If you’re lucky enough to have a garden and the weather’s on your side, then it’s time to get out there and make the most of it. 

There are endless ways for you and your family to enjoy your own little slice of the great outdoors. Here are just a few. 

Make your own obstacle course 

This is an easy one to set up. Weave between the empty flower pots, circle the washing line three times and crawl under the garden furniture tunnel, all the way to the finish line. 

Let everyone have a go at working their way through the obstacle course, and the winner is the person who finishes it the fastest.

If your course is too easy, make it a rule to carry a jug of water throughout, and add time penalties for water spilt along the way.

A giant memory game

All you need for this simple game are some sheets of paper or cardboard. Make sure they’re all the same colour.

Write or draw some matching symbols on them, so that you have a collection of pairs.

Spread the sheets across the garden and then take it in turns to try to find the pairs. It’s as simple as that – you now have a readymade memory game that will get the whole family moving around the garden.

Make a bug house

There’s a shedload of bugs and critters out there. And it can be fascinating to watch them navigate the gargantuan world that is your back garden.

An easy way to find out what wildlife has moved in to your backyard is to make a ‘bug hotel’. These little structures are part garden art, part habitat for mini beasts.

There’s a useful step-by-step guide on the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) website on how to put a bug hotel together, covering everything from where to put it to why you really should include a roof.

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Keep a garden diary

This is a lovely idea from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). Grab an empty notepad, or simply staple some blank pieces of paper together, to make your own little diary.

You can then use the diary to record what you and your family see in the garden each day, such as how flowers and plants change over time, and to keep track of any seeds or vegetables you’ve planted.

This is a great way to keep your kids connected with nature and you can even ask them to draw their favourite parts of the garden as they change.

Set up camp

Your garden can provide a welcome change of scenery, not just during the day but at night too.

If the weather’s nice and you have a tent to hand, then you’re all set for a little family camping trip in the garden.

You can stay up late telling stories, or simply lie back and listen to nature around you, trying to guess what animals are making the various noises you can hear.

Go stargazing

Even if you don’t fancy spending the entire night out in the garden, you could put your garden to use in the evening by doing some stargazing.

Lay down some blankets, or recline the sun loungers, and try to identify individual stars and star formations. Track how they move across the night sky over the weeks and months ahead – a fun way to learn about the stars, for adults and kids alike.

There are now plenty of different free mobile apps that you can simply point at the sky to help you spot those stars, such as Star Walk 2 and Startracker.

Grow your own vegetables

Few things are as rewarding as growing your own dinner.

Your choice of homegrown fruit and veg will inevitably vary based on how much space you have spare. While you don’t need much space to get some peppers on the go, you will need a bit more room if you’re growing something like potatoes, for example.

The RHS runs a Grow Your Own app filled with advice on how to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs, and it’s absolutely free.

Make sure you involve your kids. It’s a great opportunity for them to learn about where fresh produce comes from and have fun in the process.

DIY bowling

Who needs a ten-pin bowling alley? Instead, you can knock down some skittles for free in your own garden.

There are many different things you can use as your skittles - put aside some empty tins and plastic ketchup bottles or even use a few toy figurines.

Find the flattest stretch of your garden and take it in turns to see who can knock over the most skittles with a ball. Remember to keep score using the notes app on your phone, or just a pen and paper.

When you’re spending time at home with your family, your garden can be a great place to relax, have fun and get some much needed fresh air.

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