We had our own sports day in the garden with a ‘welly race’ and a ‘sack race’, and made some simple small games for everyone to play, says Katherine Miller

At school sports day we noticed many of the activities were focussed on teamwork, leaving only one traditional race with a clear ‘winner’. This probably upset some of the more competitive parents in the crowd who were ready to cheer their little ones on.

My favourite game was the continuous welly-wearing relay – with boots up to their thighs, the kids strode around the field in fits of giggles. The old fashioned Dad’s race was transformed with eggs and spoons (and elbows) and Mums were seen flinging off their heels and embracing the opportunity for a run-around.

It was then that the high pitched cheers from the happy crowd of 6-year-olds suddenly changed to a noisy, chanting mob, all baying for their winner. So there is a competitive streak in everyone, given the chance to express it.

I have confiscated many hard balls from our garden, which upsets the men in the house who are into cricket (it’s no fun with a sponge ball apparently), but I make no secret of the fact that I love the greenhouse more than I love cricket.

We also play a lot of board and card games with our children at home, and recently we had our own sports day in the garden with a ‘welly race’ and a ‘sack race’, and made some simple small games for everyone to play. But it’s worth making a mental note not to play pebble dominoes near the greenhouse with a 3-year-old who might throw his toys…

 

Tic-Tac-Toe

Garden games, tic tac toe - a great childrens craft project

This simple idea using sticks, flowers and pine cones, put an attractive spin on an old fashioned game. All sorts of random treasures from the garden such as stones, shells, conkers or leaves could all be used as counters for games.

 

Pebble dominoes

How to make pebble dominoes - a great childrens craft project

We bought a bag of polished pebbles from the DIY store and my 3-year-old spent ages ‘washing them up’ and sorting them into sizes.

 

How to make pebble dominoes - a great childrens craft project

There were enough pebbles to make 4 sets of 28 dominoes (each set costing less than £1.50).

 

How to make pebble dominoes - a great childrens craft project

With help, my 6-year-old used white gloss paint to add the dots and lines and we left them to dry for a few days. Polishing them with wax furniture polish gave them a nice shine.