With schools and offices shutting, we’ve got a handy guide to keeping the kids happy whilst staying at home.
We’ve got an amazing collection of printable activities and games for you to keep the family busy, including printable Julia Donaldson activity sheets and online resources to help keep learning alive.
Help stop the spread of coronavirus. Stay home, stay safe – please do not come to our forests. Keep in touch with, and follow, government’s guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK.
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.
1. Zog activity sheets
Download our free Zog activity sheets for some dragon fun at home! Inside you'll find:
- How to make your own set of dragon wings, how high can you fly and Zog colouring activity
- Learning to roar and identifying forest sounds
- Breathe fire like Zog with a forest activity and a home craft project
- Play a game of capture a princess and fun word search
2. 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!
3. Virtual reality forest experiences
School trips cancelled? Bring the forest home with virtual reality!
For the first time in our 100-year history, we are offering the opportunity to take young people on virtual tours of our forests, by partnering with Google Expeditions.
Your kids will be able to visit a tree nursery, explore forest machinery and learn about different habitats for wildlife. They will be immersed in the world of sustainable timber production, learning about the importance of plant health and how woodlands are managed for wildlife.
You can also hear from people working in the forest, opening up a world of exciting and rewarding career possibilities.
Our can be viewed on mobile devices, tablets and chrome books. The experience can be heightened with the use of a virtual reality headset.
5. 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
6. Learn a thing or two
The kids can keep learning, even while schools are closed!
Muddy Puddles have created “Home Learning” 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, KS1 and KS2.
7. Get active
Your kids can still get active, even when you're stuck inside!
Change 4 Life have loads of great indoor children's activities and games for them to play so they can still get the activity they need even when they cannot get outside.
Outdoor activities to do with the kids
Did you know making time for nature has been proven to benefit your mental and physical health? With plenty of room for social distancing, we’ve got a brilliant collection of safe outdoor activities for you to try with the kids either in the garden or on a walk.
8. Measure a tree using a stick and simple maths
Ever wondered how tall that tree in your garden 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.
9. Document wildlife wonders appearing this spring
Last year 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!
This spring, why not get the kids to observe and record all the bees, birds, bugs and other wildlife they can find in the garden or on a walk? Download the iNaturalist app and start observing.
10. James and the Giant Peach activity sheets
Download and print our James and the Giant Peach family activity sheets to encourage a love of the great outdoors! Bursting with exciting facts and games, including:
- Make a bug hotel in your garden
- Identify and find animal homes
- Glow-worm bug file
- Night-time animal log