Being outdoors is so important for little people. We love going on walks, through the woods, to the beach, or even to the park. But what do we do when we get there (apart from the park, I know what we do there 🙂 )?

Little people don’t always want to walk, and we don’t always want to carry them; sometimes, they want to sit and play, although sometimes having activities up your sleeve to keep things exciting is how we like to do it. We can’t always have a craft kit or equipment with us for a range of activities, so we thought we’d pop a bunch of ideas together which you don’t need anything for, which are great fun.

  • Tree Hugging – no joke, I promise. It can be really cool as a little person to go and hug trees, feel the texture, how they are different, why (a fave question, isn’t it), what is on the bark, what sort of tree is it, how old do we think it is… The conversations, fun and learning with this are only limited by imagination. You can cover their eyes to make their sense of touch more focussed, but not essential
  • Natural Art – A lovely way to engage with the natural colours of all the items they can find in the world around them. This one probably needs a bit of a talk beforehand about not pulling things off trees, etc. Basically, they go and collect lots of items from the ground and around them, they bring them back and create a piece of art. It could be a sculpture, a picture, or whatever they like.
  • Balancing Act – You’ve probably seen them yourself before, but in true Andy Goldsworthy style, it’s all about gathering materials and creating a well-balanced sculpture, it could be stones stacked, twigs made into a cone shape, anything really, but the higher the better.
  • Natural Mandalas – Mandalas are all about slowing down, focusing the mind and creating something unique. They are geometric patterns and are used in many religions, but they can also be used in everyday life. For this activity your little people need to gather materials, the more, the better, then create a circular pattern with them. Items which work well for mandalas are; leaves, cones (pine, larch, etc), stones, twigs, acorns, conkers and conker casings, sea glass and shells. We try not to use flowers as they are fab for bees and other insects, so if we take lots of them to create our own art from one area, it’s not great for the local population. 
  • Mud Faces – This one is messy, firstly gather items from the floor (seeds, leaves, acorns, conkers, etc.) which can be used to create a face, then take some mud (you may need to use a stick to loosen some up), mix it with a bit of water if needed, make a ball of mud, splat it on a tree trunk. Next, use the collected materials to create a face by sticking them into the mud. It’s great fun, and little ones love getting messy. 
  • Fairy Home / Mouse House – the plan is to collect natural materials to create a little home for a fairy/mouse. Using their imaginations your little ones can collect whatever is on the ground around them, they can make the house however they like, it may include “human” items like sofa, beds, etc, or it may be more animalistic and have a nesting spot, food store, etc. It’s great to get your little ones to present their build-back so they can explain all of their thinking, in fact, this can be one of the best bits.
  • Mini dry stone wall – precisely as it sounds, this one is a bit of a balancing activity, great for working on problem-solving, positioning schema, and minor motor skills. Get your little one to pick two close together items (two trees less than 30cm apart), then collect as many stones as they can and try to create a small wall from one to the other, they will need to think about which stones will work well and which won’t, but that is the joy of this activity, it will mean very different things to different ages. 

These are just a few ideas to get you started, but there are hundreds of ways you can play in the wild, in nature, without needing any equipment. It’s the central part of what we do here at Scraffle and Scrow, partly because we want to show how accessible it is and partly because we try to limit resources to ensure sustainability.

If you are now wondering what to dress your little people in check out this–> outdoor cloths-kids

If you have any great outdoor activities which don’t require equipment, please let us know and tag us so we can see them. 

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