The garden is the forgotten spare room of the home, providing an extra space for the family to convene and enjoy the odd bit of good weather.
Gone should be the days of using the garden as a dumping ground for unused plant pots, old and rusty gardening equipment, and long past its sell-by-date patio furniture. Take back this space as a place for your little ones to be fun and free.
Here’s a round-up of additions to your garden that will up the wow factor and have your children outside much more this summer.
Depending on what your children are into there are several items that could be purchased that will provide hours of fun and, more importantly, exercise! Getting sporty in your garden has never been easier.
If they are into football, look at investing in a goal and a football to perfect their goalie skills or penalty kicks. This set from Amazon is perfect to get you started with the little ones, or you can go for something more professional with this one from Net World Sports.
Get the American vibe into your home with a basketball hoop. Children can practice dribbling as well as their slam dunk in the convenient location of the garden. Groom and Style have created a review of the main contenders to give you an overview of the best basketball hoops.
Following the USA trend, volleyball is also a great activity to bring into your home. All you need is a bit of space to create a court and a decent ball and net to allow a bit of competitiveness. Splash and Relax has a great volleyball set.
Other great sports to consider are cricket – bats and balls are very reasonable in price – as well as getting posh with a croquet set such as this one from Dick’s Sporting Goods. It’s a little pricey but is something you can bring out year-after-year, even to impress other friends and family at summer parties.
Playtime is the opportunity for children to be creative, to let their imaginations go wild! Adding some items to your garden to encourage this will have the little ones entertained for hours.
First up is the trusty sand pit. The really little ones will love this, as well as the older ones clamoring to best each other in a sand castle contest. Look at these crazy sand sculptures from Pinterest – maybe not an indication of what playtime in the sand pit will produce but it does show just how creative people can get with sand.
Grab some paint brushes, paints, and a few easels to create an outdoor art class. Give the children something to focus their efforts on such as a beautiful flower in the garden, an interesting tree or a sunbathing dog and let them get creative. Remember to give praise and encouragement no matter what the outcome!
The Guardian has some excellent tips on gardening with children including ideas of what they could try to grow, what might prove good child motivators and contains input from some gardening experts. What’s more creative than helping to shape the family garden?
The Fun Factor
Last but not least is pure fun. In the summertime, this usually comes with getting wet! If you have been blessed with a large garden, you can invest in a paddling pool of epic proportions. This one from Home Depot is ideal for some family pool time to cool off from the sun’s rays.
Even if you don’t have a huge outdoor space, a little paddling pool will do nicely such as this 6 x 20 one.
If you’re brave enough, you could instigate a water fight using a garden hose or even water balloons. Prepare for shrieking children, a lot of wetness and possibly a few tears if they don’t win the fight! Two games that are so much fun to play are: the blindfold balloon toss, which gives the challenge of throwing a water balloon and catching it while blindfolded, as well as balloon stomp that sees the little ones stomping on the balloons until every one of them is popped.
The Slo Mo Guys on Youtube have a great video of inflating a giant water balloon and attempting to break it. It takes a few attempts, but they manage to burst the balloon with some impressive acrobatics. Definitely not suggested for your garden but it is fun viewing for the whole family!