How to keep kids busy in the garden

How to keep kids busy in the garden

As a Mum of three children juggling working from home with family life, I’m always looking for ways to keep the kids occupied that don’t involve them spending hours staring at a screen. Of course there are days when staring at a screen is exactly what they do, and I’m not going to apologise for that, but we all know that there are often better ways for them to spend their time. Being outside in the fresh air is undeniably good for all of us. It helps us both mentally and physically, and there’s so much kids can do to enjoy themselves outside too.

Low cost garden ideas

One of the things I’m dead against is spending a fortune on expensive toys and resources. Of course I do buy the kids toys, I’m not Scrooge. But I also like them to learn to occupy themselves without sending my bank account spiralling into the depths of overdraft land. I like to cut costs where I can and I’m always careful with our money.

There are tonnes of things you can get the kids doing in the garden that don’t cost a fortune. Some will be pretty obvious, but others you may not have thought of!


Perhaps the most obvious thing the kids can get involved with is the gardening. The level of stuff they do will depend on their age, but children of all ages can get involved.

You could get them to help with weeding, planting seeds, re-potting plants, watering or even cutting the grass if they’re older.

Water Painting

This is one of my children’s’ absolute favourite thing to do in the garden. I just give them a bowl or cup of water and a paintbrush and they spend happy hours “painting”. This works well if you have a patio area, but they can do it just as well on the walls or garage door. It’s mess free as it all dries up on it’s own and they can paint over and over again. My children like to write messages to each other. It’s great fun.


There’s something really special about throwing down a blanket in the garden and all eating together outside. It makes it feel like a special event somehow! You could get the kids to draw up a menu and help make the food too.

picnic in the garden

Washing toys

My youngest LOVES washing his cozy coupe vehicle and playhouse. I just give him a bowl of soapy water and a sponge and he’s in his element. It’s a good idea to do this on a warmer day as little ones do tend to end up soaked! You could set up a “car wash” station where they can push their cars in to wash one at a time.

Obstacle Course

You can make use of whatever you’ve got in the garden already to create an obstacle course. This is great for all ages – the older ones will love helping to set it up too.

Scavenger Hunt

You can do this for pretty much whatever theme you like. If your child is into dinosaurs at the moment then you can hide them all over the garden and see how many they can find!

There really are all kinds of activities you can do in the garden with children that don’t cost too much at all, it’s all about being a little creative and working out what your children will enjoy!

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