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Sports and games you can play in your own back garden

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Keep the family entertained with these incredibly easy-to-set-up games for the back garden. Release your competitive spirit and have fun from the comfort of your own home and garden with these simple, classic sports and games. 

Obstacle course

Get creative and make your own garden obstacle course. By using everyday household items and simple ropes, you can create a fun obstacle course, whether on grass or concrete. You can cater the difficulty to suit different age groups, and you can mix things up for different days. Get some boxes and crates for kids to jump over. Use tables to crawl under or to move around the legs. Use ropes to create ground lines to hop over or for everyone to limbo. Spare tyres in the garage? You know what to do with them. 

Ladder toss

Make your own ladder toss game with wood or PVC pipes, golf balls, and some three-strand nylon ropes or twisted nylon twines. Colour or mark the golf balls for each player, and drill a 3/8” hole through each golf ball. Thread the nylon rope through, tying a knot on each end to secure the golf balls and to make your bolas – your two golf balls on each bola should be about a foot apart. 

Give each pole across a colour by painting or adding coloured tape or card, whatever can mark for point indication. As long as you have at least three poles across for the ladder frame, you’re good to go. Stand on the other side of the garden or roughly 15 feet back from the ladder, and toss your bolas onto the rungs. The top rung is worth three points, the middle is worth two, and the bottom rung is worth one point. First to 21 points wins!

Tug of war

Test your strength with a good, old game of tug of war. All you need is rope –

cricket boundary rope is perfect for this game, or you could go for the natural manila rope – coloured tape, and a bit of fighting spirit. Mark the middle of the rope with the coloured tape to work out a centre point, and make sure both teams are holding onto the rope at the same distance from the centre marker. Whether you play one-on-one or with groups on either side (as long as it’s equal), the aim of the game is to successfully pull the majority of the rope to your side. 

Football fun

Whether you have football nets already or trees or posts, you can set up your own mini match or football training in the garden. Maybe it’s time for a penalty shoot-out or if your garden is big enough, a mini match. Practise those keepie uppies or header skills. Use cones or household items to make a footy obstacle course to get those dribble skills in, too. 

Garden sports day

Eggs and spoons in the kitchen? A few sacks lying around or even some pillowcases? Spare ropes? You’ve got yourself a mini sports day! Don’t forget the three-legged race, and if you don’t have a big garden, you can do laps or a few lengths. 

If it’s a hot day, why not try a bucket head challenge. Fill some buckets with water and have people race through an obstacle course whilst carrying a bucket of water on their heads. The winner is whoever still has the most water left in their bucket at the end of the race, and the loser has to have everyone pour their buckets over them!

You can use a duvet or blanket laid out for the long jump. Use rope to act as the jumping spot, placing it a metre in front of the duvet or blanket. Then, step three metres back from the rope, take a run-up, and compete for the longest jump! Don’t forget to mark down the distances.

Paddling pool games

This one is perfect for toddlers and the little ones, but even teenagers and grown ups can have some fun in a paddling pool. You can try the ‘sink or float?’ game where children guess which objects will sink or float in the water. Use a variety of objects for them to experiment with, such as a rubber duck, orange, banana, building blocks etc. Not only is it a fun game, it gets their brain ticking and helps with scientific thinking – you can ask questions and get children to guess why certain objects sink or float to analyse patterns of behaviour. 

There’s also the ‘chicken’ game. For this, nominate someone to be the leader, and they then do an action for everyone else to copy. If the children copy the action, they are safe. If they get it wrong, they will get a bucket of water poured onto them as well as a letter to spell out ‘chicken’. When they have collected all the letters to spell out ‘chicken’, they lose. The last player to be knocked out is the winner. And, of course, the word ‘chicken’ can be changed for any other word that will amuse your kids!

Ring toss

By using wooden stakes or bottles, along with rope, you can create your own ring toss game easily. If using bottles, make sure they vary in size, and you may want to fill them with sand or gravel to weigh them down with the caps screwed on. Or, use wooden stakes in the ground, all dotted about with a good distance between them. 

You can add coloured tape to symbolise different points – the furthest back will be worth more points. Then, grab the rope – natural ropes work great – and make rings. Use tape, preferably coloured for each player, to bind the rope together to form the ring. If you haven’t got any coloured tape, you can mark them. 

You could either play by letting everyone have a turn each, or let each person try to score on every bottle or stake in one go, and then tally up the points to see who wins each round. Best of three, five, ten? It’s up to you. 

Tin games

Make use of your tins, recycle them for a back-garden game! Gather rinsed out tins that all vary in size and depth, and place them around the garden. Use golf balls, pom poms, table-top tennis balls or whatever works to toss them into the tins. You can go for bonus points for any consecutive tosses into tins. Or, why not build them up to make a tower and see how many you can knock down with one ball kick. 

There are so many simple, fun games you can play and make yourself at home and for the garden! Rope materials can help you form some brilliant, easy games. Contact us today for all your resources. Rope Source is the place to come!

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