With the weather warming up, it’s a great chance to get the kids into the garden and entertained outside. Our gardens can be the perfect classroom, a stage for activities and a fantastic spot to hold a family sports day.
On your marks
There are lots of different races you can do, think school sports day. Three-legged races, hopping races, wheelbarrow races, crab races, relay races. These will work even if you don’t have a big garden as everyone can do a few lengths or circular laps instead.
• Grab an egg and a spoon each and see who can get to one side of the garden and back without dropping the egg. If you don’t have a boiled egg to spare, use a golf ball on a wooden spoon
• Get hold of a potato sack or a large pillowcase, step inside and hop your way over the finish line to see who can jump to victory first.
• Fill a few buckets with water and see who can win the bucket head challenge. Each person races over obstacles whilst carrying a bucket of water on their head. The winner isn’t who finishes first but whoever has the most water left in their bucket at the end of the race.
You don’t need to have a large sandpit in your garden to do a proper long jump. Use an old duvet or a dog blanket to soften the landing and some rope, tape, or a tie to act as the jumping spot, placed a metre in front of the blanket. Then step three metres back from the rope, take a run up and see who in your household can jump the farthest distance.
Use your imagination to create an obstacle course out of household items like duvets and chairs, or tyres, tunnels, toys, and slides. Time each person and see who can do it the fastest time to take the crown.
Or create a hurdle race by turning two buckets upside down, carefully placing a pole across them to make mini hurdles and see who can complete the race quickest, without the hurdle falling down.
Spread out lots of A4 paper on the floor in the garden and stick them together. Then, mark out and paint the colourful circles so they run in lines of different colours, evenly spaced apart.
To make the game board, draw a circle in the centre of a piece of card surrounded by smaller circles to correspond with the spots on your Twister mat, with one of the instructions ‘right foot’, ‘left foot’, ‘right hand’, ‘left hand’ in each corner. Cut a small hole in the centre of the card and insert the spinner’ and give it a whirl. Let it all dry and you’re good to go.
Get Creative With Cardboard
For this fun activity, you’ll want to stick together a lot of A4 paper again to make a huge canvas, then cut out some cardboard templates of feet and tie them to your shoes. Once they’re attached, paint them with fun colours and walk across the paper, to make gigantic footprints.
Not the usual sports day game, but it’s a great laugh. Divide yourself into two teams and give each side a roll of toilet paper. Then, each team wraps one member up as fast as they can using the toilet roll and the winner is the team who runs out of toilet paper, or the team with the best coverage.
There’s so much fun to be had with bean bags. Get a ladder and set the challenge to see if you can throw the bean bags to land on the rungs of the ladder to score points. Alternatively, stack old tin cans to see who has got the best aim to knock them down.
Or paint numbers on paper plates and stagger them up the garden, then throw the bean bags onto the plates to rack up points.
This is a great twist on a classic garden game. You can pick up a croquet set relatively easily and cheap. Separate participants into pairs. One team member must complete the course blindfolded while the other has to guide them through with just spoken instructions.
Simple yet fun, see who can hula-hoop for the longest. Use different parts of the body like your arms and legs rather than just your waist.
Gather any twigs, sticks or old bamboo sticks and paint them to make an outdoor version of pick-up sticks. See who has got the steadiest hand and can successfully remove one stick at a time without moving the remaining sticks.
For some mini Olympics half-time fun, make some colourful treats that match the colour of your country.
To make Union Jack or American flag snacks, dip the bottom of strawberries in white chocolate and cover with blue sprinkles for a red, white and blue effect. Or dip marshmallows in red, white and blue icing.
To finish off, have an awards ceremony with hand-made medals to reward the winners as they stand on podiums in the garden. Top the day off with some refreshing drinks and a barbecue to celebrate your mini Olympics.