Born for Brilliant Books

Kath Saunders, Independent Usborne Organiser

Top Ten Activities to do in the Garden

1st May 2020

April 27th - May 3rd is National Gardening Week! To us, gardens are great spaces to enjoy nature, to learn about the world around you, and to enjoy some outdoor play! Here are our top ten activities to do in the garden. (Some of these would also work on your daily exercise too!)

1. Go on an adventure hunt 

  • For little ones, hide a collection of the same thing around your garden and encourage them to find all of them. We like doing this with brightly coloured balls from a ball pit, but it would work well with cuddly toys or stacking cups too
  • For older ones, give them a list of things to find and tick off. This could be things that live in your garden e.g. yellow flower, stone, stick, leaf etc or things that you have hidden from the house
  • You could also do this with books and then have fun reading them together afterwards!

2. Create a garden collage 

  • Give your children something to collect things in and let them go round the garden picking what they fancy for their collage. Then give them a piece of paper and some glue (help them if they're littler) and let them get creative!

3. Build an obstacle course

  • Create an obstacle course or circuit in the garden for children to complete. You could get older children involved in the creation of this - we're sure they'd love the planning as much as the taking part! Add in a timer if they're feeling particularly competitive!
  • For the littlest members of your family this could be more sensory based, getting them to walk or crawl through different textures/surfaces like grass, water or sand

4. Get weather forecasting

  • For little children, get them to describe the weather outside or point to things they can see like clouds
  • For older children, get them to predict what might happen with the weather that day based on what they can see
  • Lift-the-flap First Q&A What makes it rain? is brilliant for answering all those weather-based questions that children might have too!

5. Conduct a science experiment 

  • Mark out an area of your garden and get your children to count up the number of insects they find in that area. Is it more or less than other areas in the garden? Why do they think that might be?

6. Have a teddy bears' picnic

  • Create a teddy bears' picnic for your little ones. Great for practising the names of food and colours, and for practising other skills such as counting and sharing

7. Learn about flowers

  • Go onto the 'How flowers grow' page of Usborne Quicklinks and watch some of the videos of the different stages of a flower's development. Then see if your children can spot the different stages in your own garden
  • Lift-the-flap First Q&A How do flowers grow? is a great book for exploring the science behind our gardens with little ones

8. Make your own mud kitchen 

  • Create your own mud kitchen using a washing-up bowl, wooden spoons, water and then whatever your children fancy putting in it from the garden!
  • Food colouring and yoghurt works well for little ones that like to put everything in their mouths but still want to join in the fun!

9. Enjoy mess-free painting with water

  • Give your children some water and a paint brush and let them get busy!
  • You could get them to practise tracing letters and numbers with their paintbrush
  • Older ones might enjoy a painting race to see who can 'paint' their part of the fence or patio the quickest!

10. Play spotting games with Usborne books

  • Using books as your guide, see how many things your children can find in the garden from the pages
  • For older children, ask them why they think they can't find certain things in your garden, and where they think they might be instead
  • Some of our favourite books to do this with are: 199 Things in the Garden, 199 Things in Nature and 1000 Things in Nature