50+ Garden Games & Garden Ideas for Kids | Day Out With The Kids

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Garden Tykes: Garden Games and Garden Ideas for Kids

Dela Lozanova

25 March 2020

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4 minutes
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Wondering how to make the most of the good weather without leaving the house? We’ve got over 50 awesome garden ideas to keep the kids happy, active and entertained!

From fun garden games to quirky garden crafts and a whole lot more exciting garden activities, here’s all the inspiration you need to create unforgettable outdoor days out without leaving the comfort of your own house.

Garden Games Garden Crafts Garden Activities Other Cool Garden Ideas

Garden Games

You know what the best things about garden games is? Everybody loves them! Here we’ve got a few garden games ideas for kids you might like but if you give your grandparents a quick call and ask for even more - they’re sure to pull out a few more cool suggestions from the memory vault.

Garden games collage

  1. Giant Jenga

    Some things are better in big sizes and Jenga is one of them! Playing Giant Jenga in the garden will keep you on edge - who will be the unlucky player to crumble the whole tower? You’ll need steady hands and a calm attitude to win this one.

  2. Create a chalk challenge

    Got a patch of patio? Create your own chalk challenge game! Scribble instructions, like twirl, touch your toes or hop like a bunny in a fun sequence along the floor. Once complete, take turns to complete the course from start to finish - add a stopwatch and time it for a bit of competitive fun!

  3. Noughts and crosses

    Draw a grid on the patio with chalk, or collect twigs and branches to build your own, then find things hidden around the garden to be your game pieces, just like this nature noughts and crosses

  4. Beanbag bullseye

    Draw one little circle with chalk, then 3 more circles around the edge, getting bigger every time until you have your very own target on the floor. Write 50 in the smallest circle, 25 in the next one out, 10 and then 5, then throw a beanbag and see where you land! How many points can you score with 3 beanbags?

  5. Freeze Dance

    Oh, the giggles! This garden game will get you moving and grooving...and definitely laughing a lot. This is how it goes: one person plays a song, everybody starts to dance; once the music’s paused, you’ve got to freeze on the spot; whoever moves is out. This is repeated until only one dancer is left. Not enough people for a proper dance off? Take turns to play the music and even if there’s only one person on the dance floor, take a quick photo of every “frozen” move, then have fun going through your dance gallery.

  6. Play Hide and Seek (with an object)

    If you don’t have a giant garden, probably this adapted version of Hide and Seek is a better suited garden game for you. It’s simple - an item to hide is chosen, everyone but the person hiding closes their eyes, counts to 20 and then everyone goes looking for the item. The first person to find it wins and becomes the next hider.

  7. Target practice with an old sheet

    You’ll need an old sheet, blanket or large sheet of nylon to sacrifice for this game but it’s worth it. Find a small ball to play with, draw circles of different sizes (all big enough for the ball to go through) and cut them out. Then, hang your sheet-turned-practice-target on the clothes line in the garden and start training your throwing ability. If you want to make this a little bit more competitive, decide on a colour for each size of a circle, assign points to each colour (the smaller the hole, the bigger the points gain), and start keeping track of your score.

  8. Ladder target practice

    Don’t have an unwanted sheet to spare? Bring out your ladder, attach pieces of paper with numbers to each step and try to hit those instead. You could also play a  variation where the numbers/points are drawn onto plastic containers (empty yogurt containers for example) and you have to knock those over with the ball to collect the points.

  9. Garden Bowling

    Another garden game featuring recycled make-shift props is garden bowling. Get a few old plastic bottles, order them in a triangle formation in one end of the garden and roll any normal ball towards them. If you knock them all over, it’s a strike! To make the game more fun, you can get the kids to colour the bottles first, or maybe put some tiny stones from the garden inside the bottles to make them a bit more stable and more difficult to take down.

  10. Play with marbles

    Time to show the kids what our childhood was like! You must have some marbles lying around and if you don’t, they’re pretty easy to find online. Once you start the demo though, you might find it hard to leave the game; we won’t be surprised if you end up playing with the kids for a while.

