We don't go there often enough (I'm afraid this is mainly because we can go to the forest near my parents' house for free, which Westonbirt is not) but there is no doubt that kids benefit enormously from a bit of time in the woods. It's basically a natural playground with added benefits.
Here are some of our favourite things to do in the woods:
|The cousins give Zac a climbing lesson.|
|Is that a koala or a child?|
|In a bracken-covered shelter.|
|Making a frame|
Look for creatures.
There are plenty of creepy crawlies to find in a forest, and there's evidence of larger creatures too. We like looking down holes to guess if it is a mouse, rabbit, fox or badger who might be living inside. Sometimes there are bits of fur or footprints to give you a clue. The boys think it's hilarious when we look at droppings to work out who has passed by. You can look for tracks or other clues- like nibbled nuts, and if you're lucky you might actually spot the creature that nibbled them.
|Pond dipping with granny.|
Go for a bike ride.
generally have good tracks that are traffic free, so you can let your little ones zoom off without worrying they're going to encounter any vehicles. And if you're really lucky you can find a place for an off-track adventure where they can really test their biking skills.
|Biking in "The Dip"|
|Wild raspberries- yummy!|
Again, we try to go equipped to collect these goodies, but the boys generally scoff what they find on the spot so our tubs/poly bags often come home empty.
I'm sure there are lots of other possibilities in a woodland. To be honest we generally just set out for a walk, and depending what we find on the way we may get diverted into a bit of tree-climbing/den-building etc. So if you go down to the woods today, I'm sure you'll be in for a pleasant surprise!
Just found this lovely post about playing with sticks,which seems to link well if you're going to be surrounded by the things!