We are into week 4 of the summer holidays here, and finding new and inexpensive play ideas for the whole of the summer holidays can be difficult. Here are our top 5 garden play activities that don’t cost a penny.
- Gardening. Any type of gardening is always a hit with all 3 of my children. Filling a watering can and giving the plants a drink, helping to plant new seeds or flowers, pulling up weeds and collecting interesting things to make a collage with.
- Paddling pool play. If the weather is warm, the paddling pool can entertain for hours. Paddling, putting on a snorkel and mask and looking underwater, tipping all the bath toys in, pouring, splashing. Try adding bubble bath to the pool, and giving the kids bubble wands. Make coloured water by adding Tinti products. Add ice cubes or sensory objects (seashells, loofahs, sponges) for little ones – Max really enjoys discovering how textures change in the water. Chuck in some dollies and clothes for bath and wash day fun.
- Make a nature trail. This can be as simple or as advanced as you like. For a quick and simple idea, send the children off with magnifying glasses and a pen and paper and get them to draw pictures of what they find. If you are feeling more adventurous you can make a trail for them to follow with clues along the way and maybe a small treat at the end.
- Make a fairy garden. Use an old plant pot and fill it with some compost. Lay moss over the top, create fairy paths with pebbles and stones. Create a fairy house by drawing a tiny door on an old piece of twisty wood. You can let your imagination run wild – small flowers and plants, glitter, a plasticine or tin foil pond – let the little ones take charge and see what they come up with. For more ideas, take a look on Pinterest!
- Make a den. We have a small tent that the children love to use as a garden camp, but you can make a den from pretty much anything. Old towels and sheets, tarpaulins, garden chairs and tables – again, let the children use their imaginations. Once a den is made, pop a picnic rug inside and you have a perfect book corner, sensory tent, play area and craft room. You can serve lunch in there, make it a real outdoor adventure. The beauty of a den is that it really can be used for almost any purpose, and change daily with very little effort.
What are your favourite garden play activities? Would love to hear any more ideas you have.