School is out, and with the summer months ahead, now is a good time to get your children outside in the sunshine. That being said, finding ways to keep your kids entertained all day can be quite the task. One solution for getting your kids to spend more time outdoors and have fun are giant garden games.
Being outside and in sunlight helps children produce sufficient vitamin D levels, and vitamin D helps to protect kids from various undesirable health issues in later years. Plus, the sun is a huge mood-booster, so your kids will be thanking you for it in the end, even if it is hard to peel them from the TV. Happy kids, happy parents.
Research shows that bright light enhances mood, which keeps your kids motivated and happy. In a study of more than two hundred 10-year-olds, researchers found that kids preferred classrooms that were very brightly lit (1,300 to 4,400 lux) to classrooms lit at much lower, more traditional levels (250-740 lux). The same goes for playing outside rather than indoors.
Check out these super-sized versions of classic board games and activities that are a surefire way to get your kids outside and entertained for hours. From giant Jenga to Pick up Sticks through to Snakes and Ladders, here are some great jumbo outdoor games to take on holidays or play in the garden this summer.
Best giant garden games
The classic family game - but giant. This Jenga tower builds from 0.6 Metres to 1.5 Metres high and comes with 58 solid pine blocks. Just stack the blocks in the same way as the traditional tabletop game but enjoy it outside family gatherings. The game comes packed in a canvas carry bag and handles, making it the ideal activity to take along to the park, beach or camping.
Review: "The blocks are a really nice size, all the family got involved... youngest 1.5yrs and oldest aged 82. I will be using linseed oil or some other wood oil to give the blocks a slightly better feel, although this is my personal preference. The quality bag helps keep all the blocks tidy and easy to move and place in storage."
Best activity for parents and toddlers to do together
Make giant bubbles with the Gazillion big bubbles Incredibubble wand. It comes in a 16-ounce bottle of bubble solution specially created to make giant bubbles. Just pour the solution into the provided tray, dip in the wand, and wave it around to create massive bubbles!
Review: "I bought this for my three-year-old son. He and his brothers have had hours of fun with it."
The best easy two-player game
This super-sized version of the two-player tabletop game Connect 4 is made of durable foam discs and will entertain your kids while out in the sun. It is also super easy to store and transport as it has foldable legs that come off.
The best for teaching numeracy skills
This classic game of skill comes with 28 durable foam dominoes and is one of those games that won’t be too tricky to teach kids the basics. You can even use it as a fun activity to teach numbers. Win-win.
Mum review: "Stuck in during lockdown, this was brilliant for my toddler to play with in the garden. Very helpful when teaching her to identify numbers."
The best game of skill for older children
This jumbo chess and draughts board is fun to teach your children while also spending time outside. The pieces are sturdy, and the mat is made of black and white interlocking squares so you can take it apart and reassemble it wherever you go.
Review: "Great for beginners. When fitted together is just what you need for little hands. Great value for money and just what I expected. Lightweight and easy to take in the box on day trips or to a friend's house. Love it!"
The best active group game
This giant inflatable bowling set will be a show stopper if you're throwing a party or gathering. Everyone from the grandparents to the children can participate in a bowling competition. It is designed with an anti-deflation valve that will make sure you can enjoy playing for hours without collapsing.
Review: "Got this for my son's bday party; the kids are gonna love it!"
The best four-player board game
This iconic four-player game is easy for children to play without much parental guidance. We love the big counters and the addition of the giant inflatable dice. Additionally, the playing mat measuring 2m x 2m comes with pegs to secure it to the ground. Ludo teaches your little ones communication, numeracy and strategic skills so they can have fun in the sun while learning at the same time.
The best classic group game
Ring Toss is a traditional game involving throwing a rope or rubber rings over a set distance to land over or near a wooden peg or stand. The set contains a wooden stand, five wooden pegs, five rope hoops and an instruction sheet and is an excellent activity for all generations of the family.
The best four-player easy board game
This giant version of one of our all-time classic board games is perfect for two to four players. It comes with two wooden dice, a 1x1m game mat and four wooden counters. The game itself looks great and is the perfect solution for bored kids; it is also suitable for indoors or outdoor use.
The best game for young children
This giant version of pick-up sticks is an easy and fun game to play in your garden. To play, you have to pick your colour sticks up without anyone else’s moving or falling over! It’s suspenseful, straightforward, and accessible for all ages.
The best party game
This game involves throwing giant inflatable pigs and getting points depending on how they land. The first to 100 points wins. It comes with
oversized score pad, pencil, drawstring pig storage pouch, illustrated instructions, and Pass The Pigs game history.
Review: "They are great fun. The pigs are well made and are of a decent size. It definitely adds a new dimension to what is a very basic game. It comes with a little booklet with all the positions where you gain points. All in all, a great way to re-introduce Pass the Pigs to the children, including the big kids too."
Why is it important to play outside?
Playing outside is an excellent way for your child to explore the natural environment, get some sunshine and have their own adventures.
Physical activities like these are good for your child's health, fitness and physical development. Additionally, spending time outdoors might lower your child's chances of developing short-sightedness later in life. As children burn more calories outdoors, playing outside will also help to prevent obesity and strengthen bones and muscles.
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