Summer brings with it long, lazy days with hopeful sunshine to beckon us in to the garden, writes Cathy Black. There are a whole plethora of weird and wonderful garden games and sports that can be enjoyed in a relatively small space. What better way to get active then to bring the sports into your own back garden?
Essentially anything that gets you active can be classed as a sport so although not traditional why not look to old playground games to start your sporting inspiration. What’s more inspirations from the playground will likely to take up less space than those more traditional sports; so perfect for the smaller gardens.
Hop Scotch: This is a game I have enjoyed even in my small outdoor space – all you need is some chalk, a patio area on which to draw your numbered grid and a stone to throw. Then simply take it in turns to throw the stone and where ever it lands you must avoid this square without falling over – hop on one leg for single squares and two legs on double squares.
Skipping: I am sure many of us remember taking it in turns to run in and out of a skipping rope line. Not only does it take a certain amount of skill and timing but also uses a terrific amount of energy and is admittedly quite a lot of fun even when older! Depending on the size of garden and also the amount of people around you can either create your own skipping rope line with a long piece of rope or skip singularly using a shorter rope and maybe make it more of a challenge by seeing how many skips you can achieve in a minute.
Leap frog: Leap frog needs only two people to play one person bends over and holds their knees whilst the other one runs up and vaults over them by placing their hands on the back of the bent over person to give them a boost. It is important to keep up momentum to ensure that you clear the person you are vaulting over.
Quoits: A simple sport that requires a little skill. You can buy quoits sets quite readily during the summer season but equally you could make your own by pushing a number of sticks into the ground and cutting out circles of card that can be used to throw over the sticks. Attribute a number to each stick perhaps and then the person who scores the most will ultimately be the winner.
Bowling: The ten pin bowling alley is great fun but why not recreate the thrill of the sport in your own garden? Perhaps the simplest way to do this would be to use 10 empty plastic drink bottles for your pins and a small football for your bowling ball.
Golf: When I was younger I had great fun at my Gran’s playing a round of her very own golf course. She had sunk plant pots into the ground at varying locations around the garden and we would make our way around the ‘course’ using golf balls (which can be purchased fairly cheaply) and a simple putter trying to get the best score.
Remote control car racing: Recreate your favourite car races with your remote control vehicles. You could create your own circuit around your garden using rope, string or even garden twine. Then line up your racers and have a race to the finish. All the thrill of F1 without leaving your back garden! Depending on whether your remote control car is all terrain or not this may be better done on a patio area.
These are just a few of the many fantastic sports that could make an appearance in your garden this year. So whether you’re a petrol head or a golfing pro why not find a way of bringing it into your outdoor space – after all the fun doesn’t need to end at the track!