Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives - the nation’s forests and essential facilities are open for people to exercise once-per-day, if they live locally - read our coronavirus guidance.
Father and kids using tablet

Forest family fun at home

Although spring is usually a great time to get together with loved ones to enjoy fresh air and sunshine, this year we need to stay home and stay safe. But don’t worry, we’re here to bring the trees to you! Read on to keep the kids busy with our top seven activities you can do at home.

Tree Trumps card game

1. Play Tree Trumps

Download our Tree Trumps game to get to know the different trees in our woods and forests and love them for their wonderful secrets! 

Completely free to download and print, this full set of Tree Trumps is an enjoyable way to bring the forest to you while staying at home. 

2. Compete at 'nature bingo'

To help you be more mindful of your surroundings, or keep the kids busy for a few hours, try playing nature bingo. We’ve put together a checklist to get you started: 

  • Seek something made of wood. Can you see lines and patterns in the grain?  
  • Spot a nearby tree. Does it have any buds?  
  • Find a flower. Is it on a plant or tree? Spring is in the air, so keep a special eye out for cherry blossom! 
  • Spy a bird. Is it up high or close to you?  
  • Inspect an insect. You might spot a butterfly out the window or a spider web in the house. 

The first person to find and photograph everything on the list shouts “Bingo” and is crowned champion!

Long tailed tit bird
Photo credit: Simon Bound
Woman sat at the base of a mossy tree drawing in a notebook

3. Draw a tree from memory

Think of a tree in your favourite forest, woodland, park or from your garden. Do you have a favourite tree? Or one from your imagination?

Spend some time drawing it and share your creations with us on social media. There's some fantastic tutorials on YouTube if you need some inspiration.

4. Create a forest scene inside your home

If you don’t have a view of nature, you could draw or paint a forest and stick it up somewhere to look at.

Why not add a different tree or animal to it every day? You could repeat the draw a tree from memory activity until you have a whole forest with wildlife dotted throughout.

Birds by Tiffany Francis-Baker
Illustration credit: Tiffany Francis-Baker
Gruffalo party pack

5. Put on an indoor picnic

Make picnic grub and roll out the picnic rug to enjoy an indoor picnic with your family. If you're looking for extra inspiration and things to do, download our free Gruffalo party pack. In the pack you'll find...

  • Invitations
  • Gruffalo picnic food ideas
  • Fun party games
  • Forest exploring ideas
  • Arts, crafts and colouring (bunting, masks, medals and party flags)

Want to make it feel even more ‘foresty’? Grab all the plants from around your house and place them around your picnic blanket to make it feel like you are in the woods. Why not play some forest sounds in the background too?

6. Go on a bug hunt

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, go on a bug hunt and see what you find. If not, use your daily exercise to see what you can spot.

Take the fantastic iNaturalist app along with you for help recording and identifying the wildlife you spot.

Boy looking into a bug pot
Young girl sat in the grass smiling

7. Become a sound collector!

While you’re pottering about the garden or enjoying your daily exercise, encourage your children to listen and ‘collect’ sounds.

Then when you get home, help them to write and recite poems about their surroundings. Look to Roger McGough’s ‘Sound Collector’ for inspiration.

That's not all, keep exploring...

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With schools and offices shutting, check out our list of family-friendly indoor activities to keep the family happy!
Girl looking at a forest insect
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Highway Rat Activity Trail sheets for kids to enjoy in the forest
Family activity
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App being used on tablet
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Bringing forests to life in new ways for the next generation