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Isolation can be an extremely scary prospect for a lot of people. Having limited interaction with the outside world is very strange, humans are designed to be outside and communicate with people on a regular basis. This is why when we stay indoors for too long, we become short tempered, anxious, restless, weak, tired or grey in the face, we need the vitamins which the outside world provides us with. But worry not! Even though you aren't able to spend as much time outdoors, and doing the things you would usually enjoy, there are plenty of things which you do in your very own garden. Adult or child, sunny or cloudy, hot or cold, there is sure to be something which you can do to get out in the garden, and chances are you will find it on this list! So here it is, our:
35 Ways To Enjoy Your Garden Whilst In Self Isolation
1. Scrub Up Your Garden Furniture
Make sure you give your garden furniture a brush off and a wipe down, so that it's lovely and clean for those days where you fancy a little bit of fresh air out in the garden. Check out our guide on how to clean wooden garden furniture so that you know exactly where to start.
2. Clean Your Car And/Or Bike
It's a task which needs doing at some point, so why not do it while you are stuck at home. Right now, you'll need any excuse to be outside and cleaning the car is definitely a good one! You can also make it fun for all the family and get everyone involved.
3. Rake Up The Leaves
You might not be able to see it, but somewhere buried under all of those leaves, is a beautiful garden just waiting to be uncovered! Coming into Springtime the trees aren't shedding as much, so grab a rake and collect all of those leaves so that you can appreciate the beauty right on your doorstep.
4. Pressure Wash Your Patio Or Decking
So, I'm not going to lie, pressure washing your patio is flipping hard work! But how else are you getting exercise at the moment? Besides, it is so satisfying to watch the dirt just disappear, and it will often leave you saying to yourself "huh, so that's what colour my paving stones are, who knew!" Discovering that your paving stones aren't in fact all the same colour is mind blowing!
5. Cut The Grass
If you are anything like me, you'll abandon your grass until it's warmer and you actually want to use your garden. In my case, this often results in a jungle. So get the lawnmower out (or garden shears in my case) and get cutting that grass back
6. Prune Those Bushes
Bushes can get out of hand pretty quickly, so get trimming! If you have a few bushes which can be landscaped, hold a competition with your family to see who can create the most artistic shrubbery.
7. Make Your Own Golf Course
Use your imagination and create your very own mini golf course. Use whatever you can find lying around to set up some little challenges such as: Books, Wooden Planks, Plant Pots, Cardboard Boxes, Toilet Rolls, Cups etc. Think outside the box with this one.
8. Blow Bubbles
Bubbles are absolutely beautiful. Pretty colours floating through the air, it feels so magical. Children love them and find them fascinating, but it can also be extremely relaxing to watch them float through the air, so bring out your inner child and grab the washing up liquid ... but only if you have plenty!
9. Make Mud Pies
If you have no grass or patio and are right in the middle of doing out the garden, the kids will love it, trust me! Most children love getting messy, digging, and generally spending time in mud. So encourage them to create a mud pie. After all if you can't get mucky when your young, when can you?
10. Camp Out
Do a garden camp out! You may not be able to leave your home, but if you have a garden, you can certainly act like you are on a camping trip. Put up a tent, light a fire pit, toast some marshmallows, tell some stories and make some memories!
11. Play Catch
Simple, yet hours of fun! Get some exercise with the children (or behaving like children) and play a good old fashioned game of tag, block or hide and seek.
12. Have A Water Fight
Just because you can't see friends or generally leave the house, doesn't mean you can't still have some summer fun! If we are isolated throughout the summer, a back yard water fight with your family might be the ideal fom of exercise to cool down. Don't forget the ice lollies and refreshments!!!
13. Play Outdoor Games
Buy a giant jenga, chess or checkers set for out in the garden and soak in some of that Vitamin D whilst having a fun game! Not to mention the exercise of rebuilding jenga every time it falls down!
14. Create A Time Capsule
What a perfect time to bury a time capsulein your garden for someone to find way in the future! You could fill in with family photos and trinkets from your family, or you could cut out/print out newspaper clippings from this year, to show future generations what has been going on this year (lets face it, 2020 has been a crazy year, and as of writing this, it's only April!)
15. Make Daisy Chains
You might see daisies in your garden pretty soon, so make some daisy chain necklaces, bracelets and head garlands. Just because you are in isolation, doesn't mean you can't look pretty!!!
16. Dig For Treasure
If there are areas of the garden which are digging friendly, dig them up and try and discover some treasure. You never know, you might find someone else time capsule buried in the dirt .... and it may be full of thousands of pounds ... sorry, wishful thinking!
