It’s important for children’s development for them to get outdoors and have plenty of time to play and explore. We’re lucky in the UK to have so many great woodland spaces, and we’ve been working with the Woodland Trust to help spread the word about their work and the importance of preserving our woodlands.
The Woodland Trust is Britain’s largest charity protecting our woodland and the wildlife that lives there. Over 250 of our most threatened species depend on our native woods for their survival. Yet in the past 70 years, more than half of our ancient woodland has been destroyed.
Today I’m going to share a few simple and fun ideas of how you can enjoy the woodlands together with your family with our essential guide to woodland crafts for kids. Creative outdoor play forms such an important part of childhood, and making woodland crafts is a fun and special way to expand on your woodland walks once you get back home.
Children can create their own designs, building confidence and nurturing their personal connection to the woodland environments.
When you join the Woodland Trust with your family, you’ll be sent out a pack full of information on your local woods, and receive Nature Detectives packs for the children with some activities for the kids to get involved in too. This is your perfect companion to family time spent in the woods, and lots of woodland crafting together.
You can use the supplies in your Nature Detectives pack to get more out of your woodland visits, like this handy leaf spotter equipping kids with basic knowledge that they can use to recognise leaves they find on the trees or floor and match up with their pictures. This is basically a mini directory of tree species, which is presented so accessible for children.
There’s also a booklet with an array of easy-to do nature crafts and creative ideas you can try following your visit to the woods. Perfect for a joyful introduction to woodland crafting. Lets see what can be made with each beautiful element of our natural world.
But if you can’t wait until your pack arrives, here are a few more crafty things to make and do, to get you started, using supplies that you can collect in your local woods – green sticks, twigs, green wood, leaves, bark, pine cones, acorn caps, conkers, prickly nut wood and more!
All of these woodland projects can be made using very simple tools and are suitable for craftsman of all levels.
If you do this first, this activity can help you gather the supplies you’ll need for the rest of these ideas! If the kids are feeling brave you can also try a Scavenger hunt after dark using their night torches. How different is the woodland during the night, compared to during the day? Talk together about which of the woodland creatures and forest animals are awake during each time.
It’s amazing what you can make from a piece of bark. Owls are known as the wisest creatures of the woodland – if your kids would like to make one, Fireflies and MudPies all show you how.
These beautiful butterflies are made with twigs, leaves and coloured markers. Artsy Craftsy Mom will show you how to create these, and the design possibilities are endless.
A fun and woodsy way to work on fine motor skills, for all ages. You could link the leaves together and make a Garland to decorate your forest home or den – so many possibilities. Rhythms of Play will show you how.
This woodland craft could not be simpler, and will be popular with even the youngest toddlers. Once you have finished painting the sticks, there are so many options – use them for a wand, a musical instrument or build a little colourful stick house.
One of the magical things about the forest is imagining the whimsical creatures who could be living there, secretly beside us. This brings so much joy and imagination for young children. Put your woodland treasures to use by creating some beautiful woodland friends like these. Twig and Toadstool will show you how.
Take your woodland memories with you wherever you go, by making an acorn necklace and wearing it on your travels. Arty Crafty Kids will show you how.
Gather some stones from the woodlands and decorate them with pictures to play with at home. You could easily make these with a cute woodland animals theme!
Encourage nature into your own garden by creating a bird house from your woodland materials. B-Inspired Mama will show you how.
This is one of the most famous and best uses for this popular woodland treasure, found in woodlands all around the UK in Autumn
Whatever you decide to make or do with your woodland supplies, it’s so valuable to go out and explore your local piece of woodland. Have an outdoor day, let the kids play around and create dens with sticks, and play make believe in their woodland house. There are so many benefits and learning opportunities to building dens, (read our linked blog post for more on this) and it gives children such a sense of purpose to put together their own functional structures. Practising skills such as how to make a fire or tie knots also links in with this, and gives them life skills for self sufficiency helping them believe and understand how capable they are.
Supplies for Woodland crafting
The best way to gather supplies for your woodland crafts is to take a walk in your local woodlands or forest and see what treasures you can find. Whether for advanced craft projects, wood-crafting projects, or simple woodsy activities for kids you may be able to discover so many useable bits and pieces from the forest floor.
Only take as much as you need, and will use, so that there is enough for everybody and the woodlands stay as undisturbed as possible.
You can become a member of the Woodland Trust and help to support their important work from just £5 a month. Find out more about the Woodland Trust by visiting their website
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