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 outdoor activities. What i-pad?

Eight of the best garden games for sunny days

Eight of the best garden games for sunny days
Trampoline

The humble trampoline fast became a family status symbol. The mantra is “the bigger, the better”.

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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

Eight of the best garden games for sunny days

Swing ball

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 £29.99, Argos

Eight of the best garden games for sunny days

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 favourite
The 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, £60, notonthehighstreet

Eight of the best garden games for sunny days

Kite flying

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

This 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

Kite £6.95, Rex London

Eight of the best garden games for sunny days

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
Pintoy Four Friends Ring Toss by John Crane.

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

John Crane Ring Toss Hoopla, £24.47, Amazon

Eight of the best garden games for sunny days

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
This pastel painted croquet set has
a lovely vintage feel that remind us of Alice in Wonderland

Credit Crunch Option

Spoons and tennis balls with card bent into tunnels.

Buy here

Croquet set £35, Marks & Spencer

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Bilibo

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 £30.56 Amazon

Eight of the best garden games for sunny days

Pétanque

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 Jaques London Chrome Steel Boules 8 Boule Wooden Box Set for its traditional and luxe feel.

Credit crunch option
Throwing rolled up socks of different colours at a target. The perfect renaissance for all those odd stray socks.

Buy here

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Petanque, £69.99, Jaques London