A trip to the woods is a wonderful opportunity for the whole family to get some exercise. For some extra fun in the forest, we’ve put together a list of games, art activities and nature exploration tips. We’re confident they’ll make kids excited about going – it’s the coming home that might take a little negotiation.
1. Open a pop-up restaurant. No problem if you missed lunch! Order tasty pine cone meatballs or leaf stew with straw potatoes at your child’s forest restaurant.
2. Have a go at landscape painting. Pack watercolours with you and unleash the kids’ creativity. The subject matter can be anything. Our wild guess is that it’ll be something surprising.
3. Hunt for treasures. A treasure hunt is always entertaining, even more so when it’s made into a family competition. Points for the coolest bit of wood, the most stunning stone and the loveliest leaf!
4. Make organic art. Stones and leaves are superb material for sculptures, which can be painted and scented with different berries. The adult’s job is to keep the artists away from poisonous ones.
5. Start a band. A forest band plays rock drums with stick mallets, accompanied by the bubbling of the stream and the hum of trees in the wind.
6. Build nests for animals. A hedgehog or a shrew will be delighted to find a ready-made nest build by your child. If the home is still empty on the next trip, no worries – the animals must have gone for a walk.
7. Stop and listen. Who can keep quiet for an entire minute? Once talking is allowed again, ask your kid about forest sounds. Did they hear a cuckoo calling, or the rustling of leaves?
8. Make a nature encyclopaedia. Have everyone take pictures with a mobile phone in turn. Use them to create your very own nature encyclopaedia and come up with the text together.
9. Spot birds. Count and list every bird you see. If you don’t have a bird book at home, you can check the names online.
10. Have a picnic. A picnic of biscuits and hot chocolate makes any trip a special treat, even if you go no further than the rock behind your house. What’s more, all food tastes much better outdoors.
Whenever your home feels too small, you’ll find the world’s best and healthiest playground in the forest. Hanging out in the woods is also proven to calm the mind and improve immunity, so why not get down there today?