Once you and your family are outdoors, how do you keep the kids entertained so that you can enjoy a good book, a drink and soak up some rays?
Here are our top 7 tips for keeping the kids busy and distracted in the garden:
1. Painting Activities
Kids love to paint and there’s so much that they can do in the garden with their painting skills, without you getting stressed about getting the furniture and wallpaper ruined. They can paint pebbles, seashells or even some planters and you can always give them washable paint if you don’t trust their painting skills yet.
2. Water Activities
Swimming pools and jacuzzis are always a hit amongst the kids but they require adult supervision. However, there are a number of other activities they can do on their own or with minimal supervision like water gun fights, water balloon baseball, washing the car and watering the plants.
One of the benefits of outdoor play for kids is that it boosts their creativity and photography is a fun hobby that allows them to express this creativity. You don’t need to give high-end photography equipment to the kids for this, any old camera or cell phone with a camera will work wonders. Give the kids some fun challenges or photography projects to keep them engaged all day long, some examples are:
- Find 50 things of a certain colour and photograph them.
- Photograph different objects and write a story about them.
- Look for objects starting with a certain letter of the alphabet and photograph them, the kid who captures the most objects can be the winner and you can even add in some gifts for the winner to make it more exciting.
4. Chalk Activities
Paint a wall in your backyard with chalkboard paint and the kids will be busy for a long time making portraits and playing games. If you don’t have a chalkboard wall, you can designate any outdoor area like the driveway or the patio where they can play the traditional sidewalk chalk games like Hopscotch, Tic Tac Toe and Pictionary. Chalk activities are great for not just boosting creativity but also for developing the child’s motor activities and of course because the chalk easily washes away. Make sure that you buy lots of multicoloured chalk in different thicknesses.
This is an activity that doesn’t just help pass the time but also builds your child’s imagination, vocabulary, and of course their reading skills. If the kids are old enough to read a book on their own, then just ask them to finish reading a book of their choice in the garden
6. Building Activities
Building, engineering, or construction activities are excellent for improving the children’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) skills as well as problem-solving skills. There are a number of activities in this category that you can choose, based on your child’s interests, age, and skills:
- Doing puzzles
- Building LEGO – make it challenging by giving them printed instructions to build an object like a car
- Constructing structures with toothpicks and marshmallows
- Making a cardboard castle in the garden
- Building a structure from Styrofoam
Kids love the idea of having their own personal little space and all you need for this is a tent. Just make sure that the child has all the necessary supplies that they need in their fort, like some yummy snacks, flashlight, their favourite toys, books, some comfortable cushions or pillows, and a blanket to place on the tent’s floor – they’ll easily spend the day in there and entertain themselves. If you’re up for it, you can even make their tent a bit fancier by buying some lighting and basic furniture like a table, chair, and a bean bag or pouf.
Once the kids are set, the world is your oyster – read, sleep, eat, lounge, meditate or just do some serious cloud gazing.