17. Build Sandcastles
If you have a sandpit in the garden, have a sandcastle competition to see who can build the best. Make it super difficult and don't allow the use of buckets, only things which you can find in the home and garden.
18. Create A Fairy Garden
Fairy gardens are super cute and a great opportunity for children to use their imaginatination and creativity. Use bits and pieces from a dolls house or get crafty and make a fairy house out of milk cartons, tin cans or anythng else you can find lying around the house and garden.
19. Set Up An Obstacle Course
It's amazing what you can utilize when you put your mind to it. An obstacle course does not need to be complicated or complex, just think about what you have at hand and use it. Use a skipping rope, draw hopscotch, lay out a plank to walk across, hula hoop and anything else you can find.
20. Make A Den
Set up your own little garden den with sheets, chairs and pillows. Or if you are feeling more adventurous, try and set one up made out of sticks, trees and leaves.
21. Use Outdoor Chalk
Bring out your artistic side by using outdoor chalk to draw on the floor, walls and fences and add some character to your garden. If you are particularly good at art, use the chalk to outline a design and then go over it with some paint to create a more permanent piece of art.
22. Paint Plant Pots
This is one which could be done indoors, but doing it outside is an excuse to spend time in the garden. It also gives you the opportunity to use nature to decorate the plant pots and add texture. For example leaves, grass, soil and sand. If you don't have plant pots handy, just drill some holes in the bottom of tin cans.
23. Create A Sensory Garden
A garden full of things which you can smell, touch, taste and hear can create such a relaxing atmosphere. To find out more about how to create a sensory garden, check out our previous blog here
24. Make Nature Art
Go outside in the garden and gather any interesting items which you can find, this could include fruit, leaves, pinecones, herbs, conkers, grass, flowers, soil, sticks and anything else you can find. Use these to create your very own art piece. use paint to create prints using the 3D objects such as pinecones and stick the 2D items to the paper.
25. Take Photographs Or Draw Your Surroundings
Become a photographer during your isolation, take some photographs of the nature around you, or even go one further and take a picture of a specific flower or plant every day and create a timelapse, seeing how the flowers blossom and bloom over time. Alternatively, if you enjoy drawing, enjoy the outdoors with your sketchpad.
26. Create A Giant Chess Board
If you fancy a bigger project, apply some paving stones on your lawn and create your very own garden chess board. If you don't know how to play chess, then this is the ideal time to learn a new skill.
27. Put Up Some Lights
In order to make your garden the prettiest one on the street, you definitely need to add in some solar powered fairy lights, lanterns, garden spike lights or (my personal favourite) festoon lights.
28. Plant Flowers & Plants
Get green fingered and plant some new flowers and plants in your garden preparing your garden for the next few months, or even next year. It will ensure that if your garden isn't the best one on the street this year, it definitely will be next year! If you want to try something different and plant some climbing plants for your rose arch then read our previous blog for the best climbing plants for garden arches
29. Make A Veggie Patch
Make your garden yummy by setting up a vegetable patch or herb garden. If you're not sure where to start, check out our blogs on when to plant your vegetables and how to master growing herbs in your home or garden
30. Bird Spotting
Buy yourself a book on bird species and find out what kinds of birds are flying around in your garden. You never know, there may even be a rare bird popping its head into your back yard. There's only one way to find out!
31. Read A Book
With video games, computers, mobile phones and kindles, it so easy to forget what it's like to NOT look at screens all day every day. So go back in time and relax in the garden and read a good old fashioned paper back book.
32. Do A Puzzle Book
If you don't enjoy reading and prefer to use your brain to problem solve, delve into a puzzle book instead! Crosswords, wordsearches, sudoku and logic puzzles are a great way to pass the time while giving your eyes a break from screens.
33. Have A Picnic
You may not be able to go on an excursion to the park for a picnic but lay out a picnic blanket on the grass in your garden and prepare a picnic basket filled with sausage rolls, sandwiches, fruit and ice pops!
34. Write Down, Record Or Just Listen To Noises
Take in all of the noises you can hear in your garden and jot them down, or just take them in and try to figure out what you can hear! It's a great way to relax and become one with your environement.
In keeping with the previous idea, meditation will also get you in touch with nature and generally chill you out. Of course this is great considering you are probably going slightly crazy being indoors.
I hope something on this list has given you inspiration to how you can spend time outdoors. What are you doing in order to avoid becoming stir crazy? We'd love to hear from you!