If there’s one thing that the last few months have taught us, it’s that you can have a lot of fun without leaving the house in your own back garden. So while the swings at the local park are still closed, we’ve teamed up with Wickey outdoor play equipment to put together this list of fun garden play ideas you can bring to life in your own back garden.
There’s also an exciting chance to win one of their fantastic wooden swing sets – the Swing Wickey Smart One worth £219.95 – a classic single swing that guarantees great swinging fun even in a small garden – more on that down below! But in the meantime, if you’re thinking of investing in some outdoor play equipment they really do have a fantastic range of wooden climbing frames, swings, sandpits, playhouses and more.
20 fun garden play ideas to keep your kids entertained
Make a water wall
If you’re anything like us, you will probably have a load of stuff headed for the recycling bin. So grab those cans, bottles and plastic containers, pierce or drill holes into the bottom of the items and fix them to an old bit of trellis with either a hot glue gun or garden wire. Hey presto! You have a water wall 🙂
Have a blind water gun shoot out
Think your typical water gun bonanza but with the added crazy of shooting each other blindfolded. Best played in two teams with one person on each team being the “guider” and providing instructions for the shooter. But we have played this one-on-one also.
We are huge fans of this retro game making it one of our top fun garden play ideas. I spent hours on end playing this in my youth and kids still love it just as much now. If you don’t know what swingball is – where have you been? Essentially, a game played by two people using bats and a ball hung by a cord from an upright post, the objective being to wind the cord around the post. Hours of fun!
We picked up a kids bowling set years ago and it is still going strong. You can have a game of just good old bowling, or try different variations like bowling backwards, disco bowling (dancing as you bowl!), tiptoe bowl and anything else you can think of!
Play water balloon pinata
Perfect for a hot summer’s day, attach a string or rope between two posts/tree branches/walls or whatever’s handy, fill up as many balloons as you can with water, hang them up from the rope and have the kids take turns hitting them with a baseball bat/broom handle or similar and let them get soaked!
Create a fairy garden
Although you can buy fairy gardens to plant, making one is just as easy. For a super simple version, all you need to do is line an old oven baking tray with some potting mix, and let you kids use their imagination as they use gravel/small stones, plants and flowers to decorate it. They can use a small plant pot for the fairy house and a little saucer to make a pond.
Hold a mini Olympics
This is one of our favourite fun garden play ideas and a brilliant afternoon of activity. You can be imaginative with this one but some of the “heats” we love to include are sprint, long jump, limbo, bean bag toss, hula hoop competition and discus (using paper plates). Don’t forget to make some medals to finish off with a medal ceremony at the end!
Create a paving art gallery
Got some chalk? Got some paving stones? Then you are all set to create a paving art gallery. The idea here is that each paving stone features a different creation by a different household member. It’s loving to see all the different “artworks” created sitting side by side.
Set up an obstacle course
Kids love an obstacle course making it one of our top fun garden play ideas, and it’s something you can get away with even in a smaller garden (like ours!). Let your children design and lay out an obstaacle course which they have to complete (they have better imaginations than us!). They can also make themed obstacle courses involving water, stuffed toys, balloons or whatever else they come up with.
To set up a fun mini golf course, all your really need is a bunch of stuff destined for the recycling (think tubes, tubs, jars, cans and cardboard), a final hole dug in the garden, plus a cheap kids golf set. Let the kids design the course (and giggle at what they come up with), and off they go!
Enjoy some cloud gazing
For when a good chill is the order of the day, there is nothing like encouraging a bit of out of the box creativity with cloud glazing. A really nice activity when kids need a bit of calm, it’s also a great way of helping them to connect with nature.
Go on a mini beast hunt
A minibeast hunt is another great way of encouraging kids to get up close with nature, and you would be amazed at how many minibeasts you have lurking around in your front garden. The Woodland Trust has a useful minibeast hunt list you can print off here.
Play teddy bear hide and seek
This one is especially great if your child has no siblings to play with and for when you don’t feel like hiding in a cupboard for half an hour. Grab as many teddy bears and stuffed toys of theirs as you can, and hide them around the garden for them to find.
Build a den
This is a great one to do after you’ve done a load of pruning around the garden. Save the offcuts of any branches, twigs and leaves for them to create the backyard den of their dreams.
We’ve recently gotten into this and finding it pretty addictive. Quoits is a traditional game which involves the throwing of metal, rope or rubber rings over a set distance, usually to land over or near a peg for different amounts of points. You can pick up an affordable set online.
Did you know that with just one piece of chalk, there are so many different games you can play? Some of our favourites include hopscotch, avoid the shark. 4 square, mazes and more. We love this list by Activities for Life of the various chalk games you can play.
Play water balloon dodgeball
You know the rules of regular dodgeball? Well, this is basically the same but with water balloons. So fill up a large bucket with a load of water balloons and let them go for it! The ultimate in fun garden play ideas.
Tug of war
Total classic which never fails to bring the competitive side out of anyone. Line the kids up and let the craziness start as they compete to be the strongest side.
Play blanket run
Got an old blanket or duvet that you don’t mind getting mucky? Kids always have a whale of a time dragging each other back and forth in this fun activity. If you have enough kids you can also get them involved in a relay (otherwise they are usually quite happy just dragging each other back and forth).
Watergun target practice
There are a few ways you can spin this one. Either by chalking up a target for them to take aim at, or stacking up a load of cans to knock over. You can even string up some paper plates for them to take aim at. Ready, steady, shoot!
We hope you enjoyed our list of fun garden play ideas. Which of the above do your kids love to play? Or perhaps you have some more to add to the list? Do leave a comment and share.
We are super excited that we have teamed up with Wickey in this chance to win one of their fantastic swing sets – the Swing Wickey Smart One – worth £219.95!
Picture credit: Flower photo created by nensuria – www.freepik.com