When I was a child, I can remember spending HOURS exploring the woods behind our house.
My brother, sister and I (along with our neighborhood friends) would hike back to this forested area and walk through the creek, play games and hope to encounter all types of woodland animals.
During the summer, we would head out after breakfast and come back tired & hungry for a late lunch. The woods were a special place -- so colorful in the Fall, mysteriously quiet in the winter, full of life during Spring and a cool respite during those hot Summer days.
We thought we were explorers!
And as a parent, I was reminded this summer that these moments of childhood are experienced by each generation. During our marathon summer road trip, we spent a few days at Gran & Pop's house which is located on 4.5 acres of wooded property.
Each morning, the kids would say "We're going back to the creek" or "We're taking the path through the woods to explore" -- words that reminded me how every child is drawn to the forest.
So today we're going to kick-off a short series focused on Forest Adventures!
50 Free Forest Crafts & Activities
Over the next few weeks, we'll introduce more than 50 fun activities that will connect kids to the woodland areas near your home. Some of these activities can be done at home, others are better experienced in the forest -- ALL will inspire the wonder & joy of connecting with nature.
"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."
~ Albert Einstein
I thought we'd begin the series with a fun introduction to forest animals since almost every child enjoys (and is enthralled by) woodland creatures.
These fun activities will introduce kids to all types of animals that call the forest home!
As the kids are cutting, crafting & having fun with these free printables, talk to them about why these animals live in the forest, whether they would enjoy seeing the animals in real life and what questions they may have about each of our woodland friends.
We've marked the activities shown in the photo above with an (*)
Woodland Animal Scavenger Hunt || Sparklebox
Forest Animal Coloring & Fun Facts (10 pages!) || Preschool Powol Packets
Fawn and Fox Puppets || Playful Learning
"What do you call a group of ...? Names of Woodland Animals || Edventures with Kids
Woodland Animal Bookmarks * || The DIY Adventures
3D Printable Forest Animals * || KIRIN
Outdoor Photo Scavenger Hunt (great for kids & teens!) || Edventures with Kids
Forest Animal Masks to cut & color * || AlphaMom
Name that Tree! A Hands-on Science Activity || Edventures with Kids
Forest Animal Templates (deer, fox & owl) for creative art projects || Jones Design Company
Woodland Animal Coloring Sheets || Kids Activities Blog
Woodland Forest Learning Pack || 3 Dinosaurs
Animal Track Guide || Bear Tracker's Den
Paper Owl Baby * || Krokotak
Fun Facts about the Forest word game || Easy Science for Kids
Fall Leaf Scavenger Hunt || Edventures with Kids
Forest Food Chain game || Brain Power Boy
Fun with Forest Activity Pack (amazing resource!) || Today's Frugal Mom
Wildlife Worksheets (more than 20 pages!) || Activity Village
Investi-gator Magazines for Kids || Discover the Forest
Hunting for Animal Tracks (w/printable track cards) || Edventures with Kids
Forest-themed Learning Items
If you're looking for some forest-themed learning items, here's a collection that's sure to please! Affiliate links are included for more information and your convenience.
The Safari Ltd Wild Safari North American Wildlife TOOB is a great addition to creating your own forest small world! You can see how we used it in our Woodland Habitat activity.
This Woodland Animals Kids Sewing Kit is perfect for fine motor skill development (plus super adorable)!
Additional Forest Activities:
More Nature Activities:
And don't forget about fun forest stories -- be sure to see our woodland booklists: