Garden activities that won't cost the earth

Aug 2012
Garden activities that won't cost the earth
Let your children bring your patio to life with a pack of chalk and their imagination.

When the sun comes out to play, have you got some outdoor activities in your back pocket that you can bring out to keep your children entertained?

Though there are thousands of fantastic toys and games you can purchase to play with your children in the garden, don't forget some of the old favourites that will barely cost you a penny.

Chalk artwork
There is no better way to brighten up the garden patio than with an array of children's chalk drawings. Let your children bring your patio to life with a pack of chalk and their imagination. This is likely to be the largest canvas you can provide for them to get creative with, and of course it can all be washed away at the end of the day, should you wish.

Make a fort
Old bedding, garden furniture and cardboard boxes have been key materials for some of the best garden forts for decades. Not only will building the fort provide hours of exercise and entertainment, but the finished product will serve as a great stimulus for role play. This is also a great way for children to utilise their teamwork skills.

Garden Olympics
Though school sports days only come round once a year, and the Olympics takes place just every four years, there is nothing stopping you filling in the time with your own garden games. Balancing a tennis ball on a spoon is a cleaner alternative to the egg and spoon race, whilst old pillow cases make ideal sacks for young children to hop along inside. You could even encourage your children to make their own medals using cardboard and kitchen foil. And to end the games, children could even compete to write the catchiest new national anthem!

Get planting
The summer is the ideal time for children to get green fingers. Children will develop many skills when nurturing their own garden. Selecting the best plants for the season, choosing the right area for their plants to flourish and watering them regularly will encourage children to read instructions, learn about nature and take responsibility.