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18 Tips for a Woodland Walk with Kids

Posted by Shell Grayston.
First Published Mar 2014; updated May 2023.

A walk in the woods doesn't have to be dull for the kids. There are loads of fun things to do. Here's a list of ideas to help brighten your woodland walk.

Getting your kids out in the woods can be great fun. Here are 18 tips you can use to brighten up a woodland walk.

18 Tips for a Woodland Walk with kids

Woods are an exciting place to take the kids for a walk. They are great places to explore, so much to see, touch and smell! Wildlife and nature in abundance. A place to run around, get messy, and have wild fun! Here are some ideas to keep the kids busy walking in the woods. They mostly use a bit of imagination, natural resources and sometimes a little planning.

  1. Have a scavenger hunt. Kids love collecting and picking things up.  There are so many things to pick up and collect along your walk pine cones, leaves, feathers, acorns, twigs etc. Take a bag with you to take home all your treasures.

  2. Take a piece of paper and crayon with you to **do bark rubbings **or leaf rubbings.

Tree Knocking
  1. Make some noise. Pick up some sticks of different sizes and textures, bang them against a tree. What noise do they make?

If you have more than one child with you, can you work together to bang out a rhythm?

  1. Collect some twigs, leaves, and stones to make some pictures with them. Write out their name or lay out a trail to follow.

  2. Climb trees. Do make sure the tree is safe to climb and supervise all the time.

Balancing on a fallen tree
  1. Find any fallen logs. Get the kids to walk across them, good for balancing skills and lots of fun.

  2. Play hide and seek. This game has stood the test of time , you can't go wrong with a game of hide-and-seek. Tree's make great places to hid behind. Want to take it up a level? Click here for the Ultimate Hide and Seek game.

Tree Hugging
  1. Hug a tree. Find a tree and give it a hug! What does it feel like? All hold hands around a tree, can you complete the circle? Find a tree and guess how many people you would need to completely hug the tree, then have a go!

Can you find a tree that's too big to hug?

  1. Play tag, but this time give everyone an object they must find and bring back to base. Could be a pinecone, acorn, leaf etc. Obviously, this games needs to be adapted to suit the ages of the children and boundaries need to be set, so everyone remains safe. Could also play this as a team, especially if you have very young children.

  2. Take a camera. Get the kids to take photos of any interesting things they find, could be an animal they spot or an interesting tree. When you get home, upload their photos and let them admire their work 🙂

Click here for a few tips on teaching kids outdoor photography.

Find your tree game

11. Feel a tree. If you have a scarf/buff, blindfold one person, spin them around, then take them to a tree and let them feel it. Move them away from the tree and spin them around again. Next, remove the blindfold and see if they can guess which tree it was they felt. Good game for all ages.

  1. Track animal footprints. Can you follow the prints where do they take you? Which animal made the print? If you're not sure you could always take a photo and look it up when you get home. If you find any animal poo, see if your little one can guess which animal left the mess! Great game for little ones, really gets them thinking.

  2. Play word games as you walk. I Spy, alphabet game - go through the alphabet saying things you can see on your walk for example A= acorn, B=berries some of the letters will be tricky! Describe something you can see, while the others try to guess what it is you are describing.

  3. Splash  in puddles, jump over them. Who can make the biggest splash? Warning this could get very messy! (Tip: we use these Kozi Kidz Norfolk over trousers, which saves on doing the washing a lot!)

  4. Spot wildlife. How many different animals can you see? You could take a spotting sheet with you to tick off as you find them. Tip: We've found the Nature Detectives books really good for this (click here to see on Amazon)

Den's a great if you are going to set up a 'Day Camp' and have a picnic.
  1. Build a den. There's lots of natural building material to use, sticks, fallen branches, logs, bracken and leaves. Let the kids take the lead and see what they can create. It can be surprising!

You can also take some material from home, or if you go camping, bring some camping gear. A simple tarp also works wonders and can be used to keep the den dry if the ground is wet.

Click here for tips on building a den.

  1. Find a stone or conker -  take it with you on the walk. Kick it as you walk along. This is good when little legs are getting tired and a little bit of motivation to keep walking that last little bit.
Geocaching with Garmin eTrex 10. Geocaching is a great way to encourage your kids to walk a bit further. They'll be motivated in finding the next lot of hidden treasure!
  1. Geocaching. This is a treasure hunt using a GPS to locate hidden containers. (Click here for more tips on geocaching with kids.) This is an exciting activity for all ages. Kids love finding the treasure and it's great for encouraging walking. They get so distracted looking for treasure that they forget how far they've walked.

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