Now that the sun is shining and the Easter break is fast approaching, it’s time to consider entertainment for the little ones, ideally making the most of the good weather and going outside. The downside to outdoor fun is thinking of what to play. TV and video games are have become so much more convenient, as the game has already been created, but some of my most treasured childhood memories are from having fun in the garden.
Building your own pirate ship and sailing the seas is great fun. To do this you need somewhere to have the ship. Your garden shed is ideal for this, as wooden planks are already in place, and all you need are some cardboard boxes, a wooden crate or two, and some blue bed sheets.
Place the blue sheets on the floor of the shed. This is, of course, the ocean. The two wooden crates will serve as the captain’s deck, and the boxes can be arranged around these in the shape of a ship. The idea is for the children to create an outline of a pirate ship to encourage them to use their imagination for the game. You can also create a wheel to steer using cardboard and some paint, and a sail using a broomstick and a white bed sheet.
If you don’t have a shed, just build the same design outside. Our children have hours of fun with cardboard boxes. It’s amazing what their imagination comes up with sometimes!
This game is an easy to do game, and will create hours of fun. The reason it’s called batty bowling is that instead of bowling pins you use any wacky object you have available, such as books, bottles, cereal boxes, milk cartons, or a tower of empty cans. Anything goes in any combination. Bowlers then use a tennis ball to knock them over.
With this game you create an obstacle course from one end of the garden to the other. You can use some empty cans to create a zigzag section, and a plank of wood balanced on some hardcover books to create a balancing beam. At the end of the course there could be a mental challenge. Have two cardboard boxes, one empty and one filled with balls or other toys. The children then have to pick out the tennis balls and put them in the empty box. One at a time the children can complete this course. The added difficulty is that they are timed and blindfolded. Let them examine the course for a moment and then blindfold them. Start the clock and let the fun begin. As the child is blindfolded they will need some assistance either from you of the other player to get on the balancing beam and find the boxes. Getting lost on the path is all part of the fun. Whoever has the best time, wins.
A great game to play for small gardens, all you need is a small area of paving. If you can’t remember the rules, here is a short video which covers everything!
Another great source of outdoor fun is skipping. This is great exercise and is something that can be done on your own or with friends. We used to love French Skipping, or French Elastic I think it was called. Two children stand opposite each other with a long piece of elastic around their ankles (so it is one big loop). A third child stands between them and has to do a number of jumps, skips and hops whilst repeating some skipping rhymes. Hours of fun can be had with this, just google ‘skipping songs’ if you need some inspiration!
What outdoor games do your children enjoy?