myNDNA: Early years and childcare activities

View our latest childcare activity guide below, written by early years experts.

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Coronavirus disclaimer - Legislation and policy guidance change regularly. It is the responsibility of the setting to review the latest COVID-19 guidance from the Government when undertaking these top tips.

Vehicle obstacle course

Create a vehicle obstacle course to inspire children to take active journeys using wheeled toys. 

Stepping Stones Nursery Gomersal, children riding bikesLearning aims

  • Support children’s gross motor development (stability, visual perception, coordination and general health and well-being)
  • Develop spatial awareness as they navigate themselves around the course 
  • Understand basic rules to follow including where to start, end, sharing and turn-taking 
  • Mathematical language as they go over and under aspects of the course, and numbers as they time how long it takes them and how far they have travelled.  


  • Wheeled toys to suit the different ages/stages of the children, for example, three wheeled trikes, two wheeled bikes with and without stabilisers, scooters and go karts
  • Cones 
  • Ramps (can be made with pieces of wood) 
  • Balance beams
  • Hurdles to drive under. You could use equipment such as a noodle to drive under 
  • Start and finish signs 
  • Zigzags, arrows/lines to show the course outline. You could use chalk and involve the children  
  • Stop clock, odometer and paper. 

Activity outline

  1. Design a suitable vehicle obstacle course 
  2. Set up the course using all available resources, as above 
  3. Explain the aims and objectives to the children 
  4. Display all the wheeled toys ready 
  5. Encourage all the children to take turns and have a go  
  6. Record children’s timings see if they can beat their time or see if they are quicker on a different vehicle 
  7. Keep an eye on the odometer and how many miles the children/wheeled toys have travelled
  8. Make sure staff are positive role models and have a turn too
  9. Take lots of photos and enjoy looking at them with the children and sharing with families. 

Extension ideas

  • Involve the children where age/stage appropriate to design and create the course, have a look online for ideas. Make it lots of fun by including extra bits to the course over the week, for example, a bike wash to go through, water balloons to pop as they ride over or skittles to knock down
  • Support younger children to go around the track, you may also use things such as wheeled cars or create smaller tracks for toy cars to travel on 
  • Create a bike/trike/scooter treasure hunt where you encourage the children to ride between points of the outdoor nursery area and solve clues to find the next location, you could use photos to help
  • Encourage families to travel to the setting where possible on their bike/trike/scooter and/or have a ‘Bring your Favourite Wheeled Toy to Nursery Day’
  • Share further details about local bike tracks/skate parks with families. 

Special considerations

Remember to risk assess the activity highlighting the benefits as well of the risks involved. Ensure children wear all necessary safety equipment.  

Useful links

With thanks to NDNA member Stepping Stones Nursery, Gomersal, for their image. 

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