  11. Water wars

    Water wars must be one of the most popular garden games of all time. When the sun’s out and you don’t mind the kids getting wet, it’s guaranteed splash-tastic fun. You don’t have to have special water guns either, a make-shift plastic bottle water gun or even the garden hose can do the job.

  12. Play Monkey in the Middle

    You need just three people and a ball to play. Two people pass the ball to each other and the person in the middle tries to catch it. If they do, the person who last threw goes in the middle. You can play with a whole tribe of little monkeys in the middle if you’d like - it’s even more fun with more players!

  13. Organise Garden Olympics

    Keep active with your very own Back Garden Olympic Garden Games. Come up with a list of sports activities to compete in - running, long jump, Frisbee throwing, creative rope skipping and anything else you can think of. You can even make medals out of tin foil to give to the winner. Oh, and if you really wanted to, you could even do a creative opening and closing ceremony with a full entertainment program!

  14. Wiggle Worm game

    One to get the whole family up and wiggling! Cut a piece of card into 8 strips or use ice lolly sticks and draw a picture at the bottom of each - have a mix of ‘wiggly worms’, ‘aeroplanes’, ‘silly faces’ and ‘tornadoes’. Take it in turn to draw a strip, and everyone has to do the action! If you draw a worm, you’ll need to do your best wiggle, if you pick a plane you need to run around like a plane, pull a silly face if you draw that one, and spin on the spot if you choose the tornado. Have a go at making up your own actions, too.

    Garden Crafts

    Here come our DIY garden ideas for the creative souls and the budding artists out there. From nature art to cool and unique garden crafts, hands-on fun awaits!

    Garden crafts collage

  15. Create an outdoor sticky wall

    Whip out the sticky back plastic for this fun garden craft idea! Use tape to secure your ‘frame’ to your fence sticky side up, then let them get creative and stick anything they can find to their new mural. Leaves, flowers, twigs - what else can they find and stick to their outdoor sticky wall?

  16. Paint a pot

    Bring some life back into your old flower pots - with a little paint a dose of creativity, your mini artists will turn the pots into awesome garden decoration. Need some ideas, check out these painted fairy houses for the garden made using pots!

  17. Make a DIY swing

    Whether it’s a DIY tyre swing or a DIY wooden swing, you don’t have to be a handyman to make a swing for your kids to enjoy. They can help in the making too - the wooden plank or the old tyre you’re using will need a full makeover and that’s a job for the mini painters.

  18. Make a bird feeder

    Bird feeders are easy to make and your feathered garden visitors will love them. Enjoy some quality time with the kids doing one (or maybe all three!) of these easy kid-friendly bird feeder ideas.

  19. Make a dinosaur garden

    Prehistoric adventures in your own back garden. Sounds exciting, right? Here’s how to turn your flower pots into a dinosaur garden in no time. Your little palaeontologists will have a roar-ing time playing with their mini Jurassic Park.

    Even more garden crafts ideas

  20. Make a fairy garden

    Dinosaurs aren't the only cool creatures you can invite in your garden - fairies love flowers too! How about you get the kids to make a colourful fairy house for their magical guests to stay in, or maybe even create a whole fairy garden.

  21. Leaf painting

    Leaf painting is an oldie but goodie. Usually inspired by the bright reds and deep yellows of autumn, it’s just as fun with the vivid green leaves of spring. Plus, if the weather is nice, your little ones can take all their materials and paint outside in the sun.

  22. Make a homemade suncatcher

    Nature is beautiful and with all its wonderful shapes and colours at your disposal, you can create some stunning nature art with the kids. This elegant nature suncatcher idea is one of our favourites.

  23. Build a bug hotel

    Building your very own bug hotel and checking in all your new guests throughout the day is one of those garden ideas that keep on giving. For your kids it will be like having a new pet every day.

  24. Create a cardboard painting zone

    Get a giant piece of cardboard and a range of coloured paints, and let your little artists run wild. Because it’s outdoors, there’s less worry about the mess - just make sure your kids aren’t wearing anything you don’t mind getting dirty!

  25. Make beautiful flower crowns

    Got flowers growing in your garden? Teach your kids how to make a flower crown - they can wear one themselves or make a whole collection for mummy to use; she’s Queen of the House, of course! Got younger kids? Try this simple flower crown activity.

  26. Garden marker crafts

    We love DIY garden ideas! Garden marker crafts take a top place on the creative ladder. You could use those to do anything from separating the flower section from the vegetable sections, to naming each different plant you’ve got there. Your mini garden helpers will have lots of fun making these DIY garden markers.

    Garden Activities

    Being outdoors in the sun gives you the opportunity to get creative with a whole range of garden activities, including fun with giant soap bubbles, backyard bug hunts and building a den in the garden.

    Fun garden activities for kids

  27. Go on a bug hunt

    Calling on all nature explorers! Hand them a magnifying glass and let them scour the garden for curious bugs. Make sure they’ve got a pen to note down or draw anything they’ve seen and report back to the grown-ups.

  28. Make giant bubbles

    Taking playing with soap bubbles to another level and make a HUGE soap bubble. Watching the giant bubble grow is almost as fun as seeing it pop. Don’t forget to take videos - you’ll share lots of laughs recapping your garden adventures.

  29. Create a bubble snake

    Liked the giant bubble idea? You may also want to try this easy bubble snake tutorial. It’s about to get foamy!

  30. Go camping outdoors

    Sleeping in a tent out in the open, listening to all the curious noises of nature at night, looking at the stars and telling stories by the campfire. You can do all that, including the smores in your own garden, so why not?

  31. Build a den

    Another favourite outdoor activity you can turn into a garden activity is building a den to play in. The Eden Project in Cornwall even has a den building tutorial to help you out.

  32. Do some gardening together

    This might sound like something obvious but why not get the kids to do some actual gardening? Whether it’s helping you push the lawn mower along, sweeping up the fallen leaves or watering the plants can be just as fun.

  33. Paint the garden fence

    Does your garden fence need repainting? Taking inspiration from Mark Twain’s classic, Tom Sawyer, we suggest handing your little ones the paint brush and letting them have fun with adding a new colourful layer.

  34. Plant something new

    Gardening with children is quite entertaining - the little ones are usually quite eager to dig into the soil, get mucky and plant a seed. Some crops are easier to grow, which makes them a better choice for kids. Check out some of the best child-friendly crops here.

  35. Picnic in the garden

    No need to go to the park to have a picnic - just bring out your blanket and a full picnic basket out in the garden. Want some company? Feel free to invite Teddy to the picnic too - plush bears make some of THE BEST picnic guests.

  36. Do some bird watching

    Binoculars at the ready? From robyns to starlings and doves, there are plenty of birds that could be passing through your garden. Hiding in the trees, flying above or simply hopping along - try to spot them all.

  37. Climb a tree and make a treehouse

    Before indoor climbing, there was outdoor climbing and everyone’s (or at least certainly one of our) favourite garden activities was finding the best trees to climb. What makes things even more exciting is if you build your own tree lair. Whether it’s just a designated branch with a flag attached to it, or a whole treehouse - you’ll be struggling to get the kids to leave Treetop HQ.

  38. Paint what you see in the garden

    Give your kids a blank sheet of paper and drawing supplies, and send them out in the garden to paint. They can pick anything they like, as long as it’s something they see in the garden. Your job will be to guess what they’ve drawn and where it is. It’s like “I spy with my little eye” but with visual aids.

  39. Make DIY grass heads

    Grass heads were a thing of the 90s but maybe it’s time to revive them. Here’s a handy tutorial on how to make your own grass heads. Cheeky, geeky, dopey - what personality will yours have?

  40. Make a rainbow

    Yep, you read that right you can make your own rainbow, all you need is sunshine, water and a white sheet of paper. It’s a fun outdoor science experiment for your little scientists to try. Here’s how to do it!

  41. Letter hunt

    We featured the indoor version in our indoor activities blog, but there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy an alphabet letter hunt in the garden! Hide letters A-Z around the garden, and task the kids with finding all of them - either in order or in any order! Don’t forget to hide them high and low to make them really have to work!

