5 garden sports games for summer

sports bats on grass

Harness that competitive spirit and combine family fun and fitness with these original games to play in the garden or park.

1. Balloon ping-pong

Host your own mini Wimbledon with a handful of supplies you probably have lying around if you’ve ever thrown a party: a balloon makes a makeshift ball that’s a little more challenging than your usual tennis ball, while paper plates on lolly sticks are cheap as chips compared to bats.

2. Milk-bottle catch

Cut the bottom off a plastic milk bottle (the kind with a handle) and you have a free way to play catch, together or solo. No ball? No problem: standard kitchen foil rolled into a tight ball makes an easy substitute.

3. Mini golf

Transform a driveway or paved garden path with just a box of chalk or wash-away paints – a little imagination can turn it into a creative mini pitch and putt course, or a bowling alley.

little girl with sidewalk chalk little girl with hula hoop

4. Hula Hoop exercise

Use them as giant ring-toss pieces, and fashion makeshift goals with them for football and basketball. Set them up as bases for a game of garden rounders and rope your extended family or neighbours in.

5. Outdoor pool noodle play

Halved pool noodles can become giant croquet hoops (hammer two chopsticks into the grass about 20 inches apart and slot the noodle ends over each) while whole ones can easily be turned into an obstacle course or goal posts in a number of sports. Use them as bats and replace balls with balloons then let the games begin.

More outdoor games ideas