Image by Tom Woodward
Trees are some of nature’s most beautiful creations; woodlands dotted around the UK countryside are historical marvels too – many of them centuries old. Although the Big Bad Wolf is said to live in a forest, woodlands are actually fantastic places for kids to play! Family forest activities are also a great learning opportunity for kids and what’s more, they often cost nothing at all!
Who needs a pirate treasure hunt when you can go for a long woodland walk or follow a nature trail with your family, in search of different creatures or natural sights and sounds? Check out our fun outdoor nature activities here or print off some of the Woodland Trust’s ‘Spotter Sheets’ from here to make your walk more of an adventure. You could even have a competition to see who collects the greatest number of different types of leaves or flowers first!
Shelter in the Forest
This is one of those really inspiring forest activities for children that’ll truly build their practical life skills and – at the same time – get them to think about the trials and tribulations of trying to survive with minimal resources out in the wild. If your kids had to make a shelter entirely out of woodland materials, where would they start? What would keep them warm at night and how would they camouflage themselves to keep out of sight? Building a den, or ‘hide’ can be a full day activity. You could even follow it up with some bird spotting or be brave and try out the activity below.
Spending the night in the forest isn’t for the faint-hearted: you’d be surprised how noisy and dark a forest can be! But on a cloud-free night, if you set up camp in a clearing, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful starry sky; and in the morning, you’ll be the first to hear the birds wake up and see the sunrise. If you’re looking for forest activities for older kids this is the way to go. If you’re camping out, always make sure you have permission to be there, respect your natural environment, take home rubbish, and remember to bring a torch!
Artistic Woodland Activities
There are plenty of arty forest activities for kids too. From stone mosaics, to temporary natural collages, there are many different ways to make natural materials into art. Even if you don’t create anything on site, you can take away anything you’ve collected and create something new at home. You could collect feathers to create a dream catcher, for example, or different leaves to do leaf printing on paper. With supervision, older kids might try whittling some sticks and what about writing woodland-inspired poetry? The possibilities are endless!
If you’re planning a forest adventure, don’t forget to stock some Persil small & mighty at home, and be sure to check out our handy stain-removing tips to get muddy clothes clean again.