24 Fun, Low-Cost Garden Activities for Kids

By   | Last Updated :   April 12, 2021 | Filed In :   Garden Activities & Events Ideas

The weather is finally getting warmer, which means it’s time to get back out into the garden and enjoy having a bit more space at home! When your little ones have been cooped up over the winter months (or longer), the best thing you can do is to let them blow off some steam outdoors. Our list of engaging, low-cost garden activities for kids will make it that much easier for you to keep children of any age entertained in the fresh air – and maybe even have some fun alongside them!

children running downhill together in a group on a sunny day

Reasons to get kids into the garden

I’ll admit that I was very much an “indoor” child, and every sunny weekend would be a battle for my poor mum to encourage me outside to get some sunshine and fresh air. If you’re looking for reasons to get your kids to play outside, I suspect none of these arguments will work on them, but they might provide the motivation you need to keep trying!

Boosting sensory development

Gardens have so many treats for the senses, and can provide a totally different experience to inside play. From tickling breezes and tingling sunshine, to rich natural fragrances and the sounds of happy bugs and birds – there are so many new things to see, hear, smell, feel and even taste!

Nurturing healthy minds

Sharing a space with nature encourages children (and adults!) to think about how their choices impact the plants and creatures around us. Gardens are a small way to practice mindfulness, patience and consideration for the organisms around us. Appreciating nature can help humans of all ages feel restful, calm and confident in our surroundings.

Promoting active bodies

Climbing trees, kicking balls, leaping through water – a lot of garden activities for kids involve action and movement. Not only does outside play provide the space to improve motor skills and physical strength, it’s also an opportunity to find a fun new hobby to help kids enjoy being active. Admittedly, there will always be that one child that is happy to just lay in the sun and read (yup, that was me)!

Being outdoors is fun!

There’s a whole world to explore out there, with discoveries to be made under every rock and in every puddle. Grass stains, muddy hands and wet feet are a great part of growing up, and gardens are the perfect environment for letting the imagination run wild.

Gardening activities for kids

Gardens are our opportunity to connect with nature in a personal way. Introducing children to gardening from an early age will begin to get them comfortable with the world around them.

child girl picking daffodils in the garden

Creative garden activities for kids

Inspire your little visionaries by celebrating all of the beauty found in the natural world.

Water play ideas for kids

Water play can keep kids entertained for hours, and is perfect for cooling off under a parasol on a hot day. Plus, it’s cheap and doesn’t require much clean up!

three tweenage children spraying water hoses at each other in a garden

Outdoor adventure ideas for kids

When you’ve got a budding explorer on your hands, it’s time to up the ante and find new ways to keep them (safely) inquisitive about their surroundings.

Wildlife garden activities for kids

There’s no better place to learn about the animal kingdom than your own back garden, so why not plan some activities that help your children get involved?

Imaginative garden activities for kids

It’s amazing what little minds can come up with, and encouraging imaginative play in the garden is a great way to keep your children happy outdoors for hours.

Tips for getting the most out of garden activities for kids

  1. Keep it FUN. When children connect being outside with exciting activities and happy memories, they’ll want to be there more often. If they’re reluctant to completely let go of technology or indoor activities, look for ways to make those hobbies work outdoors.
  2. Start small. Gardening and outdoor DIY projects can be hard work with little instant reward. Do your kids (and yourself) a huge favour by getting in some quick wins early on. For example, planting fast-growing crops while you wait for slower ones to grow, or investing in a premade playhouse instead of designing one from scratch.
  3. Keep momentum. Try to do something outside every week, even if it’s something small or simple, to create a habit. Breaking big exciting activities into smaller chunks is a good way to maintain a steady pace.
  4. Support engagement. Whether it’s getting mucky, feeding animals, planting flowers or anything in between, try to say “yes” as much as possible to encourage curiosity and confidence.
  5. Focus on the visuals. Even the simplest outdoor activities can grab kids’ attention spans with a bit of colour, an image of their favourite fictional character, or kid-sized accessories.
  6. Give your children more of what they like. Sometimes it’s as simple as listening to what outdoor activities your kids want to do, and letting them take the lead.

What garden activities for kids have you got planned for the summer? Will you be trying any of these out?

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