While our trips to the shops have reduced enormously, we have had to come up with creative ways to entertain ourselves and the kids while socially distancing from the rest of the world. For those who are lucky enough to have a backyard or garden in their home, this is a round up of some classic games to play with toddlers and teenagers alike, when life indoors becomes too much and the sun is shining outside.
This is where you can gather and use natural materials you find around the garden or even items that are meant for your recycling or rubbish. Depending on age, give a different challenge or theme to toddlers than teenagers.
Image credit: All that is She
Image credit: All that is She
Pull the Blanket
You need at least two adults and two toddlers in this game and a long area of lawn. The toddlers/youngsters sit on the old blankets and hold on to them while the parents pull it across the lawn to get to the 'end point'. Whoever gets there first wins. Then parents switch sides for double fun. The good thing with this one ? You can just drop the blankets on site and turn the game into an impromptu picnic!
A favourite of ours because even the dog gets involved. Playing frisbee is great for hand-eye coordination. It may take hours of practice before a young child learns how to control their wrist to throw but the end result will help them in future sport playing, as is learning how to proper throw and catch small balls (use stage 1 tennis balls as they are soft).
Take care to place your kids from a side where even if they throw hard, the frisbee won't go over a garden fence or on the roof!
Mastering the hula-hoop
If you are in your 40s like me and remember yourself hula-hooping for a whole minute, I challenge you to try it again now. I found myself being utterly rubbish but it was so much fun being bitten by my 11 year old. And secretly, he loved it too! Plus this game needs an absolute nothing of a space so you can play it even in the smallest of gardens.
Skipping Rope competition
Using a skipping rope with a counter (available in kids size, check this) can help you run competitions with other family members.And if your little ones are competitive, they might spend some more time practising so that's clearly a winner!
This will be easier with kids older than 9 and will be loved by adults. You don't need too much space to set up a badmington 'court' and no matter how hard you hit, unless it is windy you will not loose the badmington 'balls'. This is another great game for hand eye coordination.
Get a Badmington Set with net for £45
If the weather permits and you have leftover balloons from parties, fill them up (not too much!!) with water and have a go at kicking them. Or use them plain and have a go at not letting them hit the ground for at least 1 minute. This will wear young kids out in no time !
Have a shady corner in the garden? It is perfect for a bug hotel. Use sticks, pine cones, and larger pieces of wood where you can drill holes, to build something for little bugs, then give it an appropriate name and check it daily for new occupants!