Some of the most fun we had the three of us on sunny afternoons were the simplest and constructed using the junk I found in our garage.

Build a den.  Using cardboard boxes of all shapes and sizes, some full some ready for recycling, we built walls and used the brooms, bikes, rakes and anything they could lay their hands on.  Over the top we threw sheets and towels, it was never the sturdiest of dens and everyone always seemed to disappear when it came to putting away time but the sense of achievement having a drink and a snack squashed in our den was fabulous.

Hand and Feet Painting.  Using old wallpaper rolls and an easel paper roll we made a big, open square on the lawn.  Poured paint onto side plates and then just dived straight in.  It can get quite slippery so beware – but get everyone joining in, Grandma too for lots of giggles.

Water buckets – this appeals to younger toddlers more but just fill a couple of buckets of water and a few saucepans and get some plastic beakers, straws and maybe even some fairy liquid or bubble bath and just let them pour the water, transfer it, blow bubbles in it or whatever they want to do.  Let them get soaked and sit back with a cuppa.

Bug Hunting.  This appeals to all ages and you get quite into yourself.  There’s loads of different ways to search out the creepy crawlies in your garden but we found a trowel for digging and getting the worms the best and easy for toddlers to use.  Also, if you have a large shrub or smallest tree, putting down an old tea cloth or sheet of paper and getting a stick and gently tapping the bush allows various insects to fall and be ready for inspection!  Even better with a magnifying glass.

Chalk drawings.  If you have a patio or a quiet pavement outside your house, then letting the children free with chalk is great fun.  Draw silly creatures, monsters or even a hop-scotch grid.  At least here in the UK we know rain is not far around the corner, so it will all wash away within days!