Ace dad and 5-year-old daughter create amazing ninja challenge courses

Gavin MacCall and his 5-year-old daughter Lylah love watching the program American Ninja Warrior together. Their shared love of the physical challenge-themed show, coupled with their enthusiasm for creating obstacle courses has sparked not one, but TWO amazing homemade, copycat courses.

Lylah, Ninja Warrior, Episode One

For Episode One, Gavin enlists the help of many rolls of duct tape and possibly all the furniture/random hardware in the house.

It features a truly genius series of carefully arranged, kid-friendly challenges.

Some are pieces of furniture, positioned just-so. Others are taped together household items, bracing themselves for Lylah’s ninja moves.  All are big on excitement and quite small on safety features, but that’s actually an important part of the fun.

We guarantee that you’ll be on the edge of your seat as you watch the then 4-year-old ‘compete’ for her best time as her dad expertly narrates her performance and the crowd (we’re not sure which crowd!) cheers wildly on.

Highlights of this episode include Lylah’s Harlem Globetrotter headband and the way she navigates the recliner, Watermelon Corner and tyre sections of the course. We also like her power stance.

Look out for Gavin’s gentle response as Lylah corrects his commentary at the end.

“Noo! It’s Mountain Sand Dunes!” Duh, Dad.



Lylah, Ninja Warrior, Episode Two

After the heavily duct-taped challenge, Gavin takes things up a (very large) notch and creates a purpose-built course in the family’s backyard for Episode Two.

This time, he uses wood and nails and other hardware. Lylah once again rises to the challenge, warrior style, leaping through the obstacles in true ninja style.

It’s possible that Lylah’s ‘Girls are Superstars’ t-shirt has enhanced her performance just a little, but mostly we think it’s her determined attitude and hardcore strength that gets her over the line.

Watch as she navigates the Quintuple Steps expertly, leaping from platform to platform like an absolute boss. Next she trips across the balance beam, nimble and confident, perhaps an example of Lylah’s general approach to life’s obstacles? If you think the Teeter Log is going to make her come undone, you’d be wrong. Steely focus coupled with a cheering crowd of favourite soft toys keep her on the straight and narrow, literally.

After a tiny, quickly corrected trip, Lylah leaps onto theCargo Climb net obstacle, heading to the rooftops and beyond. She shimmies swiftly down the roof of a second shed, leaps onto another platform, crosses a bridge and just when you think things couldn’t get any more exciting, Lylah reaches for a zip line!

No way.

She whizzes one-handed across a crowd of admiring soft toys and a bunch of water bottles, landing safely on the other side. Now she’s at Christmas Tree Corner – poignantly home to five years of dead family Christmas trees – and navigates its very wobbly hanging steps. These are no problem for ninja Lylah. She crosses safely after a bit of a wiggle, smiling broadly as the crowd cheers on.

Now she has to make her way across the Lylah-named Log Thingies and she’s almost done. Just a run up the super-steep Work Wall’ and her mission is complete. She takes a run up and powers through to hit the final button and end the challenge!

Ninja achievement unlocked!


Repeat (very creative) offenders

It turns out that Gavin and Lylah have a bit of a habit of making things together, aside from Ninja runs.

Take this school house they constructed from a drawing Lylah did, for instance. Pretty fan-freaking-tastic, even if it is lacking in dead Christmas trees.


It’s so inspiring to see funny, energetic parents working with their kids on creative, active projects. Not only does it show them that life is full of possibility, the lessons kids learn from working alongside their parents are invaluable. And possibly the other way round too.

One thing’s for certain, the future is in good hands with clever, ninja kids like this on the case.

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