10 ways to keep the kids entertained

Girl and boy painting in the forest

10 ways to keep the kids entertained

Check out these fantastic ideas for play.

For at home, read our guide below to discover an amazing collection of printable activities and games for you to keep the family busy whilst staying at home, including printable Julia Donaldson activity sheets and online resources to help keep learning alive. 

For outdoor play, discover our collection of enjoyable outdoor family activities for you and the kids.

Outdoor activities to do with the kids

Did you know making time for nature has been proven to benefit your mental and physical health?  We’ve got a brilliant collection of outdoor activities for you to try with the kids in our forests, the garden or on a walk. 

2. Measure a tree using a stick and simple maths

Ever wondered how tall a tree is?

With just a stick from the ground and some really simple maths, you can amaze your family by estimating the height of a tree.

Don’t believe us? Watch our quick video to find out how.

Children learning in the forest
Big Forest Find child holding beetle

3. Document wildlife wonders appearing this season

Many of you took part in the Big Forest Find by documenting all the flora and fauna you could find in your local woodland. The results were impressive! 

Why not get the kids to observe and record all the birds, bugs and other wildlife they can find in the garden or on a walk? Download the iNaturalist app and start observing.

4. Go for a picnic as a family

Butter the bread and ready the sausage rolls, British summertime is here and we're itching to get out for a picnic.

Find your nearest location with our handy regional picnic spot guide. Plan your visit to enjoy the summer season surrounded by the very best nature has to offer.

Make a day of it with our free Gruffalo Party Pack, including invites, picnic food ideas, party games, bunting, masks and more.

Mother and baby having lunch at picnic table

Indoor activities to do with the kids

Looking for indoor entertainment away from the television? No problem! Check out our list of family-friendly indoor activities to keep the family happy.

Gruffalo Spotters activity sheets

5. Gruffalo activity sheets

Get your hands on these free Gruffalo activity sheets which you can complete from the comfort of your home. What's inside?

  • A template to make and decorate your own paper owl
  • A template to make and decorate your own spiraling snake
  • A spring spotter challenge sheet to complete whilst you wander through the woods!

6. Watch footage of Goshawks in the New Forest

The New Forest is famous for its animals, from the forest ponies and cattle that graze on it to the deer first established here for Royal parties to hunt. But there are many other less well-seen creatures that call the forest home including one of the UK’s most elusive birds of prey – the goshawk or so-called ‘Phantom of the Forest’.

Watch recorded footage from our incredible webcam in their nest last year. If you look closely, you’ll see the parents feeding their chicks!

Goshawk and two chicks waiting to be fed in nest of twigs
Goshawk and chicks (c) Natural World UK
Highway rat activity sheet examples

7. Highway Rat activity sheets

Get your hands on our Highway Rat downloadable activity sheets for children. Filled with exciting activities and craft ideas for the family to enjoy. Inside you'll find the following craft ideas and tips:

  • Make a hobby horse and ride through the forest like The Highway Rat
  • Make The Highway Rat's hat
  • The Highway Rat colouring sheet

8. Learn a thing or two

We've created a bank of lesson plans which focus on the activities that your children can enjoy indoors or in the garden.  

The lesson plans have been developed by outdoor learning professionals in line with key Ofsted objectives for Early Years, and KS1 to KS5.

Father and kids using tablet
Black and white photo of girl leap-frog jumping over someone's back
Photo by Thiago Thadeu on Unsplash

9. Get active

Change 4 Life have loads of great indoor children's activities and games for them to play.

10. Try forest yoga for kids

Something you can enjoy at home, as well as in the forest, try a short yoga class for key stage 2 and 3 age groups – set outdoors in the beauty of the forest.

This 12 minute guided session will help the kids feel healthy and connect with their surroundings.

Sign up to our family newsletter

Make sure to sign up to our family newsletter and follow us on Facebook for inspiration and activities inspired by the forests.

More fun things to do

two children running through autumnal forest Gruffalo trail

Everyone’s invited to a forest near you to help celebrate the Gruffalo’s 25th birthday with a brand-new family party trail.    

Search the map below to find a Gruffalo trail to enjoy near you. Remember to grab an activity pack for just £4 from your local forest. 

Gruffalo © 1999 & TM Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler. Licensed by Magic Light Pictures Ltd. 

Flowers at Castle Neroche
20 February 2024
Get lost in the magic of nature from wherever you are. Check out our favourite nature-focused podcasts.
Boy counting tree rings on a very old tree that's been felled.

Select from a range of materials to help enhance your visit to the forest. Activity ideas, lesson plans linked to the curriculum and more are all free to download so you can create a fun and informative learning experience to suit your needs.

Contact your local learning team if you require further information and support.

Women Yoga
Discover how to make the most of the nation's forests to improve health and wellbeing.