a grandad pushing a boy on a trolley in the garden

We hope your children have enjoyed their half-term break from school, this week, and that you’ve found plenty to keep them occupied.

They’ve undoubtedly spent at least some of their time on their mobile devices, which are now an integral part of most people’s daily lives. And using these devices needn’t be a bad thing for kids, as it helps them stay abreast of the latest technology, equipping them for modern adult life.

However, when use of this technology becomes excessive, it can lead to various physical and mental issues, including anxiety, stress and depression. This is obviously a huge concern for parents.

While it’s probably in nobody’s best interests for you to completely ban your children from using mobile devices, cutting down on your kids’ screentime is something to be welcomed. To achieve it, you’ll need to offer them credible alternatives, which will really capture their imaginations.

We’d like to recommend some to you…

Benefits to Kids of Spending Time in the Garden

a girl holding a bucket, running in the gardena girl holding a bucket, running in the garden
Image courtesy of Eren Li on Pexels.

Spending time outdoors benefits children in a whole host of ways.

Firstly, exercising out in the fresh air is good for their physical health. It improves their cardiovascular fitness, builds stronger bones and muscles, improves posture, and helps them maintain a healthy weight.

Secondly, outdoor exercise, particularly being close to nature, is good for their mental health. Research shows that it results in a happier, less anxious child, who enjoys better sleep and an improved attention span.

Being outdoors provides opportunities to learn new things too. Depending on the activity, this might involve biology, environmental science or food technology.

Constructive outdoor activities also play a part in promoting independence and improving a child’s confidence, which has the knock-on effect of them enjoying greater self-esteem.

Best of all, outdoor activities are fun. And when these activities take place within the confines of the family garden, parents can keep a close eye on their children, ensuring they remain safe and well.

6 Activities for Children in the Garden

If all this sounds appealing to you, here are some ideas to get you and your kids started...

1. Gardening for Kids

a small girl looking at some sunflowersa small girl looking at some sunflowers
Sunflowers are easy plants for children to grow. Their elevated height really captures a child's interest.

While children are resilient creatures, they are far more likely than adults to take failure to heart. They’re also much less patient. Therefore, it’s a good idea to introduce them to gardening by finding a plant that’s quick and easy for them to grow. Some initial success will then spur them on and help maintain their enthusiasm.

Growing fruit and vegetables is particularly rewarding as it shows kids where their food comes from and can help encourage a healthy diet. Salad leaves, cress, radishes and beans are all good starting points.

Of course, you needn’t begin with fruit and vegetable plants. If your child’s interest is stimulated more by smell or sight, rather than taste, you could help them grow plants that produce scented and/ or pretty flowers. Sweet peas, marigolds and nasturtium are all easy for children to grow. So are sunflowers, whose extraordinary height will really capture a child’s interest.

Get more ideas about which plants to grow here.

2. Learning About Nature 

a ladybird on a planta ladybird on a plant
Ladybirds don't just look cute, they control plant-damaging aphids too. Along with other insects, they form a vital part of your garden's ecosystem.

The natural aspects of a garden aren’t confined to plants. There are many other interesting things for kids to learn about, one of which is insects.

Nowadays, with so many gardens paved, decked or heavily manicured, we don’t seem to see quite so many insects close to home, so it’s important to make them feel welcome. One way to do this is by building a bug hotel.

This could be something as simple as a pile of leaves and twigs, but if you’ve got a bit of time and would like to help your children improve their practical skills, you could build something like this.

Teach your children about the importance of insects – how they pollinate, manage pests, and their essential role in maintaining the overall health of a garden.


Be imaginative in how you deliver this information. Why not try cutting pictures of common garden insects out of a magazine, or printing them off the internet? Paste these pictures onto a piece of paper and give it to your children, who can then go out in the garden and try to find them.

Appreciating the many benefits of insects might also help prevent your children from developing irrational phobias of them, later in life.

Learn more about garden insects here.

3. Children’s Picnics

a circular wooden garden picnic table with picnic benchesa circular wooden garden picnic table with picnic benches
Should you be taken with the idea of family picnics in the garden, you'll be pleased to know that we sell some beautiful wooden picnic tables, just like this one.

One of the gentlest, most subtle ways you can introduce your children to the outdoors is to organise a picnic. They’re also a great way to spend some quality time with your family.

Having a picnic needn’t involve travelling to the seaside or a local beauty spot. Picnics in your garden can be equally rewarding, giving you the ideal opportunity to show your kids some of the other garden-based activities featured here.

Best of all, no financial outlay is required. Simply roll out a rug on your lawn, arrange your lunch on plates or in sandwich boxes, and tuck in.

