Get the kids outdoors – 15 simple garden play ideas

I love this time of year, when the doors and windows are wide open, the garden becomes an extension of our house and at the end of the day, we have dirty feet, messy hair and sparkling eyes. I am definitely a warm weather gal, and while we spend as much time outdoors as we {I} can cope with in the winter, once Spring hits you’ll find us outdoors more often than not.

I’ve always encouraged the kiddos to play outside as much as possible, I don’t like seeing kids who spend all day stuck indoors, watching TV or playing on games consoles. My kids love getting outdoors, running around barefoot, soaking up some Vitamin D, coming in at the end of the day dirty and smelling of the outdoors – that’s how kids should be spending their days.

Keeping the kiddos entertained outdoors doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Sure, outdoor toys are great – our trampoline was one of the best things I have bought, it gets used so much. Most kids are just as happy with simple outdoor activities,

  1. Build a mud kitchen – you can buy mud kitchens, but it is easy to make your own. Ours is made from an old table and a pallet. Add some cheap pots and pans, containers with pebbles, pinecones, acorns, and access to some herbs from the garden, and your kiddos will be cooking up a storm
  2. Run through a sprinkler – kids love water… on hot days {or even not so hot days} I’ll pop the sprinkler on and the kids will run through it for hours and hours!
  3. Sand fun – sandpits are a must for a garden, kids love building sandcastles – why not try buying some toy animals for them to dig up!
  4. Draw with chalk – give your kids a box of giant chalks and let them decorate the patio or walls! You could draw a giant hopscotch too.
  5. Go bug hunting – see what bugs you can find hiding in the garden and see if you can identify them
  6. Toy Wash – fill a bucket with warm, soapy water, give your kiddo a sponge and let them wash all their toys
  7. Build a den – drape some sheets over the washing lines, peg them out and create your own little hidey hole
  8. Make some leaf art – making pictures out of leaves is so much fun!
  9. Slide time – use an old tarp, some washing up liquid, put the house and enjoy the slip and slide
  10. Obstacle course – Pull out all the sofa cushions onto the lawn, and anything else good for climbing over, and create your own obstacle course
  11. Make a flower picture – pick a few petals and leaves, arrange them on a piece of muslin, fold in half and bash them with a stone or hammer.
  12. Hit the target – draw a target on the wall and take turns throwing water balloons at it
  13. Paint rocks – transform some rocks into animals, plants or anything that you can think of!
  14. Β Plant some seeds – peas are a good choice as the kids will love picking them too!
  15. Build a bug hotel – create a little haven for the insects in your garden

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