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Wood games

Wood games

Games in the Forest

  1. Touching trees

    While blindfolded, the players are led to one or more trees in order to feel the tree for a short time. Then the player is led back. Can the players recognise the tree again only by touching?

  2. Robbers game

    There are lots of robberies in the woods. The squirrel hides some nuts and the other animals steal, or the squirrel cannot find his hide out any more and is starving. The game involves the group being split into squirrels and robbers. The squirrels hide their nuts in the playing field (approx. 50x50m depending on the area available). The robbers are allowed to watch the squirrels from the edge of the playing field (or at a distance of 5 meters). In each round, the squirrels and robbers must spread out and collect a certain amount of nuts, which is different in each round, (depending on the size of the area and the difficultly level required, each round lasts from a few seconds up to 1-2 minutes). The players who do not manage this are out of the game.

  1. Stalking in the woods

    Various animals made from cardboard are placed along a path in the woods (fox, hare, deer, different types of birds, squirrel, wild boar etc.) Each child now walks along the path (if necessary, within a set time) and tries to remember the animals. There are extra points for the naming the animals in the correct order.

  2. Tree stump

    How many children can stand on a tree stump? This only works if the whole group helps and holds each other.

  3. Ants

    Ants recognise each other by sense of smell. 3 volunteers from the group are blindfolded. Will the players manage to recognise the team members by smell? This should be no problem in some cases, but it would never work like the ants. As an alternative, each child receives a plant and must guess which scent comes from this plant. Another alternative might be to use 5-10 deodorant sticks rubbed on the back of the hand of each player, which gives them a specific scent. The players must try to recognise the others while blindfolded by using their sense of smell.

  4. Fox and hare in winter

    A few group members play the fox. The others are the hares and have a few minutes to hide themselves. Now the foxes must follow the footsteps in the snow to find the hares. Will the hares manage to throw the foxes off the track by laying false tracks? The game works well in a thick forest so that the foxes must follow the trail and cannot see the hares at a distance of 100m.

  5. Artists in the woods- a forest picture

    With different coloured and different shaped leaves and with different natural materials (earth, bark, grasses, stones….) the group tries to produce a picture approx. 1x1 meter on the forest floor.

  6. Work out the age of a tree

    The age of tree is worked out by counting the rings.

  7. Trails in the woods

    4-5 footprints are made on a soft ground. Will the (rest of the) group be able to work out which footprints belong to which of the 4-5 players?

  8. Labyrinth

    In a wood, a labyrinth is laid out using tape. There is one entrance and one exit. The group must try to carry a 5 meter long tree trunk along the labyrinth. It is not so easy to transport the tree trunk around the corners without leaving the course. The game has a time limit.

  9. Tree markings

    The group has the task of trying to make a mark on a tree as high up as possible. It is not allowed to use the branches of the tree for climbing.

  10. Rowing regatta (also known as the chaos game)

    This game can also be played in the middle of the woods. The group is split into teams and each member of the team receives a number or the name of an animal. For example, all hedgehogs must bring a worm. Whichever player is the first to bring a worm, receives a point. Who has to bring what can be made into a story.

    Everything that can be found in the woods: feathers, pine cones, leaves, pine needles, worms, flies, berries (not poisonous ones), dead wood, bird excrement, deer tracks, rubbish etc.

  11. Bats & moths

    Bats catch moths by using their ears to locate them. We want to reflect this in our game. The bats are blindfolded and placed in a playing field. The bat must call out and the moths must give a short reply (options: say “peep”, stamp the feet on the ground, jump up once or make a quick movement with the hands).

  12. Camouflage is everything

    Animals can camouflage themselves and their markings are often relevant to their surroundings. We want to test out if we can also camouflage ourselves. A couple of volunteers have the task of camouflaging themselves (dead leaves, earth, leaves and twigs). The group leader or the group judges the best camouflage at the end.

  13. The netting system

    The forest, and indeed all of nature, is an ecosystem. If this ecosystem is disturbed at some point, this has many knock-on effects. The group hold onto a rope which is knotted together in a circle. The rope is tensed in that all lean back. One member of the group lets go of the rope and then shortly afterwards another player. At some point the ecosystem will break down.

Forest senses games

  1. Eagle eyes

    In a square area of the woods (5m²) the group has 1 minute to remember the contents of the square. The group then turns their back to the area and a couple of things are changed (an extra leaf, a pine cone turned around, a stone moved or added etc). Can the group name all of the things which are changed within 1-2 minutes?

  2. Moving stones

    16 stones are laid out in a square in front of the players. The players try to remember the position of the stones. They then turn around and 2 stones are moved. Can the player find out which two stones have been moved?

  3. Forest detective

    In a section of the woods approx. 50x50 meters, a few things are changed, added or prepared E.g. A pine cone is placed under a birch tree, an acorn leaf is under a pine tree, a potato is on the ground, a bend twig or a drink can. Will the group find all of the clues?

Wood Olympics

  1. Tree trunk throw

    A piece of wood approx. 1 meter long should be thrown as far as possible. The size and weight of the wood can be chosen according to the age of the group.

  2. The shortest path

    In a square playing field with around 10-30 trees, each tree must be visited with as few steps as possible. Who can find the best and shortest path between the trees and who can jump the furthest? Which trees have already been visited? A piece of paper is hung on each tree and the player makes a mark on the paper or the players must collect a band from each tree. One referee concentrates on counting the steps and the second referee checks if all trees have been visited.

  3. Frisbee course

    The group must try to hit marked objects with a Frisbee with as few tries as possible. Object no. 1 is for example, a tree, no.2 is a bench, no. 3 is a tree stump etc. How many throws will the group need to complete the course?

  4. Target throwing with pine cones

    Each player chooses 3 pine cones. These will now be thrown into a bucket which is a few meters away. An alternative is to shoot cans from a tree stump.

  5. Tree stump: Pedestal fight

    2 children stand on 2 tree stumps which are close to each other and opposite each other. Each child now tries to push or pull his opponent from the stump. If the stumps are too far apart, they can use a rope to try and pull each other down. A well padded lance would also work (it must be well padded due to the risk of injury).

  6. Climbing trees

    The player tries to climb up a smooth tree. The height he reaches should be marked on the tree (dependent on age).

  7. Obstacle course run

    An obstacle course through the woods is built. The obstacles are left to your own ideas and fantasies and must also be adapted to the surroundings.

  8. The balancing act

    Balance while walking along a tree stump.

  9. The tree trunk seesaw

    A long tree trunk is placed on top of another trunk like a seesaw. The group must now take their place along the seesaw. Within 60 seconds, the group must now try to keep their feet up off the ground for at least 5-10 seconds. That means no-one is allowed to touch the ground with their feet.

  10. Sending news

    Just like Robin Hood, a message is sent with a bow and arrow. The arrow is shot further from wherever the arrow lands. How many shots will the group need to get the message from A to B? How long will it take? (Please make sure that no-one is standing in the playing field).

Wood and Forest quiz

  1. Fox and hare

    The group is split into 2 groups who stand across from each other on a line at a distance of 5 meters. Behind each group, at a distance of 30 meters, is the finishing line. A statement is read out loud. If the statement is true, the hares chase the foxes. If the statement is false, the foxes chase the hares. Whoever makes it over the finishing line has saved themselves and remains in the game. Whoever does not make it is out of the game (or must change sides).

  2. Poisonous plants

    Who can name poisonous plants in nature or recognise them from pictures? Arum, Yew, Herb Paris, Blue Rocket, Foxglove, Fly Agarics, Green Amanita, Lonicera, Privet, Lily of the Valley, Nightshade Family, Spindle Tree, Daphne, Deadly Nightshade etc.

  3. Picture puzzles

    Only one section of a picture is shown. Can the group guess what the picture is?

  4. Scent memory

    In 2 tins or 2 yoghurt pots, two of the same materials are placed inside. Then the pots/tins are sealed and mixed up. Using small holes in the lids, the two pots with the same contents must be found. It makes sense to number the pots beforehand and the number pairs jotted down. The following materials are suitable: earth, turf, bark, pine needles, resin, moss, forest fruits.

