Bex Kubb Original Game
Summer’s coming – time to max out your garden’s play potential with a few well-chosen outdoor toys
In the past year when we’ve spent more time at home than ever before, our gardens and outdoor spaces have taken on new significance. For the adults, they’ve become a place to retreat and perhaps rediscover the gardening gloves/lounge on the hammock and for kids, they’re a place to play and let imaginations run wild. How to assist them in their never ending quest for fun? Whether you want to build a playground from scratch or add in a few select pieces like a swing, boules or bat and ball, there are options to suit all budgets and garden sizes. Once they’re happy, you can concentrate on enjoying that long-awaited BBQ. Here’s to sunnier days ahead.
Didn’t think you were the croquet type? Think again. Traditional games such as croquet, boules and skittles have made a comeback as more people spend time outside. As well as being fun and relatively easy to get the hang of, these stylish wooden games look good too. Now, just need to ensure the lawn is up to scratch (check out Garden tools to make life easier this summer).
You can’t beat some classic water-based fun when it comes to keeping the kids entertained over the summer months. Happily, there’s a wide range of products to suit all ages, spaces and budget. ‘If you’re looking to keep the family cool during hot weather, a paddling pool is a must while other water products like Aquaplay are great for younger children and can be folded away when not in use,’ says says Nicolette Kelleher, Partner & Buying Assistant, Toys & Children’s Books.
Don’t want to head to the park? Bring the playground to your place. ‘The most important thing when it comes to creating a play area in the garden is safety, so make sure you place play equipment where you can keep an eye on it from the house,’ says Nicolette. Once that’s sorted, you can start to think about zoning the garden into play areas. Consider having an area where children can be active with a trampoline or climbing frame, an area for down time with perhaps a playhouse and an area where all the family can enjoy a game like bat and ball.
If you are short on outdoor space, think about products that you can pack away when not in use like a foldable scooter or swingball. For a bijou space like a balcony, games and puzzles are a good option – see also Small garden ideas. Watching your budget? ‘The John Lewis & Partners’ range provides excellent quality and value starting at £5,’ says Nicolette. ‘I love our outdoor sports set, which comes in a backpack and can be used from age three upwards.’