Gardens are great spaces to enjoy nature, to learn about the world around you, and to enjoy some outdoor play. Here are our top ten activities to do in the garden – and some would also work for your daily exercise!
For little ones, hide a collection of the same thing around your garden and encourage them to find all of them. We like doing this with brightly coloured balls from a ball pit, but it would work well with cuddly toys or stacking cups too.
For older ones, give them a list of things from your garden to find and tick off, such as a yellow flower, stone, stick, leaf – or things that you have hidden from the house.
You could also do this with books and then have fun reading them together afterwards!
Give your children something to collect things in and let them go around the garden picking what they fancy for their collage. Then give them a piece of paper and some glue (help them if they’re littler) and let them get creative!
Creating a collage
Create an obstacle course or circuit in the garden for children to complete. You could get older children involved in the creation of this – we’re sure they’d love the planning as much as the taking part! Add in a timer if they’re feeling particularly competitive.
For the littlest members of your family this could be more sensory based, getting them to walk or crawl through different textures or surfaces such as grass, water or sand.
For little children, get them to describe the weather outside or point to things they can see, such as clouds or sun.
For older children, get them to predict what might happen with the weather that day based on what they can see.
Lift-the-flap First Questions and Answers: What makes it rain? is brilliant for answering all those weather-based questions that children might have too!
Mark out an area of the garden and get your children to count up the number of insects they find in that area. Ask them if that's more or less than other areas in the garden? Why do they think that might be?
Create a teddy bear’s picnic for your little ones. Great for practising the names of food and colours, and for practising other skills such as counting and sharing.
Take a look at the recommended websites on Usborne Quicklinks for the book How flowers grow. Watch some of the videos of the different stages of a flower’s development, then see if you can spot the different stages in your own garden.
Create your own mud kitchen using a washing up bowl, wooden spoons, water and then whatever your children fancy putting in it from the garden.
Food colouring and yoghurt works well for little ones that like to put everything in their mouths but still want to join in the fun!
Having a picnic
Give your children some water and a paint brush and let them get busy. You could also get them to practise tracing letters and numbers with their paintbrush.
Older ones might enjoy a painting race to see who can ‘paint’ their part of the fence or patio the quickest!
Using books as your guide, see how many things your children can find in the garden from the pages.
For older children, ask them why they think they can’t find certain things in your garden, and where they think they might be instead.