Forest School activities and lessons

Natural xylophone - Photo credit: Debs Richardson Bull

At Forest School children get to take part in activities that encourage creativity and exploration. All of our activities are designed to be fun and interesting, and importantly something they would probably never otherwise experience.

Because Forest School programmes run over a minimum of 6 sessions the lessons are designed to offer a continuum of learning, over which children will gradually build up their skills and confidence of working and playing in the natural environment. We progress towards activities involving tool use and fire at a rate suitable to the individual group.

All of the activities we do during Forest School are designed to challenge children - but also to be achievable. This way children are able to stretch their skills whilst also building their confidence.

Our Forest School practitioners are able to design a Forest School programme to meet your needs and can be tailored to meet specific curriculum links.  We provide all of the lesson plans for Forest School and provide them to schools in advance for their opinions and approval. 

Click here to see an example lesson plan for a year 1 minibeast session, which illustrates some of the curriculum links we can include in our lessons.  Whilst each session has a lesson plan, with learning objectives set, child-initiated learning is always encouraged.

Example activities for Early Years and Key Stage 1:

  • Woodland walks and nature trails
  • Nature crowns
  • Minibeasting
  • Shelter building
  • Making teddy homes
  • Forest School stories
  • Basic tool use to make minibeast hotels, wooden snakes, tree cookies, leaf presses etc.
  • Building and lighting fires
  • 123...where are you? Hide and seek game
  • Puddle splashing, mud painting, mud sliding
  • Exploring and collecting woodland materials to make natural art
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Clay creatures
  • Natural music

Example activities for Key Stage 2 (as above plus the following):

  • Nature detectives
  • Constructing ovens and cooking food on fire
  • Building wooden and rope bridges
  • Blindfold / trust games
  • Using tools to create woodland crafts e.g. whistles, charcoal pencils, mallets etc.
  • Willow weaving
  • Exploring habitats

Some of the activities mentioned above involve tool use and fire building. As an unfamiliar activity this can sometimes cause a safety concern to teachers and parents.  Children's safety is absolutely paramount to us - activities are always fully risk assessed and we always ensure children are prepared and capable before beginning any task involving tools or fire. 

You can find out more about our safety measures by visiting the keeping learners safe page.