Woodland walks are a great way to get kids active and enjoying the fresh air, especially during the school holidays. The great outdoors is the ideal place for children to get messy, run wild, and use their imagination and creativity. However sometimes children take a little convincing. If you go down to the woods today, here are a few boredom battling activities to try out that make for an afternoon of woodland fun with the kids.
Set up a scavenger hunt
Sending your kids on a scavenger hunt is the perfect way to get them excited about being in the great outdoors. We all know that kids love to explore, so set them a list of things to collect or spot, for example a pine cone, a certain coloured leaf, or a woodland critter. Make a spotting sheet first and tick off the creatures as you see them.
Play a game of hide and seek
Who doesn’t love a game of hide and seek? It’s the perfect way to spend an active and memorable afternoon, and a woodland stroll provides many a great hiding place! Hide and seek is a great game choice because you can set clear rules and boundaries as part of the game to keep everybody safe, and the game can be adapted to suit all ages.
Take a camera
If you have a spare camera around then task the kids with taking photographs of anything they find interesting. You could even grab a couple of disposable cameras and get the photos developed for the kids to keep, or have a little screening and presentation session on the computer once you’re home. Handing your kids a camera is a unique opportunity to see the world from their point of view. You might even start a lifelong passion!
Build a den
The woods provide an abundance of building materials. Sticks, leaves and fallen branches can all be fashioned into something quite remarkable, so let the kids lead the project and see what they come up with! You could even supplement their materials with some old sheets.
Find some fallen logs
Collect some logs and get the kids to arrange them into a little activity course, which they can then walk along and practice their balancing skills on.
Take nature rubbings
Grab some paper and crayons on your way out, then get creative by taking some leaf or bark rubbings. Later on you could grab some glue and join the items collected on the scavenger hunt and the rubbings to create a fun nature collage. Make sure you pack the kids umbrellas in case of a sudden Autumn shower.
Track animal footprints
Track some animal prints and take a guess at which animal might have made them. If you can’t guess, take a photograph and look the markings up on the computer once you’re home. You can then see if you can match up the claw, paw or hoof prints with the critter that made them.
Splash in some puddles
Notoriously messy but amazing fun, wellies and waterproofs are a good idea when out for a paddle! See who can jump over the biggest puddle or who can make the biggest splash.
Fancy a ready-made treasure hunt? You should try Geocaching. This super cool outdoor activity uses GPS to locate containers, called "geocaches" or “caches”, which are hidden in locations all over the world. You can sign up at www.geocaching.com/play.
What woodland activities do your little ones enjoy doing?