28 fun ideas for the May half term

Children running through the woods
Hands up if you're excited for half term? (Photo: Michael Heffernan/WTML)

Hooray! It’s nearly half term and summer’s on its way so let’s head out and see what’s happening in the woods.

Be a leaf identification expert

Nature Detectives leaf iDial being used to identify a birch leaf
Identify leaves using our leaf iDial (Photo: WTML)

At this time of year, the trees are covered in lush, new green leaves, so it’s a great time to hone your tree identification skills – our leaf iDial will help you.

If you have a mini nature detective in tow, why not help them make a leaf collection so they can enjoy all the different shapes and textures.

And you have all the materials you need to make a leaf boat and sail it on a puddle or stream.

Go den building and make a bird hide

It’s also a good time for bird watching, so why not build yourself a den with a difference – one that can double as a bird hide? Check out our den building guide for some construction tips. But remember to leave one or more little ‘windows’ so you can peer out and watch the birds!

Plan a family picnic

Family of five having a picnic by a pond
Don't forget to bring a blanket and reusable containers for your food! Photo: Michael Heffernan/WTML

Eating outdoors is loads of fun and a great way to appreciate the better weather! Either pack up a picnic to take to the woods or lay out a rug in your garden or local park. You can even take lots of home-made goodies - have a look at our recipes for ideas on some delicious treats like magical fairy cakes, perfect for taking on an adventure.

Take on the bird’s nest challenge

In the spring, birds are busy building nests so they can lay their eggs and hatch their chicks. Most of them make a pretty good job of it. Why not have a go at making a bird's nest and see how yours matches up? Prop it in the crook of a tree and go back in a few days to see if it’s held together. You never know – if you’ve made a comfy nest, then you might find a bird has moved in!

If you’re really good at it, you could build a giant nest that you and your friends can sit in.

Go on a minibeast hunt

Little girl looking at worm
Keep your eyes peeled for minibeasts (Photo: WTML)

Now it’s getting warmer, you’ll find more and more flying minibeasts out and about. Look for busy bees zipping from flower to flower and beautiful butterflies and moths fluttering by. Don’t forget to take along our butterfly spotter and day-flying moths ID.

Lift stones and logs to see who’s hiding underneath – our creepy crawly spotter sheet and beetle ID will help you identify the little critters. While you’re about it, why not have a go at building them a minibeast palace? And remember to keep your eyes peeled for ladybirds!

Head off on an elf and fairy hunt

Elves and fairies are very shy, so you’re unlikely to see one. But, if you’re really quiet and look carefully, you can find lots of signs of their presence. You might come across a fairy ring of mushrooms, or hear a strange whispering in the leaves... Can you find any other tiny woodland items that might be used by a fairy? Have a look at our elf and fairy hunt activity for ideas. You could also build them an elf house, hold a fairy tea party, or make a fairy garden and fairy door so they can come and visit.

Craft up a storm

Two girls making colourful bark rubbings
Get inspired by nature, bring supplies on your next trip to the woods Photo: Michael Heffernan/WTML

Half term is a great time to get stuck into some arts and crafts. Take some paper and crayons into the woods to make bark rubbings and leaf drawings, or bring the outside in with these ladybird potato-stamps! Have a look at our colouring pages for for lots of spring-themed pictures to get your creative juices flowing.

Rainy day? No problem!

Don't despair at a gloomy weather forecast, there's plenty to get up to in the rain. Grab your raincoat, pull on your wellies and prepare for mud! We have loads of ideas for what to do inside too, like making a rain stick, using water drops to make art and even measuring rainfall with a simple rain gauge. Discover our rainy day ideas.

Get inspired all year round

Become a family of Nature Detectives for £5 a month to get seasonal activity packs in the post with loads more fun ideas for young explorers!

What's your favourite spring activity?

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