Activities & Days Out / 17 May, 2018 / My Baba

5 Things to Do with The Kids This Summer in The Great Outdoors

Most of us instinctively recognise the many ways that being outside in a natural environment can enrich our lives: we might find we sleep more deeply after a long country walk or notice a lift in mood after breathing in just a few lungfuls of fresh air. Yet our modern lives often feel estranged from the natural world and it is well documented that today’s children are playing outside less than their parents and grandparents. At Forest School, children get to play in nature in all seasons of the year; they have a chance to run and make a noise, get their hands dirty and experience manageable risk, which is essential for healthy child development. Here are some great ideas for fun things to do outdoors!

  1. Forage Dandelions for a Delicious Cuppa

Head out to look for dandelions and collect them in cups. To wash the flowers and help any bugs that are present to escape, pour on cold water, give it a good swill, then place your hands over the top of the cup to act as a strainer and tip away the water. To make the drink even taster, bring along honey and a lime, and add a squeeze of both. Then, heat up water over a camp fire or in a kelly kettle, pour the hot water into the cups and leave to seep for 5-10 minutes, after which the water should have a slight yellow tinge. Sit back and enjoy!

  1. Bark Masks

Bark that has been shed by trees provides the ideal material to make masks during the summer season, as it causes no damage. Finding the right trees and bark enhances the children’s knowledge of trees and, without being constrained by a defined outcome, they’re free to shape their own piece of work.  This boosts their sense of independence and confidence. Putting on the finished product opens up a world of imagination! Begin by identifying an Aspen, Sycamore or Maple Trees. They will be making masks out of the bark.

Ask the kids to gather a handful of bark from the ground, looking for different colours, shapes and sizes that catch their eye. Now the kids should take a piece of card large enough to cover the top half of their face and cut it into any shape they want. Don’t forget the eye-holes.

Break the bark into small pieces, apply glue to the card and then stick on the bark. Punch holes in the side and tie a string to hold the mask in place. Once the masks are done, it’s time to transform . . . imagine fairies, insects, warriors and even aliens!

  1. Build a Den

Everyone loves a den and they are perfect for taking cover in when it rains. For a simple, tipi-shaped shelter, the children will need to find three long, pole-shaped branches roughly 2–2.5m in length. Trim off any smaller branches, then lay the poles parallel to one another, making sure the bottoms of the legs (the thickest ends) are lined up evenly. Knot cord around an outside pole, then wrap it around all three poles and secure tightly. To stand up the tripod tipi, cross the outside legs away from the middle pole. The basic structure of the den is now ready to work on. To make the den more stable, you can tie on crossbars. Then the sides can be filled in with branches and the walls built up with fallen leaves to make the den warm and cosy. Add a tarp for flooring if you have one. Now stand back and admire the fantastic tipi you have built as a shelter from the elements!

  1. Make a Nature Mandala

Collect long sticks to outline a mandala in the shape of an old-fashioned cartwheel, with spokes that divide the mandala into sections. Then get the children to head off into the surrounding area to find items for their own personal artwork, free to choose whatever stands out to them. Maybe they will collect leaves, feathers, mud, stones, even litter, if it’s safe . . . it’s up to them (but keep foraging to the forest floor to conserve the natural habitat). Once they have chosen their decoration, they can create their mandala. It can represent whatever they want it to, perhaps a story, a memory, or something amazing they have seen.

  1. Earth Day Birthday Cake

Celebrate the earth in spring perhaps on International Earth Day 22 April. Using water, mud ,sticks and trowels mix up a squishy mud cake. Decorate your cake with all things natural, remember to keep the foraging to whatever’s available on the floor maybe feathers, pebbles, fallen petal, seed cases whatever catches the makers eye. Place make believe wooden candles on top or even real ones (perhaps just  couple as the earth is 4.543 billion years ) and sing Happy Birthday to the earth.  You may like to take it further by thinking of presents the earth may like maybe planting a tree or making a bird feeder!!

Article by Jane Worroll, author of A Year of Forest School The book was co-authored with Peter Houghton.

In The Spotlight

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is a great choice if you’re in the market for a tablet-laptop combo for kids. There are three tablets in the Tab S8 series to choose from, so you’re bound to find one that fits the bill. Perfect for streaming, homework and playing games, the tablet is brimming with super-cool features and state-of-the-art tech. With superior, easy-to-use parental controls, the Galaxy Tab S8 series is an incredible kid-friendly range that gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

Save up to £200 on the Galaxy S8 Series* Plus get a free Keyboard worth up to £299**. Offer valid from 15.03.23 to 11.04.23.

*Purchase from by 11.04.23. T&Cs apply. **Purchase from by 27.03.23. Free keyboard automatically added to basket with qualifying items. While stocks last.


Latest posts

Food / 23 March, 2023

Two Cadbury’s Mini Egg Recipes You Won’t Be Able To Resist

Car Seats & Travel / 22 March, 2023

Best Infant Car Seats 2023

Parenting / 22 March, 2023

Top 40 Most Annoying Pieces Of Advice For New Parents

My Baba Measure / 22 March, 2023

The Measure: What’s Hot For Parents & Kids

Toys & Books / 22 March, 2023

39 Great Easter Basket Ideas For Kids