It was only fairly recently I rediscovered the joys of outdoor garden games. Like most people, when the sun makes an appearance I’m out in the garden, deckchair assembled, slowly barbecuing myself whilst the children run around keeping me awake. But since discovering the delights of outdoor garden games, I’m now joining my kids in keeping our neighbours awake.
Of course, the idea of outdoor or garden games is nothing new – far from it. Whether you’re into football or badminton, there have always been games to play in the garden. But the problem has been space. Most of us are blessed with plots that simply aren’t suited to playing football or rugby – not unless you want to damage all the plants and run into each other a great deal. There’s also the issue of storage – many of the games require equipment that’s quite large.
So having set to one side the idea of hosting the urban equivalent of the World Cup between my petunias and the hydrangea, I set off to buy some more practical games – but ones which would nevertheless be fun to play with the children. I found quite a few very traditional games, made in beautiful wood and natural materials, such as quoits and skittles. My kids had no clue about quoits, although skittles was rather more familiar.
Quoits is a game I have heard of but never played before. Of course, it’s terribly simple, but deceptively difficult at the same time. We all became terribly competitive, and in the end it didn’t seem to matter who won – what was important was that we were playing as a family, having fun together, and not just sitting around.
I was delighted to come across a variety of other outdoor garden games – ones I would never have thought suitable for the garden. Take chess for example – a typical indoor board game for two players. However, with a gigantic six foot board and pieces as large as a skittle we had the whole family gathered around the board, walking across it and exploring possible moves. It actually made for a really good team game, getting us all up out of our seats and joining together as a family, without working up a sweat in the heat.
Amongst the other outdoor garden games were a huge wooden set of dominoes, which resulted in some hasty arguments about my choice of flowerbed positioning, and hopscotch, which I have to admit the kids were rather better at than me. As well as inflatable goal posts – ideal for storage, these outdoor games represented the very best of family fun, giving us endless hours of time together, becoming much more active and involved than if we all just sat in silence with our MP3 players, mobiles and books.
We’re fortunate to have a reasonable amount of storage space, but several of the games are inflatable, and all of them come with solid boxes for packing away. They’re also great to take on picnics, and on more than one occasion we’ve gathered new friends interested in our game of quoits or skittles! Our kids are only too glad to show off their skills of course.
There are many places you can go to buy outdoor garden games but I strongly recommend Cleverclicker.co.uk – it’s where I went because not only do they have a great range, but they deliver free of charge – even though many of the games are solid wood! May your garden never be the same again!
Related Outdoor Games Articles