You can do any of these tasks, in any order (but we've suggested a timetable).
Take as long as your little ones want for each task, let them use their imaginations!
Please share your creations with us on social media.
Woodland Walk Day
Hello! My name is Sarah and I am a teacher and a children’s author. Today our theme is Woodland Walks!
I love to go walking through forests or woods as there is just so much to see. I hope that you enjoy the activities that are planned for today. I am really looking forward to them. Are you ready?
Grownups: It is a good idea to talk to your child about the weather and what to wear depending on the season or climate. Do they need wellington boots? Perhaps a sun hat? Or maybe a jumper? Discuss this with your child and let them think about what they should dress for.
This should promote independence.
It’s such a lovely feeling being outside and looking at all the wonderful natural things around us.
Today we will use crayons and plain paper to do our very own bark rubbing. Choose a tree that has a lovely texture in the bark. Place your paper over the bark and gently rub your crayon over the paper. The bark design will appear on the paper. Try different trees to see how many different patterns you can collect.
You will need to help your child with holding the paper and rubbing the crayon over the area. A sibling can also help with this.
Ask them to describe the tree they have chosen. Is the bark rough, smooth, bumpy or scaley?
Your child could also decide what colour crayon to use for each picture.
Once they have collected a number of bark pictures, they could try to put them in order of which was the smoothest to the roughest of trees.
Remind them of what tree they are working on. Oak? Silver Birch? This will help them identify trees.
Excellent for language development and fine motor skills
Journey sticks have been around for many years – they were used by Native Americans and Aboriginal people to share stories from their travels.
To make one, find an interesting stick in the woods and wrap some thread around it. As you explore the wood, look for natural items to remind you of your adventure. A feather might remind you of beautiful birdsong, while a leaf might help you remember a tree you climbed. Tuck your treasures into the thread to keep them safe, then at the end of your adventure use them to share stories about what you’ve seen and done.
You need to help your child wrap the string around the stick whilst they choose their items from nature.
Encourage your child to collect a range of different things instead of just a handful of the same type of leaf.
When they have collected their items ask them to recall why they chose each item. Perhaps the feather reminded them of a nest they saw or a leaf from an old tree.
Great for language skills and fine motor skills.
Den making is awesome!
Creating a den and being able to hide in it or to even have a picnic in it is amazing. It might just be a small den for tiny teddies to hide away but whatever the reason for your den, you will have so much fun making one!
Look at the environment. You may see a natural den already built with a fallen hollow tree trunk or a Willow tree nearby to hide under.
Discuss the length and height of the sticks your child must look for. How big must the den be? Will it be big enough for grown-ups too?
Ask them what they might use to be a doorway. Would it be a branch with many leaves? Perhaps some smaller sticks strung together?
Perhaps it could be a story telling den where stories are told about wildlife and being outdoors.
Great for language development in addition to problem solving.
Nature's Treasure Chest
A large egg box is just the thing to create your treasure chest! During a lovely walk in the woods or forest, pick up beautiful stones, pretty flowers or gorgeous leaves and pop them into each of the tiny compartments. Your egg box will be perfect for this. Siblings who are older can label each compartment but each collection will be personal to your child.
When your child has collected their special items, discuss how they might want to organise them in their treasure chest. Do they want to keep colours which are the same, together? Perhaps they have petals and leaves which smell nice so are these to be put together or separately?
Encourage your child to personalise their box by drawing a picture on top or older siblings can add their name and a picture if they wish.
This will encourage language skills and fine motor skills.
If you've finished these and still have time for fun...
In addition to any of the activities mentioned, you might like to give each child some tape around their wrists. This must be put on sticky side outward. As they run around picking up leaves and feathers, they can stick them to their wrists. These make a lovely bracelet and they can compare each other’s collections when they get home.
A Very Useful Woodland Walk
Timothy who is six years old goes with his dad on a woodland walk while his mum and younger sister prepare for a surprise party for their grandparents. A problem arises at home. Will Timothy come to the rescue?
A relaxing story to prepare for bedtime.
Grownups: Before you read the story, have a discussion about what sycamore leaves actually look like. Use the resource and cut out images of trees you have locally in your garden or park. Ask your child to choose a matching leaf either from the tree itself or from the images in the resource. Siblings can help match them up.