after the 2016 Olympics, Ashton was obsessed with gymnastics. She was flipping all over the place. It's no surprise because Ashton is a bit of a daredevil. Szalan decided to show her the female American Ninja Warriors, knowing very well what her reaction would be. She loved it! So Szalan set up a makeshift obstacle course in her yard and we had all the kids over to race in the obstacle course. It wasn't anything fancy. We didn't go buy ramps and swings and pegs. Instead we took a look around our house and got creative. We used pieces of wood as balance beams, an inflatable pool as our water obstacle, an old rope to climb across and a toy buzzer to signal their completion.

You can go as big or as small as you would like or as your budget will allow. I've seen some videos on Youtube where dad's actually built obstacles for their children. That's awesome! If you have the time and resources, go for it. Especially for older children. Most of ours were too young to care.

Now we've done quite a few Fun Fridays, but normally we complete our activity and the kids go about their day. Not this one. We finished our Fun Friday and they wanted to keep going, and going, and going. They were out there all day racing the obstacles over and over. And weeks later they were still begging for us to reset the course. They were narrating the events as we did. They were pretending to time one another. They were faking injuries and exhaustion. They were stretching and warming up before hand. It was awesome!

Here's the thing, this works for birthdays too. You, as the parent, don't even have to be involved. Just set up the obstacle course and the kids will spend the whole party going through it.

Bing a child is fun. Believing you can achieve anything is such a euphoric feeling. Feeling that all the time as a child does...what a wonderful way to live. We thought we were just out to have a fun time this Fun Friday. But, perhaps instead our children taught us more than we taught them.

Grab your kids, go outside, and explore LIFE!

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