11 best creative activities for children in the woods

Children building a giant twig tower using logs
Try our top ideas for getting creative in the woods, from wood sculptures to grass whistling. (Photo: WTML)

Woodlands provide inspiration for all sorts of creative and arty projects. Here are a few to try with your kids.

Art and craft activities

Collect some natural objects from the woodland floor, such as interesting shaped twigs, fallen leaves, feathers, pine cones, and seed pods. It’s helpful to bring along some string and craft glue.

Make a mobile

Find some straight sticks of similar lengths, cross them over at the centre and tie with string to make the frame. Then dangle a selection of woodland objects from the sticks using different lengths of string. Hang the mobile from a branch and watch it turn in the breeze.

Make animal sculptures

How many creatures can you make from the objects you’ve collected? Use twigs for legs, seeds for eyes, leaves for birds’ feathers… Sycamore pods make great ears!

Make a collage

Use natural materials to make a collage on the ground. It could be a picture, or a big pattern the birds can admire from the treetops.

Make a garden for a fairy

Find a patch of bare earth and create a fairies’ garden. Build a fence by sticking a row of short sticks into the ground, plant some mini trees and flower beds, and make a rockery with tiny stones.

Remember, please don’t pick things that are still growing on trees or plants. Only collect and use leaves, twigs, flowers, fruits, nuts and seeds that have already fallen to the ground.

Remember not to leave anything made with string and glue behind in the woods as it may harm wild creatures if they eat it.

Make some music

Get drumming

Use sticks to drum on different objects, such as fallen logs, tree stumps, and rocks. What sounds do they make?

Try different surfaces

Try dragging a stick along different surfaces. You could tie some sticks together to create a brushing effect.

Make some maracas

Fill a plastic bottle with objects such as small pieces of bark, pebbles or twigs to make a shaker.

Start whistling

Make a grass whistle. Pick a thumb-length blade of flat grass. Press the sides of your thumbs together holding the grass taut between them. Blow through the little gap between your thumbs. Experiment with using different types of grass and opening and cupping your hands. Who can make the loudest whistle?

Woodland words and poetry

With their ancient, gnarled trees, dark and secret corners, and all manner of fascinating creatures, woods have plenty to fuel the imaginations of young story makers.

Tree stories

Every tree has a face. You just need to look really carefully at its trunk to find it. Is it a happy face, a sad face, a kind face, or an angry face? Make up a story to explain why your tree character feels that way.

Write a haiku

A haiku is a traditional Japanese poem with only three lines. They are often inspired by nature. The first line has 5 syllables, the second has 7, and the third has 5. Help kids make up their own haiku about something they’ve spotted in the woods. Here’s an example:

An ant is crawling
Alone, across a rough log
He is far from home

Write a story together

Make up a chain story set in the woods. Each person takes it in turns to add a sentence. You could start like this:

Once upon a time, there was a squirrel who lived in an old oak tree/a tree with a special magic power/a baby bird who was scared of flying… You’ll be surprised at the imaginative, funny, (and sometimes weird!) stories you’ll end up with.

How do you and your family like to get creative? We’d love to hear about your wonderful creative ideas below!

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