  5. Earth is not the same is earth

    Different types of earth are filled into different buckets or cardboard boxes (forest earth, turf, clay earth, sandy earth etc). Each child must now reach inside and feel in which container the “real” forest earth is to be found.

  6. Guessing animals

    An animal card is fixed to the back of each player with a peg. Each player must now guess his own animal by asking the others questions. These questions can only be answered with yes or no. Each member of the group can only be asked once.

  7. Animal noises and birdsong

    The cassette with different animal noises and birdsong is played to the group. Can the group recognise and name the different noises?

  8. Do you know all about trees?

    Recognise pictures of trees: For this quiz, you will need pictures of 5-10 different trees. Does the group know the names of the trees?

  9. Recognise leaves:

    This also works with the number of different leaves which have been stuck onto a box beforehand.

  10. Do you know all about animal tracks you can see in the forest?

    Recognise pictures with footprints of animal tracks or find the animal tracks.

  11. Recognise bark:

    Using different pieces of bark, the tree must be named (birch, pine, beech, pine, oak, fruit trees etc). Types of needles: The different types of needles from trees with needles must be sorted out according to their tree.

  12. Branch puzzle

    Different twigs from different types of trees are cut into 3-4 pieces with a pair of craft scissors and then laid out as a puzzle. How long will the group need to sort out the puzzle?

  13. Fruit puzzle

    In this game, the fruit of a tree must be matched up with the twig of the appropriate tree. E.g. the pine cone to the pine tree branch, The fir cone to the fir branch, the apple to the apple tree branch, the cherry to the cherry tree branch, the chestnut to the chestnut tree or leaf etc.

  14. Bark rubbing picture

    The bark of a tree is rubbed with a pencil onto a piece of paper. The rubbings are then numbered and mixed up. Who can sort the rubbings of the bark out?

See, hear, feel, smell and taste the Wood

Wood games, blindfolded games

Hear:

  1. Wood noises

    Each member of the group spreads themselves out at a distance of 50m from the other group members. Each child must now write down each noise which they can hear and recognise. Afterwards, the noises which were heard are compared to see if any of the players have heard the same things.

  2. Sending noises (Tree telephone)

    A player places his ear on the end of a tree trunk which is lying on the ground. At the other end of the trunk, noises are made (knocking, scratching. Morse code…). Can the noises be recognised?

Touch and feel:

  1. Forest materials

    Different materials are placed in a large box. Using a hole in the box, the player must touch and feel to find out which materials are inside. (Chestnut leaves, acorn leaves, pined needles, pine cone, fir cone, birch bark, pine bark, lichens, roots, twigs ...)

  2. Bark and fur

    For this game, you will need two examples of each type of bark and each fur. While blindfolded, the players must try to recognise the materials. Which furs come from the same animals? Which barks come from the same trees?

  3. Recognising bark

    Different types of bark are shown and felt. The bark must now be recognised while blindfolded (Kiefer, red beech, hornbeam, white beech, spruce, pine, cherry tree, apple tree ...)

  4. Recognising needles

    The pines of pine trees must be felt and smelt

    • Spruce: short and pointed
    • Pine fir: long and pointed, double needle
    • Fir: straw-like, not sharp, blunt
    • Larch: very soft, bushy type of needle
    • Douglas fir: soft, smells slightly like lemon
  5. Feeling pine cones (or stones)

    Each person looks for a pine cone (or a stone), feels the object thoroughly and places it in a bag. Who can feel and recognise their own pine cone among the pine cones of the other players?

  6. Earth is not the same is earth

    Different types of earth are filled into different buckets or cardboard boxes (forest earth, turf, clay earth, sandy earth ...). Each child must now reach inside and feel in which container the “real” forest earth is to be found.

  7. Tree labyrinth

    While blindfolded, a member of the group is led to 3 trees. Each tree may be felt for 60 seconds (circumference of the tree, bark structure, root area, lichens and moss ...). The player is led back on a different path. Can he find the same 3 trees again?

  8. Bare foot caterpillar

    The whole of the group is blindfolded apart from the group leader who leads and instructs the caterpillar. The players hold hands and walk along silently with bare foot (length of time approx. 10-15 minutes). The aim of the game is feel the surroundings and later explain everything which was felt. (Slimy ground, sand/stone ground, leaves, birdsong, moss, flowers ...)

