Set Up Your Own Forest School at Home

You Don’t Need Your Own Forest!

I take Boy2 to a local forest school activity session. But you don’t need to go to an organised group it is really simple to do your own forest school activities at home in the garden. Let me be clear, I don’t have a forest in my garden, just a hedge.

Forest School Activity Ideas

Nature painting

  • Make your own paintbrushes with a stick and by securing your leaves, feathers or anything else with string, twine or an elastic band.
  • Thick mud sludge is an ideal paint.
  • For greater contrast use different thicknesses of sludge from muddy water to dry soil. What can they paint with? What doesn’t work?

Water Play

  • A couple of buckets and small containers is all you need.
  • Every child loves getting wet shoes and pouring water from one container to another.
  • Combine with the nature painting to make their mud paint.

Insect Naming

  • A magnifying glass makes this a bit more scientific but isn’t necessary.
  • We still use this insect catcher.
  • Early summer is a brilliant time with all the bees and butterflies.

wood for natural play

Wildlife Habitats

  • Use piles of sticks, stones and old bricks, whatever you have in your garden to make an insect hotel.
  • Make a bee water station. I love the Gu glass pots for this!
  • Make a hedgehog feeding station.

Play Outside

  • I love making train tracks outside – it makes a change to indoors. You can ‘block‘ the tracks with grass, leaves and sticks.
  • If you have a mud kitchen it’s perfect outdoors play.

Observation Skills

  • Name the flower colours.
  • One of my favourites is to draw some big squares on the floor using different coloured chalks. They then put anything they find of the same colour in each square. This causes arguments with Boy1 and The Girl because it gets too competitive!
  • Counting – count anything and everything.
  • Walk – anywhere and everywhere. I’m so guilty of “come on hurry up” that I have to make an effort for the toddler to walk at his pace where he wants to go. Otherwise he’s just dragged around on the school run.

If like me you spend most of May and June hiding indoors because the pollen makes your life hell it is nice to finally get outside. I always feel a bit guilty looking at Instagram because we spend a lot of time in the garden rather than going anywhere.

Enjoy the summer guys, before we know it will be cold and raining again. Well, I’m in Cardiff so it will probably be cold and raining by next week…