Summer's on its way and the days are getting warmer (not to mention longer!) so it's about time to get into your garden and make the most of it. These are some ideas for outside activities that the whole family can enjoy.
As any dad knows, you don't need a team to play football - just two or three people, a ball and some jumpers (or plant pots, or big rocks!). ‘Three and in’ involves players taking it in turns to take penalty shots. The first to three goals becomes the goalie, and the goalie comes out to take shots! ‘Slam’ involves kicking the ball against a wall. It sounds easy but you only get two touches to hit the wall, making for endless tactical possibilities!
Go on a Safari!
If you're not squeamish then a garden safari is perfect for the kids. Take a magnifying glass along and maybe even a specimen jar. Turn over rocks, seek out the damp places and see what you can find! Worms, spiders and beetles will all be hiding in your garden, and you might even find a frog or toad! Kids love creepy crawlies and it's a great way for them to learn about nature.
Have a Picnic!
Picnics aren't just for the park - get that old rug out of your car and have one in the garden. The kitchen's only a few steps away so you won't run out of food and drink, and you can keep things cool in a real fridge! Make some dainty bits and use plastic cups for an authentic picnic feel.
Get a Suntan
Sunbathing as we all know should be done in moderation, but quite frankly at the first sign of a nice day we all love to reveal our pale bodies and bask in the long-awaited glow. Sunbathing in your garden means you're near to all the necessities like your radio, the fridge, and your bookcase. If you're lucky enough not to be overlooked you could even go topless (or maybe you don't care what the neighbours think!). Sunlight makes everyone feel better so get outside and enjoy it.
Enjoy a Barbecue
Barbecues are a man's domain so let dad muck about with the cooking for once. Gormet barbecue food involves steak, steak and more steak. Add a marinade for interest and some salad so you don't feel too guilty. Make sure you cook everything though - a long time over a low heat is better than a crispy outside and food poisoning the next day!
Make a Waterslide!
Grass was meant for sliding on, so if you're not too fussed about the state of your turf , get the hose out and soak the place. Lay down plastic sheeting for extra-slippiness, and be sure to get a good run up. This is an activity that kids and adults will both love, so lose your maturity and have some fun.
Have a Night-Time Sing-Song
As the sun goes down, what better way to mark the end of the day than with a sing-song. You might even get flashbacks to your scouting days. Light a campfire if you can (and if you're not sat too close to the fence) and get out a guitar. Of course, it helps if one of you can play. Cue the hilarity of bad singing and acoustic versions of rap and disco classics.
Sylvia Kittens lives in Harrogate, England