Five DIY budget garden games for the family to enjoy this summer

Five DIY budget garden games for the family to enjoy this summer

As the weather heats up and the kids enjoy six weeks off school, you could find yourself stuck for ideas on how to entertain your little ones.

You don’t have to break the bank to keep your children busy this summer, we’ve come up with five garden games for the whole family to enjoy, that require little to no spending, while keeping your youngsters amused.

1 - Garden Pairs

A garden game like this one encourages creativity and helps kids to use their memory, with nothing but card and colouring pens needed.

With the aim of the game being to pair up matching cards, you can make the game exciting and summer-themed by drawing palm trees, dolphins or the sun onto the cards, or even your favourite superhero or film character.

For this game you will need:

  24 A4 pieces of card.

Colourful pens of your choosing.

How to play

  1. Draw 12 different images onto 12 pieces of card, and then replicate them onto the other 12.
  2. Lay out your tiles face down randomly in an even square. Take it in turns to turn over one card and then try and guess where the other matching card is, before turning them back over if you get it wrong.
  3. The winner is the person who collects the most pairs once all of them are turned over!

2 - The Floor is Lava

This is one game we usually associate with being indoors but, you can easily play the floor is lava in the garden. Give your kids a start and an end point that they have to get to without touching the floor - and stand back and watch (or get involved, too) for hours of entertainment.

For this game you will need:

Nothing but any furniture you have!

How to play

  1. Set a target distance for your kids to get to, without touching the floor.
  2. They can hop across furniture, or even cycle a bike to get there, but they cannot touch the floor. Or maybe on a hot sunny day, you could turn the sun into lava, and they can only walk through areas that are in the shade.


3 - Bottle Ring Toss

If your family is competitive, this game can get everyone involved! It’s simple, cheap and you can get most of the equipment from your recycling bin. It could also make for a fun party game if you have others around.

For this game you will need:

Nine bottles - ideally glass, or if you don’t have bottles, you could place sticks into the ground.

Rope, tied into four separate rings.

How to play

  1. Place the bottles in a three-by-three pattern on the grass.
  2. Set a distance between the bottles and the throwing line to make sure the game is as much of a challenge as possible. If you find it’s too easy, try increasing the distance from the throwing line.
  3. Take turns throwing the rings onto the bottles, taking four turns each.


4 - Water Balloon Piñata

A water fight is a great way to cool off on a hot summer day, but what if you combine a water game with a popular party game - the piñata?

This is a simple game - all you need is water balloons, water, string and a stick to pop them to bring on squeals of laughter from your young ones.

For this game you will need:

As many water balloons as you want.



A stick.

How to play

  1. Pour the water into each water balloon - enough to make them heavy, but not pop…yet.
  2. Tie your string from one end of the garden to another - whether it’s your fence, windowsill or washing line.
  3. Secure each balloon, and then tie each balloon to the string.
  4. Take it in turns to walk underneath each balloon and attempt to pop it with the stick. Just make sure it’s a warm day!


5 - Noughts and crosses

A classic game, this is perfect for children of all ages to get their brains thinking while on summer holiday.

For this game you will need:

Large stones.

Sticks or paper.

Paint or chalk.

How to play:

  1. Find nine reasonably sized stones in your garden - the bigger the better.
  2. Draw an X or O on opposite sides of the stone, with either chalk or paint.
  3. Line up six sticks into the classic noughts or crosses lines, and you’re ready to play.

These games can be played in gardens of any size, and if you don’t have an outdoor area of your own, many of these can also be enjoyed at a local park, or even in your living room (except for the water piñata!).

However if a bigger garden is what you’re looking for, and you’re considering moving to a new property this summer, check out our mortgage calculator to help you to work out your options.