Eight of the best garden games for sunny days
Getting the kids out into the fresh air for a dose of vitamin C will be a breeze with this selection of fun and traditional outdoor activities. What i-pad?
The humble trampoline fast became a family status symbol. The mantra is “the bigger, the better”.
- Why we love it It’s impossible to bounce without a smile; it’s brilliant exercise; a wonderful way to release tension as you feel your blues melt away.
- The downside Having to wait your turn – and when rain stops play.
- Our favourite The Berg Tattoo features a unique jump mat game for 2–10 players, and has superb bounceability.
- Credit crunch option Put an extra duvet on the bed, pile up the pillows and cushions and jump to your heart’s content
Buy here >> Berg Tattoo Trampoline (14.3ft), £920, Trampolinesuk
Fast-paced action game that’s perfect for budding Borgs – and no need for ball boys.
- Why we love it Whack the ball with all your might, and never have to retrieve a wayward ball from over the garden fence.
- The downside Getting a tennis ball in your face is not a very pleasant experience, so be sure to concentrate and duck quickly when necessary.
- Our favourite Classic Swingball All Surface Swingball folds away neatly when not in use.
- Credit crunch option Tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree and attach your ball.
Buy Here >> All-Surface Swingball £35, Argos
The Den Kit
All the basics they’ll need to become the next Bear Grylls
- Why we love it Nothing fires the imagination like building your own den and this kit has everything kids will need to make a cosy waterproof shelter that they can camp in for hours.
- The downside You’ll have to bring their meals outside.
- Our favouriteThe Forest School Den Kit includes an insect aspirator, camouflage paint, a mallet and much more.
- Credit crunch option A few chairs, sticks gathered from the garden and blankets and jam jars raided from the house will provide all the necessary equipment for a very impressive den – albeit less stable and less waterproof!
Buy Here >> The Forest School Den Kit, £65, The Den Kit Co. & notonthehighstreet
So good they even wrote a song about it: “Let’s go fly a kite!”
- Why we love it The wind in your hair, the breeze in your sails and the poetry in motion of balletic pirouettes in a blue sky.
- The downside Knotted strings, no wind, and having to run and run… and run until you’re out of breath. And still your kite won’t fly.
- Our favourite his bright and cheery traditional kite has a lovely Mary Poppins feels and will look suitably graceful in the sky.
- Credit crunch option Try the Blue Peter tack – use a plastic bag and some bamboo sticks.
Buy Here >> Traditional Diamond Kite £9.95, Rex London
Ring Toss Hoopla
Roll up, roll up – the perfect village fête game has arrived.
- Why we love it For all those nostalgic reasons of our misspent youth, it’s one of those activities that just brings out the competitive spirit in us all. (And remember, only a bad workman blames his tools.)
- The downside Where’s my tacky prize as incentive?
- Our favourite Liewood Wooden Ring Toss Set
- Credit crunch option Plastic bottles that have been filled with dried pulses to keep them steady, and paper plates with the centre cut out and coloured in for different teams.
Buy here >> Liewood Wooden Ring Toss Set, £43, Smallable
A Croquet Set
It will be cucumber sandwiches on the lawn and dawn with this traditional lawn game
- Why we love it This game may look refined and elegant but it is in fact a highly competitive sport that can while away plenty of hours. The traditional wooden set is as entertaining as it is pretty.
- The downside You’ll have to find somewhere to store these long handled mallets and balls.
- Our favourite Is from a selection at Jaques of London, this set is ideal for families (as it has 2 intermediate and full size mallets) but, the Tonbridge Croquet set is ideal for beginners.
- Credit Crunch Option Spoons and tennis balls with card bent into tunnels.
Buy here >> Hampshire Croquet Set With Canvas Case, £189.99, Jaques of London
Such a simple idea, yet so many endless play possibilities, this eminently portable game is distinctive and original.
- Why we love it A design classic in six vibrant colours, your child can rock in it, roll in it, spin, whirl and twirl, use it to carry toys or wear on their head and peep through the handy eyeholes.
- The downside You may have to invest in one for each child to avoid squabbles.
- Our favourite The classic moluk Bilbo which comes in a try of bright colours
- Credit crunch option Raid the kitchen for the largest plastic bowl you can find.
Buy here >> Moluk Bilbo £35 Amazon
It is the jeu de choix for octogenarian French folk – so clearly a game for all ages.
- Why we love it It smacks of balmy evenings in the Jardin des Tuileries, and those boules make such a satisfying ‘clunk’ when you make a lucky strike. Don’t expect quite the same dignity with toddlers in charge.
- The downside A pétanque on your toe is a truly painful thing.
- Our favourite
The RNLI Lifeboats shop offer this lovely chrome Boule set in canvas carry case
- Credit crunch optionThrowing rolled up socks of different colours at a target. The perfect renaissance for all those odd stray socks.