Woodland Activities for Wee (and not so Wee) Ones

There are loads of suggested activities out there for children to try in woodlands – and most of them we can all have a go at!

Our top Forest activities:

  • NEW! Find It guide for the Balnakailly Woodlands – see how many items you can find in a walk up to the Balnakailly Settlement! Download your Find It in Summer guide.
  • Painted Rock Trail – walk the new trail, make a wish on Bruce the Magic Spruce, check out the growth of Robert the Spruce and head over the Pigtail Bridge to the picnic area. You can even join in by painting a rock and placing it along the trail yourself.
  • Find a frog – They’re usually hiding in leaves and damp places around ponds. Remember to take a photo and post it on here to let others know what you’ve found, but try not to touch the frog and wash your hands afterwards if you do.
  • Take part in a butterfly hunt
  • Imagine what it would have been like to live at Balnakailly farm house by visiting the site – Take the Balnakailly Loop to find the farmhouse. Don’t forget your wellies!
  • Discover the moths hiding in the forest
  • Find deer tracks – You can see a guide to animal tracks here. We have lots of Roe deer in the forest and it’s pretty easy to identify their tracks if you find them:
  • Find a fungi – There are loads of different fungi in the forest, but our favourite is jelly ear (because it often does look like an ear and it feels kind of gooey). You can find fungi on living and dead trees throughout the forest amongst the deciduous trees (the trees which turn brown in winter and lose their leaves). Fungi can be very poisonous so it’s important to wash your hands after touching them and not to eat them. They’re also important for the woodland’s animals and plants, so please don’t damage or take them away.
  • Bark rubbing – It’s easy to make a pretty bark rubbing of a tree. Simply place a piece of paper over the trunk of the tree and rub a crayon over the top (it’s easier if you use the side of the crayon). Use different colours for different trees or on the same bark rubbing.
  • Play hide and seek – Decide beforehand which area you can hide in to make sure you do get found!
  • Find creepy crawlies and have a look at them in a bug box – You can download a Creepy Crawlies worksheet with some questions about bugs you find.
  • Or even spot a deer! – The deer in the Forest are Roe deer or Red deer. They are shy so you’re most likely to spot them if being quiet or if you keep a close lookout when heading into a clearing in the forest.
  • Paint a picture of your forest day – When you get home, paint a picture of your forest day for your wall or even bring it into the office for display in the window.

Top websites for more ideas:

Fifty things to do before you’re 11 3/4 – earn rewards, try out the games and explore.

Woodland Trust Nature Detectives – loads of activities including a great woodland workbook.

BBC Nature – best suited for slightly older wee ones, there’s loads of information on here including some astounding videos and photos from around the world.

Most of all, enjoy getting out and about and exploring our beautiful island!