If you are running out of ideas to keep the tots entertained during lockdown don’t despair.  We have put together our list of 7 of the best garden activities for kids, that are fun, easy, cost-effective, and sure to keep both kids and parents alike happy and entertained.

We are all spending so much more time at home right now. But while keeping the kids entertained at home for weeks during a lockdown is something we never dreamed we would have to face, there is plenty to keep them occupied without having to venture beyond the safety of your garden.

Being outdoors has been shown to have many health benefits, and this goes for the kids too. It gets them off the screens, out into the fresh air, and keeps them moving. 

Add to this the bonus of the educational benefits it can entail.  Kids are enthusiastic and curious, so it’s pretty easy to turn your garden into an outdoor learning space and teach them skills that they will carry through life that are fun too.

So here are some of our favourite things to do in the garden with kids for you to try at home. 

1. Grow your own fruit and veg

What better way to encourage kids to eat their five a day!  Beans and peas are great for growing with kids as they love opening them up to discover what’s inside.  Or try planting up herbs such as basil and oregano which are delicious to use in pasta and pizza making. 

2. Plant some flowers

It’s no surprise that planting flowers is one of our favourite things to do in the garden with kids.  It is good for the soul to see them get their hands deep in the dirt and closer to nature.  If you have the space you could give them their own plot, even if it is just a few pots.  This gives them a sense of ownership over their space and will encourage them to look after it.  Sunflowers are brilliant for kids to grow.  It is very easy to grow sunflowers from seed, the flowers are big and impressive, and the seeds are big enough for little hands to handle.  When we were kids we would measure the height of our sunflower every week and plot the measurements on a chart.  It was a competition then as to who’s sunflower was growing the quickest.

3. Feed the birds

You will have no problem sourcing a bird feeder on Amazon.  Or it is also very simple to make your own DIY bird feeder using materials from around the home.  Cut a hole out of an old plastic drinks bottle or milk carton, then fill it with bird seed or nuts and hang up with some string.  Alternatively,  you can also coat an old toilet roll holder in some honey before dipping in bird seed.  Then create a bird spotting diary and note the number of visitors to your bird feeder, and who has come back for more.

Blue tit on branch
The RSPB have a great resource on the most popular birds to look out for in your garden.

Garden activities for kids don’t always have to be about plants, horticulture, or birds. There are plenty of things to do in the garden with kids, it just takes a little bit of imagination.

4. Get garden arty

It is lovely to see so many painted pebbles and stones dotted around to brighten up the place.  All you need are some stones from the garden and some paints or chalk, and you have got a great kids garden activity.  You can also try making some rubbings of logs, tree trunks and leaves.  To do this simply place some paper over the surface and rubbing with a crayon until the pattern of the surface starts to appear.  Also, try using different coloured crayons to make pretty patterns and then use them to create a scrap book as a rainy-day activity. 

kids garden activities - leaf art
See if the kids can identify what tree their leaf rubbing is from using this handy tree leaf spotter guide from the RHS

5. Set up kids camp in the garden

I still love to camp and when I was younger one of my favourite kids garden activities was pitching a tent in the garden, and the family toasting marshmallows over the BBQ.  Or if you don’t have a tent you could build an outside den using blankets and rugs.  Then bring out some books and board games so they can camp out in it all afternoon.  They will keep themselves entertained for hours giving you some much needed time off.  Happy kids = happy parents!

6. Get sporty in the garden

It is looking likely they may miss out on school Sports Day this year so try and organise your own.  There are plenty of sporty things to do in the garden with kids.  Think ‘Egg & Spoon Race’, ‘Tug of War’, ‘Sack Race’, ‘Welly Boot Throw’.

7. Bury a time capsule

You will need a waterproof container such as an old tin box or a glass jar. Think about including:

  • A letter to their future self
  • A lockdown journal
  • Photographs
  • Some of their garden drawings / rubbings
  • A rainbow painting

It is something that they can look back on someday (maybe even with their own children) that will remind them of today and all the fun things they did during lockdown. 

More garden activities for kids

If you need some further inspiration have a read of some of the other articles on our site here.  You might get some inspiration for garden activities for kids and games the whole family can enjoy.

National Children’s Gardening Week takes place 23rd-31st May 2020 and celebrates all the fun that gardens hold for kids.  There are plenty of useful resources on the site for childrens garden activities, from fairy house plant pots, to hedgehog feeding stations, that will help encourage kids to make the most of their gardens.