Top Ten Garden Games for Families


Garden games can have a multitude of uses, from providing entertainment at family gatherings to keeping kids amused during the long summer holidays. Buy a couple and you could keep the whole family amused for hours at a huge variety of events. Jenga can be great fun for competitive children keen to outshine the adults but can achieve a whole new level of fun at an adults-only barbecue. Here is a look at our top ten outdoor games that offer the ideal mix of fun and versatility to ensure they can be used year after year.

  1. There are two very good reasons why Jenga has been popular for generations – it’s addictive and fun. The giant version is even better still, as it adds even more opportunities for crashes and for little ones to use the pieces in a vast array of imagination-fuelled building projects. Jenga is the name most associated with this game of building blocks up as high as they can go before falling, but there are also a host of other versions available, including the Garden Games Giant Tower Game, £79.99 from Kiddicare.
  2. Connect 4 is another family favourite that has withstood the test of time, and the pieces used in the giant version make good Frisbees too. Will you be the first to get four of the same coloured pieces in a row with the 1.1m tall Hasbro Giant Connect 4, available from Amazon for £185.99?
  3. With Wimbledon-fever taking over Britain, there’s got to be space in the garden for a swingball set. This offers all the fun of tennis without necessarily having to use up too much energy. It’s perfect for smaller spaces where you can’t have balls flying over the fences and is available in both adults’ and kids’ sizes. The Pro Swingball & Tailball Game, £49.99 from John Lewis, is ideal for adults and older children, whilst little ones can improve their hand-eye coordination with the My First 3 in 1 Swingball, £29.99 from Argos. This set can be adjusted according to height and also features soccer swingball and a basketball hoop.
  4. Soccer swingball is a great twist on the original game for people who prefer football to tennis. The Reflex Soccer Swingball, £12.99 from John Lewis, is ideal for practising goalkeeping or shooting skills or simply for having fun, although it isn’t suitable for children under six. Asda also offers its own Soccer Swingball for £19.97
  5. For footballing enthusiasts, portable goals can really boost the fun factor and up the competitiveness when it comes to garden kick-abouts. Many are also portable enough to take with you on days out. Tesco offers a 8ft by 4ft Debut Inflatable PVC Football Goal for £13, or for a larger and more sturdy option, there is the 12ft by 6ft QuickPlay Kickster Academy Ultra-Portable Football Goal, priced at £77.50.
  6. A basketball hoop will always be a fun garden addition, whether for adults wanting to show off their Michael Jordan skills or little girls who want to get in some netball practice. A Dunlop Basketball Board is on offer at £19.99 from Sports Direct right now, or there is the £50 Edco Basketball Set 52, which comes with a backboard and base.
  7. If you like your garden games to be a little more refined, how about a genteel game of croquet (which can become far less genteel as the night wears on)? The Uber Games Pro Croquet Set, £160 from Top Garden Games, is the Rolls-Royce choice. It features all you could need for a serious game of croquet, including four finely crafted mallets in two different heights, six hoops and four composite balls.
  8. Some of the most fun garden games have water involved. What better way to spend a sunny afternoon than being pelted by water bombs or going on the attack with a Nerf Super Soaker FloodFire Blaster, £24.99 from Argos? Fancy going paintballing in your own garden but without the sting or the mess? Have a look at the Water Wars Water Pistol Game, available from Handpicked Collection for £19.95.
  9. If you see yourself as more of a Robin Hood character than a gun-toting action hero, how about an archery set such as the Family Fun Outdoor Archery Garden Game, £13.09 from Quickdraw Supplies? Just make sure your garden is big enough first, although the arrows do only have suckers on the ends.
  10. Quoits is another family-friendly game that can prove surprisingly addictive as you try to throw the rope circles over the pegs. Pick up a complete Quoits set from the Great Little Trading Company for £16.