As the half-term holidays get closer, you might be scratching your head for things to keep the little ones entertained. Luckily, we have just the thing! We’ve teamed up with the Woodland Trust to bring you plenty of ideas for keeping everyone active and enjoying the great outdoors.
Have any more ideas to add? Let us know in the comments!
If your little one is feeling mischievous or is fascinated by bugs and creepy crawlies, this fun craft will keep them both entertained and learning all about wildlife.
Cut a paper plate in half, or cut out a semi-circle from some card. Make two eye holes and cut out a notch for your child’s nose. Now decide which minibeast they’d like to be and get creative with the decorating! You could paint your mask, stick on scraps of paper or fabric, or even use natural materials from your garden.
When you’ve finished, punch a hole at either side and attach some string so your child can wear it. Afterwards, why not check out the Woodland Trust’s website for some fascinating facts about Britain’s wildlife?
How much hidden treasure can you find in your back garden? Go on a quest for natural items and see who can find the most – look out for mini discarded snail shells, interesting twigs, shiny pebbles and tree seeds and leaves. Set a time limit and see who will be the winner!
If you’re looking for a project for your little ones and maybe one you can do together, why not try making a nature diary? It’s a great way to get them to practice their observational skills and have them learning about all the nature that’s on their doorstep. They can note down what they see in their garden each day and how the seasons change. Challenge them to get really creative with it too – they could add drawings, facts or even pressed flowers or other natural items.
Credit: Danielle Wesley / WTML
This is a great way to get young children active and help them burn off some excess energy. You can do it outdoors or inside. Here are some ideas of what you can challenge your little ones to:
Lie on the ground and wriggle like a worm
Flap their arms like a butterfly flutters its wings
Put their hands on the floor and scuttle about like a spider
Do some giant leaps like a cricket
Crawl on the floor then curl up into a ball like a woodlouse.
Arts and crafts are a classic rainy day go-to but why not mix it up a little? Leave the pencils and paintbrushes in their boxes and find your materials in nature instead. Collect fallen leaves, sticks or pebbles and use them to make your very own works of art.
You could even use the objects as ‘stampers’ or paintbrushes – dipping them in paint and rolling, brushing or stamping them on paper to create interesting patterns and effects.
With Halloween just around the corner, this activity is perfect for young witches and wizards. Have a go at whittling your own wand, or collect some sticks and make a twig broomstick. You can also whip up a woodland potion using special ingredients gathered from the forest floor, it’s super simple:
Step One. Take a cup or a beaker out on your adventure, add a splash of water and find a stick for stirring.
Step Two. Look out for brightly coloured leaves, fluffy feathers, glossy berries, scented pine needles, and other woodland treasures to add to your potion. (Don’t pick wild plants – look for things that have fallen naturally to the ground.)
Step Three. Use your stick to stir everything up, then find a special spot to pour out your potion and make a wish.
N.B. Make sure not to drink the potion! Magical as it is, it wouldn’t do you much good!
Credit: Danielle Wesley / WTML
Check out the Woodland Trust blog here for more hints and tips for how to make the most of nature.
Pssst…Did you know? You can get a Woodland Trust family membership from just £5 a month and enjoy adventures like this all year round. They’ll send you nature activities through the post and your donation will help protect trees and wildlife here in the UK. Check out the Woodland Trust website here for more information.
We’ve also pledged to plant 250,000 trees with the Woodland Trust by 2022, in recognition of just how important protecting our natural world is. You can also find out more about how we’re working with the Woodland Trust right here.