    Other Cool Garden Ideas

    Not everything is designed to fit in a box, including the things you can do in the garden with your kids. That’s why we decided to create a special section for all of those cool garden ideas that don’t fit in any other category we’ve come up with so far.

    Other cool garden ideas to try with the kids

  42. Make garden soup

    Definitely not for eating, this garden soup activity is a real concoction! The first step is to collect your ‘ingredients’, think flowers, leaves and grass, before mixing all together in a big bowl of water (a washing up bowl works well!). Use utensils to stir and keep adding new things to see how your soup changes, you could even add some food colouring if you like.

  43. Paint a rock

    Send your tiny explorers on a quest to find the best, smoothest, most beautiful rock in the garden. Once they’ve got their chosen one, it’s time to grab a paintbrush and give your rock a makeover. Turn it into a flower garden in itself, give it a face or maybe paint it as a ladybird. Here are a few painted rocks ideas to give you inspiration.

  44. Colour a wall with chalk

    This is an idea from our Facebook Group, which definitely brightened up our day! Get a range of coloured chalks and colour in the bricks of your house to create a colourful masterpiece - it should all wash off when it next rains!

  45. Garden scavenger hunt

    What could be more exciting than a treasure hunt quest? Searching for clues and ticking off each task on the list will keep budding explorers of all ages occupied for hours on end. Here's a free printable garden scavenger hunt for you to try!

  46. Get creative with nature photography

    Hand your little ones a phone or a camera and task them with becoming a nature photographer for a day. What will they capture today: a squirrel visiting the garden, a snail making its way through the grass or daddy taking a nap on the patio? Feel free to share your funniest snaps with us on social media!

  47. Shadow Play
    A great way to make use of the sunshine, this easy drawing activity is perfect for doing in the garden. Simply pick some toys (animals work really well!), get some paper and pens, then line them up on the grass so the toys produce cool shadow shapes. The kids will love to draw around them, and there’s also a lesson in there about how distances can affect the shape of shadows - also spotted in our Facebook Group!
  48. Give the dog a wash in the garden

    Weather's nice? Get the kids to help out with giving your dog a bath in the garden. Chances are by the end of it, you’ll all be soaking wet but all the laughs are worth it! Don’t have a dog? Maybe it’s time for your little ones’ favourite soft toy to get a spring cleaning bath.

  49. Have a walnut boat race

    Fill a paddling pool (a long plant pot or even a big bucket will do) and organise a walnut boat race. You’ll also need a stick to push your boat along. Never made a walnut boat before? Time to learn how to - it’s super easy and fun!

  50. Have fun with water balloons

    There’s something so mischievous about popping water balloons that kids just can’t get enough of it. Just fill in your water balloons, go up to your bedroom, drop them out of the window in the garden, and watch the big splash. Make sure no one’s standing in the garden before you throw though!

  51. Make a pool for your toys

    Maybe it’s time your little ones’ favourite toys enjoyed a vacation! Fill a bucket with water, let it sit in the sun to warm up and prepare Barbie, Superman and the rest of the gang for a day by the pool. From swimming and making new friends to performing lifeguard duty and even underwater spy missions, the games and plotlines are endless.

  52. Find fun shapes in the clouds

    Here’s another garden activity to get the imagination going. Lie down on the grass, side by side with your mini explorers and look at the clouds in the sky. Elephant? Dragon? Smiley face? What will you see?

  53. Do some stargazing

    There are plenty of garden activities you can do during the day but it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun in the garden after dark. If there were no clouds during the day, you’re likely to be able to see the stars clearly once the sun sets. It’s the perfect time for stargazing. Feeling a bit lost? Here’s a beginners’ guide to stargazing for parents to help you out.


Loved our garden games and garden ideas? If you’re craving more fun you can do at home, check out one of these articles below:
100+ indoor activities to keep the kids busy at home | Free downloadable home learning schedule

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Dela Lozanova

25 March 2020

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Dela is the Content Editor at Day Out With The Kids. Originally from sunny Varna on the Bulgarian seacoast, she now lives in Coventry and travels regularly throughout Europe to escape the rain.

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