Garden activities to try with your kids this summer

Written by

Luke Hilton

Luke Hilton is a Warrington-based email content writer and designer in the financial services industry. He enjoys mixing analytics and creativity and can usually be found with his head buried in stats, piecing together the patterns that make good content. In his spare time, the drive to figure things out continues with what can only be described as a love-hate relationship with DIY. With a keen love of the outdoors, Luke is usually up a mountain somewhere or in his garden growing his own oasis.

Tuesday 25th July 2023

The six-week summer holidays are just around the corner and, with any luck, so is some glorious weather.

To help you make the most of the sunshine, we’ve pulled together our favourite family activities that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own garden…

Grow your own

There are few things more satisfying than tucking into fruit and veg you’ve grown yourself. Whether you grow strawberries, cherry tomatoes, runner beans or potatoes, get your kids involved from the start and enjoy watching them nurture their fruit and veg patch. If you don’t have a garden suitable for growing, why not see if there are any community garden projects or allotments available near you?

Build a bug hotel

Whether you’re making a B&B for minibeasts or a five-star critter complex, you won’t need to break the bank to make a fantastic hotel for the creatures living in your garden.

Save up materials you’d normally discard such as bricks, wooden pallets, logs or planks. Put together a sturdy structure with plenty of separate sections so you can fill each one with different materials. Maybe one section can be packed full of pinecones for a spiky spa experience, and another stuffed with leaves or grass for a cosier corner. You’d be surprised how many creatures will pay your hotel a visit. Expect woodlice and beetles galore with a few VIPs such as bees or birds stopping by to say hello too.

Create an outdoor cinema

For a magical evening of entertainment, work together to build an outdoor fort out of tents, blankets and cushions – anything cosy you can find! Snuggle up with a bowl of popcorn and watch your favourite films together on a tablet or laptop.

If you’ve having friends round and want to take your outdoor cinema experience to the next level, you could buy an affordable projector online. Show the film on an outdoor projector screen (or a white bed sheet hanging on a washing line if you’re trying to keep costs down) and you’ve got yourself a homemade cinema!

Put on a show in your very own outdoor theatre

Your kids can spend all day creating and rehearsing a show to share with family and friends. Whether they’re singing along to their favourite songs or mastering the art of sock puppetry, they’ll love showing off the result.

Make a full day activity of it by encouraging your kids to set up a stage area in the garden complete with hand-painted scenery and props.

Wash the car

Okay, this sounds more like a chore than an activity, but splish-splashing around with soapy water and wellies has all the ingredients you need to create a fabulous afternoon of fun!

Get a few big buckets filled up with warm, soapy water and let your kids go wild. You could even set up a competition to see who can clean their side of the car the quickest.

Play outdoor games

There are endless outdoor games you can play to keep your little ones entertained. A summer sports day is fun for the whole family. An egg and spoon race, tug of war, relay… whatever games take your fancy. You could also put a twist on the classic sprint with a “woodland creature run”. Every contestant should run like their favourite animal. Will you scurry like a squirrel, flutter like a butterfly, hop like a grasshopper or jump like a bunny?

If you want to try something a bit different, homemade bowling is a great option too. Rinse out some plastic bottles, fill them with water and use them as your skittles. First one to score a ‘strike’ wins a special prize!

Do up your garden room

Create a cosy space that will serve you well all summer. A garden room is the perfect hide and seek spot, an escape from summer showers and can make a lovely play area away from your main home.

Whether you’re sprucing up an existing garden room or decorating a brand-new summer house, get your kids involved so they can have their say in the style. Let them help to choose new soft furnishings or even get them involved in hand-crafting some decorations for the space.

If it’s been a little while since you first installed your garden room or summer house, it might be a good idea to treat the cladding with high quality wood stain. This prevents the wood from becoming damage, increasing the life of your garden room. While you’re painting the timber, let your little ones paint pictures to hang up as a lovely reminder of the summer you spent together.

Search for wildlife

You’d be surprised how much wildlife passes by your garden each and every day. Grab a notebook and a magnifying glass and become wildlife explorers for the afternoon. Jot down every animal you see, from woodlice to wood pigeons. You can make this one extra educational by researching a fun fact about each creature you spot and writing that down, too. The person who discovers the most interesting fact wins a prize!

Create mud paint pictures

Mix some soil with a little bit of water, and voila! You have your very own mud paint. Either let your little ones draw on large pieces of paper or on paving slabs that can be easily washed afterwards.

Of course, if getting your hands dirty isn’t your kind of thing then you can still all enjoy a crafty day simply by getting your traditional paint set out.

Tell us your summer holiday tips!

Whether you’re enjoying getting out and about this summer or simply making the most of the nature you can find right on your doorstep, we’d love to hear what your plans are. Follow us on Facebook to share your summer holiday activity inspiration with us!