Woman and man playing twister in the garden
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Five garden games for the whole family

It can be great fun on a warm summer’s day to get out into your garden and play a few games with your family.

Here are some of the best, including some that are free and a few that are fairly cheap. Some may need a little DIY to set up, if you’re up for it. 

Giant Jenga

Jenga is a timeless classic that can entertain adults and kids alike. Take it in turns to carefully remove a block from the pile and place it on top, without causing the increasingly-precarious tower to tumble over. 

This old-school game needn’t be confined indoors: you can either buy a giant version or create your own super-sized Jenga to play outside and get some fresh air at the same time. 

It’s quite simple to make your own set. You need 54 wooden blocks. There is no limit to how big you could make them, depending on what materials you have available. You need to make them all exactly the same shape and size, with each block three times as long as it is wide, and one fifth as thick. 

After cutting your pieces, if you’re using wood, sand them down so they’re nice and smooth. You also need to make sure the pieces are light enough that no one will get hurt if they fall. 

If you want to go one step further, then you can stain them a nice range of colours.


In charades you act out a phrase without speaking, while the other members of your team try to guess what the phrase is - often accompanied by peals of laughter. The goal is for your team to guess the phrase as quickly as possible. 

Kids needn’t stay on the sidelines. With a little guidance – and maybe even some pictures of the words – children as young as three or four years old can play.

You will need a device with a timer or stopwatch and somewhere to write down the times taken to guess the phrase. At the end, tally them up before crowning the winning team. Charades can be played with any type of word or phrase, from films and TV shows to books and common phrases.

You can use a charades phrase generator like this one (the same website also has a guide to common hand signals used in charades), which allows you to choose your skill level from easy to very hard. You can also find loads of printable resources online.


How about a game of backyard Twister with your family? It’s another game that is suited to all ages, as long as you’re flexible enough. Playing on a nice soft lawn certainly beats a hard indoor surface, especially if you happen to topple over.

You can either buy a Twister mat, or have some fun and make your own.


It’s fun to play a big old game of rounders or tennis, but the vast majority of people don’t have enough space in their garden.

So, why not try badminton instead? A game of garden badders combines ease for beginners with the potential to show off some skills by pulling off tricky shots.

If you don’t have space for a badminton net (or a string hanging from some trees), then a simple bat and ball can make for a fun alternative. 


Swingball is another classic garden game. This one will most likely require you to spend out on a set - essentially a pole with a tennis ball on a string that swings round while players try to hit it. 

Swingball is also a useful way to practice hand-eye coordination and mug up on any tennis skills.

Soft archery 

Fancy yourself as a latter-day Robin Hood? Or maybe you just enjoy some friendly competition. Either way, a soft archery set could be a fun addition for your garden this summer. 

You can find a few affordable options online, which are suitable both for children and adults.

With any standard set, you get a bow, arrows complete with suction cups and a target with numbers on it, according to how close to the centre you get.

Whether you want to treat yourself to something like an archery set or keep it simple with charades, playing some games with your family can be a great way to create some happy summer memories.

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