  9. Recognising sticks

    For this game, each player find a stick, which he now feels and tries to remember. Now the eyes are blindfolded or simply closed. Can the players recognise their own stick from the group of sticks?

See:

  1. Under a towel

    20 objects from the forest are placed on a tray and covered with a towel. The towel is removed and the objects are shown for 10 (30) seconds. The group must now say which items they have seen.

  2. Blind stick

    Each group member should try to remember a path through the woods. The group is now blindfolded and with the assistance of a stick, they must try to make it to the target. No-one is allowed to run.

  3. Camera and photographer

    The team members split into pairs. One is the camera, one is the photographer. The camera closes their eyes and is led quite close to an object by the photographer. Upon command the camera may now look at the object for 3-4 seconds and remember the picture. Several objects are then “photographed”. Then the roles are swapped. At the end, everyone tells the group which picture he took.

  4. Forest floor window

    The group marks out a section of the forest floor approx. 1x1 meter. The players bring a tower with them and lay it on the edge of the area. The group now writes down everything which is to see and smell in the square of forest floor.

  5. Mirror path

    Everyone in the group (or just one player) receives a mirror. This mirror is held under the nose so that the player can only see upwards. The path should now be found by using the tree tops for direction. Warning: Make sure there are no stones in the way.

Smell:

  1. Smell memory

    In 2 tins or 2 yoghurt pots, two of the same materials are placed inside. Then the pots/tins are sealed and mixed up. Using small holes in the lids, the two pots with the same contents must be found. It makes sense to number the pots beforehand and the number pairs jotted down. The following materials are suitable: earth, turf, bark, pine needles, resin, moss, forest fruits.

  2. Forest floor – smelling the earth

    Different types of earth are filled into different pots (forest earth, turf, clay earth, sandy earth ...). Each child must now smell the contents and found out which container holds the forest earth.

Taste:

  1. Forest fruits

    Different fruits of the forest are placed in separate pots. While blindfolded, each child must do a taste test and say which fruit he has tasted (forest strawberries, elderberries, blueberries, blackberries, woodruff, mushrooms, nuts, haws, beechnut).

Crafts

  1. Pictures behind a glass

    In autumn you can make wonderful collages from leaves. They look great framed behind glass.

  2. Spider’s web

    Spray a spider’s web with clear lacquer and place it on a piece of glass with a piece of coloured paper.

  3. Forest owls

    You can make owls from middle to larger sized pine cones. You will also need a few rest pieces of felt or rubber.

  4. Forest Father Christmas

    With a pair of craft scissors, you can cut sticks into approx. 2-3 cm lengths. With cotton wool and some red paint, you can make some great forest Santa Claus’.

  5. Matchstick animals

    Different animals can be made from matchsticks, chestnuts, beechnut and nuts. Everyone probably knows this from Kindergarten or from primary school.

Dangers in the woods

There are different dangers which can crop up when playing games in the woods. Firstly, some children are not used to moving around in the woods and secondly, there are lots of new things to discover. In the woods you can come across poisonous plants (e.g. mushrooms), maybe a dead animal, ticks or pieces of wood in dangerous places.

  • Poisonous mushrooms

    When playing games with “tasting, smelling, fetching, touching”, you must take care. Do not collect any unknown mushrooms. If you are unsure, do not play these games.

  • Band worm:

    Take care when playing games with smelling the ground.

  • Ticks:

    You should always have a tick remover with you.

  • Dead animal:

    Do not allow a child to touch a dead animal

  • Danger of fire:

    Open fires and cigarettes are taboo in the woods.

  • Danger of accidents:

    You must take care and apply a higher level of observation when using areas of land with wood, cliffs and stones. You should choose games which suit your surroundings. You should always have a first aid box nearby. If you are planning a longer length of time in the woods, especially overnight, it is important to inform the forester or hunter. First of all, not everything is allowed, you will sometimes need the permission of the forest owner and secondly, you do not want anyone to stray in front of a bullet.


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