However, if you’re really taken with the idea of having regular picnics in your garden, and want to go the whole hog, you could always buy a wooden picnic table.

We stock some beautiful wooden picnic benches in our garden furniture category, and they’re designed to accommodate a range of family sizes.

These picnic tables are all pressure treated against rot and backed by superb 15-year guarantees, so no further treatment is required, saving you money and leaving you more time to spend with your kids.

4. Imaginative Play

a wooden platform kids playhouse, painted blue and whitea wooden platform kids playhouse, painted blue and white
A wooden garden playhouse is sure to encourage your kids to become more active and stimulate their imaginations.

Many of you will remember building outdoor dens, and playing at being cowboys and Indians, or soldiers, when you were growing up. It was always regarded as a bit of harmless fun, and a great way for kids to let off steam.

The added, but sometimes overlooked, benefit of this type of game is that it provides young children with an excellent opportunity to use their imaginations, because physical props are rarely required.

Of course, life moves on, and as most kids now own mobile devices and other advanced gadgets, it’s probably a bit fanciful to ask them to put these gadgets aside and just go out and ‘play’.

Instead, parents need to get creative themselves, by offering their children something tangible to get this creative play started. A wooden garden playhouse, like the one shown here, could be just the ticket.

This kids’ platform playhouse is the ideal blank canvas for a whole host of imaginative games. Why not work with your children to paint and decorate it into a style that takes their fancy, then let their imaginations run wild as they devise their own games to play in and around it?

View our full range of children’s playhouses here.

5. Active Play for Children

a kids garden playset including swing, slide, sky scooter and rope laddera kids garden playset including swing, slide, sky scooter and rope ladder
With this much fun available in your garden, your children will be positively clamouring to spend time there.

Swings and slides can be just as much fun as playhouses. They’re incredibly beneficial for children too, as they encourage exercise, with all the physical and mental benefits that come with it.

And nowadays, your children needn’t venture out to the local park to enjoy this sort of activity. No, not when there’s garden playsets available, like this one!

Featuring a slide, sky-scooter, rope ladder AND swing, this kids’ playset offers enough variety to keep your little ones active and amused for hours upon end.

Designed and built to rigorous European safety standards, this swing and slide set is made from a sturdy combination of treated wood, steel and premium-grade plastic, so it’ll provide year after year of safe, healthy outdoor fun.

Accessed via a 3ft wooden platform, the eye-catching lime-green slide is carefully contoured to maximise fun and minimise the risk of a bumpy landing. The rope ladder is made from polypropylene, which is far more durable and causes far less friction than hemp – perfect for tiny hands.

As for the swing and sky scooter – well, they’re made from premium blow-moulded plastic, and fitted with adjustable footrests, so can be comfortably enjoyed by children of all shapes and sizes.

Find all of our swing and slide sets here.

6. Personalising Your Kids’ Outdoor Space

a boy building a dena boy building a den
Give your children a part of the garden to call their own. It'll encourage them to spend time outside, where their imaginations can run wild.

If someone is given responsibility for their own bit of land, they’re far more likely to take the time and effort to look after it. This doesn’t just apply to adults, but to kids too.

Whether it’s related to gardening, building or playing, if you allocate a part of your garden to your children, they’re going to positively want to spend time there. And for all the reasons already mentioned, this will benefit them greatly.

Initially, help them look after their garden space. Then, as their confidence grows, take more of a backseat and give them a freer rein in whatever they’ve got planned.

Personalising an area of the garden could involve almost anything – the only real limit is your child’s imagination. You might allow them to choose which plants to grow, paint a planter in a colour of their choice, or even do a bit of basic landscaping.

And if any of these things cost money, why not give them an opportunity to earn it, which benefits you too?

Receiving pocket money in return for basic jobs, like weeding, helps teach your children about the concepts of work and financial management. What’s more, it gives them an even greater incentive to spend some time in the garden.

A Child’s Place is in the Garden

a boy planting seeds in a seed traya boy planting seeds in a seed tray
If you want your children to spend more time in the garden, formulate some innovative ideas of your own to get them out there.

So, spending time in the garden is clearly beneficial to your children in a multitude of ways. The most challenging thing about it is getting them out there.

Hopefully, we’ve given you a few pointers about how to achieve this, but our list is far from exhaustive. Nobody knows your children better than you do, so we’re sure you’ll soon be brimming with your own great ideas.

Should you need any garden products, no matter how big or small, to help realise your plans, you’ll find them through our homepage here.

Main image courtesy of Kampus Production on Pexels.