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Woods have been enchanting children for generations. They’re the setting for many of our favourite fairy tales and the backdrop to memorable family adventures. Woods are also wonderful places for youngsters to use their imaginations.

We’ve brought together some of our favourite activities to help your children discover the magic of woods and trees. They’re tried and tested with our own families and lots of fun. Find out how to make fairy doors, magic wands and woodland potions, plus how to throw your own fairy tea party.

Woods are magical places to visit, but please don't leave fairy doors or fairy houses behind. Take them and any craft materials home with you to help us protect the natural environment.

How to make a fairy door

Follow our simple instructions and make a secret door to encourage fairy folk to visit your garden. This is a lovely activity to do with youngsters who are fascinated by fairies and elves.

  • Line up some lolly sticks or twigs.
  • Glue two sticks diagonally across your 'door' to hold it together.
  • Look for acorn cups or tiny pebbles to be your doorknob and letterbox. Glue them in place. You could use old buttons or beads instead.
  • When the glue is dry, place your door against a tree trunk or wall. Make sure it's well away from big feet and curious cats.

Listen carefully… Can you hear any fairy visitors knocking on your door?

Fairy scavenger hunt

Fairies and elves are very shy so you might not see them darting about the woods. But if you look closely you may spot tiny traces they’ve left behind. Head to the woods with your little one and see if you can find…

  • toadstool seats
  • bluebell hats
  • buttercup lanterns
  • acorn cup goblets
  • fern ladders
  • soft, mossy beds

What other evidence can you find?

Elf houses

Where do you think a woodland elf might like to live? In the shadow of an ancient tree? Tucked under a hedge? Nestled inside a fallen log…?

Encourage children to look for a suitable place to build an elf house then find some natural materials and get to work. Gather some twigs to make a basic teepee then cover it with fallen leaves to make it cosy. Can you find some small sticks to be tables, chairs or beds?

To welcome elves to their new home, leave them a housewarming gift like a set of acorn cups, or a posy of petals.

Fairy tea party

Next time you visit the woods with your family, why not make a feast for your fairy friends? You can throw a tea party using natural items from the forest floor. Keep your eyes peeled for…

  • a table for the banquet – a small tree stump would be ideal
  • little leaf plates
  • acorn cups for drinking dew
  • tiny twig cutlery
  • delicious food fairies and elves would like to eat, such as flower petals or seeds

Magic wands

A whimsical woodland walk wouldn’t be complete without a magic wand. Take some ribbon or coloured thread to the woods and hunt for an interesting stick. When you’ve found one, decorate it by wrapping your ribbon around it. You can even tie natural items like feathers and fallen leaves to it. Make your wand magical by holding it in your hands, closing your eyes and chanting a spell.

When you've finished, remember to unwrap the thread and take it home with you.

Wishing leaves

Do your children like to make wishes? If so, they’ll love this activity. Simply write your wishes on fallen leaves, then toss them into the wind to release their magic.

Magic potions

Woods are brimming with ingredients to make weird and wonderful potions. Take a beaker or a small bowl on your family’s next adventure and have a go at making your own.

Add a splash of water to your beaker and find a special stick for stirring. As you explore the wood, gather bits and pieces that catch your eye. Can you find a fluffy feather, some scented pine needles, or a shiny acorn…?

Use your stick to give everything a magic mix, then pour out your potion and make a wish.

We hope these ideas inspire your family to head off on an imaginative woodland adventure. For more activities you can do together, take a look at our family membership.

Family exploring a wood together

Boots on, let’s explore!

Our family membership helps you and your kids enjoy special moments together, discovering amazing trees and wildlife.

Find out more