Kids love playing outside and they’re usually great at using their own imagination to think up fun games to play in the garden, but sometimes it’s good to give them a little inspiration. These creative games for the garden are super fun and safe to play outdoors, so next time the sun’s shining get your kids outside and let them try one out!
Kids’ garden activities – prep and clean up
Remember, always supervise your children when playing any of these games for the garden, and give them a helping hand when using objects such as scissors. For any activities with paint, make sure your child wears an apron and cover any surfaces you don’t want to get messy with newspaper or a plastic table cloth.
Don’t worry if, despite your best efforts, your kids’ clothes end up covered in stains from the garden. You can check out these tips on removing mud, grass, pollen, and paint stains for helpful advice.
Garden activities for kids – 4 ideas
1. Fairy soup
Out of all of these garden activities for children, making fairy soup is the most creative of all. This game for the garden includes some great sensory play with water and nature and is suitable for children aged 3 years and above.
To make the liquid for your soup you’ll need water, food colouring, and glitter. For the other ingredients, get the kids to collect things from the garden, such as petals, leaves, and stones. You can also use items such as shells and fruits. Set up a table in the garden and lay out your ingredients, along with a large cooking pot or mixing bowl, a spoon or ladle, and some extra soup bowls. Now you can mix everything together. Let your kids get hands-on with all the ingredients and choose what they want to go in; you can help them use scissors to cut up large leaves or petals. Once you’ve concocted your fairy soup, you can ladle it into smaller bowls and your kids can add more ingredients for that special finishing touch.
This is a great way to encourage the fun of playing make-believe – just make sure that they know not to eat the soup!
2. Mud painting
To create mud artwork you’ll first need to make some mud paint – both the making of the mud paint and the painting is a brilliant sensory garden activity for kids. You’ll need: dirt, water, food colouring, a plastic bowl, disposable cups or pots; and then simply:
- Mix the dirt and the water together in a plastic bowl.
- Get your kids to fill up the disposable cups about half way with some mud. Add about 6-10 drops of food colouring to each cup, the amount of cups you have will depend on how many different colours you want.
- Then get your kids to mix the mud and food colouring together using their hands.
Once your mud paint is ready, your kids can begin painting. Get them to use their hands to pick up the mud paint and try splat painting; all they need to do is throw the mud at some paper laid out on the grass. Your kids will have great fun creating splash art work with mud.
3. Giant memory game
This is a simple kids’ garden activity that can be played by just one child or a group of children. All you need are sheets of A3/A4 card in the same colour. The amount and size will depend on how big you want the game to be and the size of your garden.
Pair up the sheets of card and for each set, draw the same image on both sheets (an animal, flower, coloured shape, or letter are good choices). Position the cards on the grass in a grid shape with the images facing down. Now the kids get to test their memories by taking it in turns to turn over two cards each in hope of finding a pair. You can also pair up the children and get them to work together as a team to find a matching set.
4. Slide painting
To do slide painting you’ll need a large roll of white paper (available from craft shops). Tape the paper to the top of the slide, roll out to the bottom of the slide and cut to size. Next, put some dollops of kids’ paint on the paper at the top of the slide. Then, get your child to sit at the top and push toy cars or small soft balls down the slide through the paint. They’ll have lots of fun watching the objects slide through the paint and create pretty patterns. Repeat the activity with fresh sheets of paper as many times as you want.
You can also turn slide painting into a game for the garden by getting children to race their cars or balls against each other. Time how long each car takes to get to the bottom, the quickest wins!
5. Ballon faces
Kids love balloons just as they are, but making squidgy funny faces out of them is even more fun! All you need is some large balloons, a kitchen funnel, a spoon, and some fine dry dirt. For the features, you’ll need some permanent markers in different colours, craft glue and some wobbly eyes.
First of all, help the kids blow the balloons up (without tying them), so that the latex is stretched. Then inset the funnel into the neck of the deflated balloon, and pour some of the fine dry dirt into it using the spoon. Once the balloon is full of dirt, tie a knot into the neck of the balloon. Now for the fun part! Mould the balloon by poking and squeezing it into shape, before sticking the wobbly eyes into place and drawing on the rest of the features with the markers – including nose, lips, eyebrows and glasses.
Did you try any of our garden activities for kids? Let us know how you got on in a comment below. For more inspiration for outdoor activities to do with your kids, check out the Persil Wild Explorers app, available for Android and iPhone.