Children's woodland activities

Many of the woodlands within the Mersey Forest are great places for kids to play and learn more about nature.
Natural play is great for children's development: research has shown it can boost cognitive abilities, increase physical fitness, reduce symptoms of attention deficit disorder and even help improve grades in school!
Where to visit?

You can find out more about woodlands near you on our sister site, Discover the Mersey Forest. 

 
What to do?

Take kids to the woods and they will often quickly start playing using their own imaginations. But if you need to provide some inspiration, we've gathered these woodland games and craft ideas:

 

Hit the target with pine cones
Get the children to find three pine cones each (you'll need to be in a woodland with conifers!). Now find an area of bare ground and draw a circle, then another circle around it, then another. Players stand a distance away from the target and try to throw their pine cones into the circle. Score higher for the inner circle.

 

Woodland artists
Find an area of bare earth and draw a 'canvas' of about 1m x 1m with a stick. Now the children try to make a picture within the canvas using what they can find such as earth, bark, grasses and stones. Or even litter – make sure you take it with you afterwards!

 

Touching trees
Take blindfolds with you to the woods. Pick an area where there are plenty of trees but not many hazards underfoot like nettles, thorny bushes, holes etc. Have the children pair up with one child wearing the blindfold. The other child leads the blindfolded child by a complicating route to one of the trees. Once there, the blindfolded child must feels and smell the tree until they really know it's texture and features. They are then led away, the blindfold is removed, and they must try to find 'their' tree. Then the kids swap over. You might need to set boundaries so there aren't too many trees to choose from.

 

Catch a Falling Leaf
This is a game for the Autumn only, on a windy day. Get the kids to look up into the sky and watch the trees, waiting for a gust of wind. When leaves fall, it's a race to catch them. The winner is the person who catches the most leaves. No cheating by picking them up from the floor!

 

Ideas from our partners


Lots of things to do with sticks
Read the National Trust's brilliant guide to all the things you can do with sticks!

 

Fairytale activity sheets
The Forestry Commision has some great ideas about how to bring fairy tales to life in your local woodland. Your kids will have a great time making broomsticks, monsters or tiny bows and arrows.

 

More woodland activities

The Woodland Trust have collected a huge range of woodland activities, organised by season and age range.
 

More things to do