When the sun is shining, the garden is the place to be. Gardening with kids is a great way to get them outside and learning about the natural world. However, if your kids would rather spend time with a screen than a garden spade, it can be a struggle to get them outdoors. Luckily, there are plenty of kids’ garden toys to make being outdoors more fun – from toys they can play with by themselves to games for the whole family to enjoy.
There are child-sized versions of classics like croquet and skittles, as well as rocket launchers and bubble-making toys to discover. We’ve curated a joyful selection of children’s garden games, which are sure to encourage them to get outdoors.
For more guides for gardening with children, browse our selection of best kids' gardening tools, best kids' wheelbarrows and best wooden playhouses. We also have a round up of garden seating ideas for children and the best kids' garden furniture.
15 of the best children’s garden toys
Browse our selection of some of the best outdoor toys below.
Little Tikes Cozy Coupe
This pretend car is a classic garden toy. Let kids burn off some energy by propelling themselves around the garden, with their feet sticking out of the bottom of the car – Flintstones-style. Or, this updated version, from Little Tikes, has a removable floor so toddlers can keep their feet inside while an adult pushes them along.
Adjustable Basketball Stand
Great for developing hand-eye co-ordination. This basketball hoop and stand is height-adjustable to suit children of different ages. There’s no need to attach it to a wall – when you have it in position, simply fill the base with water to keep it steady. It comes complete with two inflatable basketballs and a pump.
2 Junior Football Goal Set
Young football fans will love having their own set of goals.These are supplied with ground pegs to secure them outdoors, or they are suitable for use indoors – for rainy days. The set includes two goals with nets, a ball, hand pump and ground pegs.
Wooden Handled Children's Skipping Rope
You can’t go wrong with a classic skipping rope, and this wooden handled version should be sturdier than plastic alternatives. Skipping is great exercise – perfect for at-home PE lessons. And this is a toy that children can play with on their own or with siblings.
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A children’s version of the classic game Pétanque. The brightly coloured plastic balls should be light enough for children aged six-and-up to throw, and the grooves make them easier to grip. They come with a handy carry case, to make them easy to transport and to pack away tidily.
Encourage budding astronauts with these air-powered rockets. You can use them to try to teach children about gravity and trajectory or, more realistically, you can simply let them have fun stomping and launching their rockets high into the air. The rockets and launch pad can be easily assembled in a few minutes and then kids (and adults) can send the rockets into orbit (or at least the air).
Junior Lawn Croquet
Up to four players can enjoy a game of croquet with this child-sized set. The mallets are 75cm long, and the set includes mallets, hoops and balls, as well as a canvas storage bag to make it easy to carry around and to keep all of the bits together, so nothing gets lost.
Mookie Catcher Ball
Make the simple game of ‘catch’ more fun with these Velcro pads. Children throw a tennis ball to each other, which sticks to the hand-held pads – ideal if you don’t have space for a tennis court in your garden! Suitable for children from the age of three, this set will help develop hand-eye co-ordination and comes with two Velcro bats and one ball.
Orange Tree Toys Woodland Friends Skittles
These colourful skittles play music when you knock them over. Designed for tiny hands, the skittles are small and topped with animal characters to catch children's attention. The set includes six hand-painted wooden skittles and two balls. In the garden or indoors, they will help develop children's co-ordination and their listening skills. Other sets available include safari animals and Paddington Bear skittles.
Dr Zigs Giant Bubble kit
These are no ordinary bubbles! With this kit, children can make super-size, colourful bubbles. The concentrated solution makes enough bubble liquid for at least 1,000 bubbles. It's non-toxic, and suitable for children from the age of three (adult supervision recommended).The starter kit includes a wooden wand, cotton rope and 100ml of concentrated bubble solution – everything kids need to get started.
Crazy fun for kids of all ages, the aim of the game is easy - simply throw the target disc and then try to get your rubber chickens to land on it, or as close as possible. Think of it like golf, the more times you have to flick your chick at the target, the more points you accrue - the winner is the person with the least amount of points after nine rounds.
Lawn Water Slide
Stay cool with this portable water slide. Over 15 foot long, it's made from a thick, sturdy, super-slick PVC sheet that will last for years, and comes with two water slip matts and a crash pad to provide a bit of peace of mind and help sliders come to a safe stop. Young or old, this a great idea for parties and family gatherings.
Glow-In-The-Dark Capture The Flag
Once it's dusk, the excitement can start with this luminous version of Capture The Flag. Just the thing for a child's party, you can play using different scenarios - four people are needed for the Invader theme, while over twenty can join in for Treasure Thieves and Ninja-style adventures.
My Adventure Kit Rucksack
Little explorers will have everything they need to make a sturdy den with this great kit, which includes tough tarpaulin, para cord and steel pegs. There's also a ground sheet and hammock to make it cosy. Once they're set-up in the garden, woods or even the park, they'll be able to enjoy using the catapult and binoculars to make it an adventure to remember.
Inflatable Batons Gladiator Game
Play just for fun or use it as a novel way to resolve family feuds, players must stand on the podium and use the gladiator-style pugil stick to whack their opponent until they knock them off balance and are forced to step off their mark. Easy to inflate and deflate, this portable game promises hours of entertainment.