With purse strings tight and a family weekend at a theme park costing short of a week for two in Majorca there is no better time than to utilise our outdoor space and have some fun with garden games for all the family. I am very sure that the majority of us have fond memories of at least one particular board game. Whether the suspense of snakes and ladders or the more strategic 4 in a row is preferred these classic games cannot only strengthen basic social skills but can also provide the foundations for fond memories. With a range of educational elements they can also help children with focussed tasks, not to mention fulfilling children’s most desired way to pass the time and that is to be with you. While we all lead busy lives, garden games can enrich the time we spend with our children and satisfy their thirst for competing and learning new skills.
Without trying to avoid the rapid development of childhood treasures it is never more important to find a balance between the necessary gadgets of the digital generation and satisfaction of simple educational games that have been moulding characters for years. Timeless games such as skittles and the more sophisticated croquet can teach children basic skills that will carry them right into adulthood. Apart from sharing and taking turns these activities will provoke interaction with others that no amount of online games will provide. The strategic thinking required in chess can encourage young people to not only think more strategically but to expand their skills in problem solving. Get knotted, along with other physical games will encourage everyone to get active in the garden while having fun and will make a valuable contribution to a healthier lifestyle for children and adults alike. A range of gym equipment for all ages can also be the perfect addition to your garden to keep everybody fit and healthy. Games tables such as air hockey, pool and table tennis can encourage competitive games between pairs or even provide weeks of fun if a tournament is organised, building confidence and helping children avoid falling into the common trap of dreading school sports. Alternatively, sandpits allow younger children to explore their senses and can be therapeutic for any challenging behaviour young people may struggle with.
These oversized activities will not only add a contemporary look to any lawn or terrace but can also add a fun twist to any garden party. Some would argue that the humble board game has played an intricate role in the development of society and that the rise of social media could have a detrimental effect on the structure of social relationships as we know them. Croquet in fact was one of the first opportunities for women to play outdoor games with men, with tight croquet offering the perfect opportunity for the ball to be hit into the bushes and team mates to search for it together. So why not abandon the tweets for one weekend and invite some friends over for some good wholesome fun….you never know who you might meet while searching for that ball!