3. Climbing the Table. The table is placed as an obstacle, over which each competitor must climb.
4. The High Jump. This consists of two garden chairs placed four feet apart, with a clothes-line or long skipping-rope tied to the back of each and brought under the seats and across the intervening space to form the jump. The seats must face each other, as this prevents them from toppling over.
5. Running the Ladder. The narrow ladder is laid flat on the ground, and the competitors have to run along it without missing a rung or losing their balance.
6. The Tape Tangle. For this obstacle, which, if properly arranged, is one of the best of the set, the long. ring-topped skewers must be stuck into the ground to stand six inches above it, and about thirty inches from one another, in two parallel straight lines a yard apart. A criss-cross of white tape is made by passing it across and across from ring to ring. Competitors have to pick their way from end to end of the entanglement without being tripped up.
7. Getting Through the Double Hoops. The hoops are passed one inside the other in such a way that they make a skeleton ball, and are first tied top and bottom with a piece of twine where they intersect each other, and then pegged down into the ground. Each competitor has to crawl in and out of the ball.
8. Climbing the White Wall. The white wall consists of the roller-towel stretched out to its longest extent, with the walking-sticks passed through either end of it to keep it upright. Each competitor must climb over this.
9. Running the Tight-rope. The two flower-pots are inverted at such a distance apart as to just support the ends of the springing plank. Each competitor must run along the plank from end to end, and it adds to the general excitement if one or two Japanese umbrellas are provided, and if each competitor is forced to stop, pick up an umbrella from beside the plank, and, opening it, run the plank with it held over his or her head, like a true tight-rope walker.
10. Crawling Through the Barrel. The barrel is laid on its side, and each competitor must crawl through it before running on to breast the winning-tape. This is more difficult than it sounds, because the barrel, not being pegged down in any way, is apt to roll round and round with a competitor inside it before he or she can succeed in getting through. For a big party, as this is the last obstacle, two or three barrels may be arranged in a row, and this adds greatly to the general excitement, for the competitor who first succeeds in successfully negotiating the barrel is practically certain of winning the race, and the sight of several barrels rolling about madly, with frenzied arms and legs waving from either end of them, provokes a very gale of merriment from the spectators.
A two-yard length of broad, white tape, held between a couple of "grown-ups," makes the starting-post and winning-post.
To start the obstacle race, when all the children have assembled, arrange them in a line, five yards behind the starting-point, and standing one behind the other according to ages, the youngest in front and the eldest at the back of the line.
The starting-rope is now raised, to make a low jump for the small child who has to start the race, and is raised an inch or two for each competitor until it has become quite a good jump for the biggest boys and girls to negotiate as a start.
The time-keeper now cries "One, two, three-go! " and off dashes the smallest child of the party, who, being a nimble little person, in spite of her minute size, has wound in and out of the ladder and is well on towards the rug tunnel before No. 2, who is nearly a year older, gets his start. The time-keeper counts ten for each year of age, consulting a card upon which names and ages have been noted, and then cries "Go! " until, in this way, all the competitors have been fairly started.
The course consists of two laps-that is to say, the entire circle of obstacles must be negotiated twice; and it is only after the second time of passing through the barrel that each competitor makes for the winning-tape, which is held taut and breast high to receive each runner in true professional style.
The obstacle race in full swing is a most exciting spectacle-two children are struggling underneath the rug tunnel, one is balanced on the ladder, which is not nearly so easy to run as it looks at first sight. The tight-rope is bouncing and threatening to throw the big boy and girl who are balanced at either end of it at any moment-luckily the drop is not a high one, a foot or so at most. A big boy lies in the middle of the tape tangle, laughing helplessly where he tripped up, and five or six competitors are scrambling over the table, one or two of whom slide over it to land upon their heads, while a line of several frenzied and shouting children are crouched down behind the barrel, which twists and wriggles as if possessed, while four arms and legs fitfully emerge from either end, denoting that the block has been caused by two very slim jersey-clad six-year-old boys, who just managed to dash into one end of it together, and then got jammed and unable to move either way. A good pull from a " grown-up " finally releases them, and off they dart, none the worse, round the course for the second time.
The race over, and the winner having been duly congratulated and accorded a prize, the children will love to be allowed to play on the course, rolling each other in the barrel, dancing all in a row on the tight-rope, and chasing each other in and out of the double ladder and under the rug, until a bell announces that it is time to come in and get ready for tea.