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Discovery in the forest

Discover what lies within the smaller things
A forest game for three groups of 6 children (variable); age-group 6-11 years.

Note: For the entire forest game approximately 2 hours need to be factored in. Choose suitable spots for the activity stations before hand e.g. stations 5 +9 need spots where many fir/ pine cones can be found.

As the game is not one of speed, groups can start the game at any chosen station.

Group formation:

Pieces of paper are distributed (perhaps already with names written on them if you want to fix the groups) with colours marked on them: 6x yellow, 6 xs red, 6x blue. Now all those with the same coloured notes have to find one another – without talking or showing each other the pieces of paper.


Each of the 6 children builds a pyramid – just as each person is needed, and each person has their place, this is how the groups should work together. (Big and strong as carriers of the pyramid, then the ‘middle ones’ who can balance, followed by the ‘small ones’ who are light and flexible.)


The first two stations can be made at a central location or you can take the heart for the 2nd station with you and decide along the way when you want to decorate it. Each group has a bucket, pencil and evaluation sheet. Stations do not have to be completed in any particular order. Set a meeting point once all have arrived. On the way each group has to find 6 cards of their colour, upon which is a letter. Take these cards with you. When all 3 groups are together you have to make a phrase out of the letters. The answer is: GOD LOOKS AT THE HEART

  1. Small animals, big impact, enormous achievement

    The ants may be small but are many, and they manage to collect a huge pile of pine needles, out of which to make their homes.

    Game: In this sectioned off area, each ant family has to create their pile i.e. they collect each piece in their specified colour. One can also only carry one ‘beam’ at a time i.e. not several at once otherwise you will loose your balance! In total there are 100 building pieces available for each colour. Decide yourselves when to stop adding to your pile, and write down the number of pieces collected in your list.

    Preparation: The toothpicks are laid out on the forest floor within a drawn out area. So that other groups do not tread each others tooth picks into the ground, all groups should do this task simultaneously or each group should have separate sectioned off areas of forest floor on which to find their pieces.

    Materials: Each group has 100 toothpicks coloured in red, yellow or blue.

  2. Making a ‘nature heart’

    The forest gives forth many various materials with which one can decorate beautifully. On Saturday afternoon there is a large event in which your heart designs are displayed.

    Game: So, give your best and decorate the cardboard heart with whatever you like. Hang it up and don’t forget to sign on the back.

    Materials: Large cardboard hearts and good adhesive

  3. Recognising ones own

    In order to distinguish the small things one has to feel carefully and take one’s time.

    Game: Each person chooses a stone and demarcates it with their name or a symbol; the stone should be approximately the same size a match box. Then stones are all placed together in a box with the lid on top. Each person then has to try and recognise their stone through touch.

    Materials: ‘Feeling box’ (shoe box with a hole), water proof pens

  4. Feeling the small things

    The eyes are small organs but highly important. How does one feel when something so small can no longer be used?

    Game: Try it out by walking along the rope with closed eyes; counting as you go how many knots there are tied to this rope. Will everyone have the same number?

    Materials: Long rope, approximately 20 small threads of wool to tie around

  5. Small things can lead to big things at the right point

    If one brings small things to the right place, it can lead to big things.

    Game: Each person finds 12 pine cones. Each person can then using their pine cones, try and hit the bell to make it ring. How many ring tones were you able to achieve?

    Materials: Bell with a rope for hanging.

  6. Richness of the forest

    Due to all the nature in the forest one can often overlook the smaller things.

    Game: In this box there are 20 different things from the forest. Take a look at them for one minute and then collectively try to list what you saw. Which things can you remember? Count them up and write down.

    Materials: Box with lid, approximately 20 different ‘natural items’

  7. Sponge bob

    We are important, everyone can take and give! Which object is there to take things up and then give them back again? Yes, that’s right, a sponge.

    Game: Each person receives a piece of sponge. Use this to transport water from one side to the other. How long will you take and how much water will you collect at the other side?

    Materials: Bucket, 1 litre of water for each group, 6 pieces of sponge, measuring beaker with markings to indicate filling quantity.

  8. Eyes wide open! Wrong place!

    Look carefully. Some things are in the wrong place

    Game: On the trees around you will find 10 objects that don’t belong there. Write down what these objects are and think up a story in which all of these objects appear. Tell this story to the others at the end of the forest game.

    Materials: Objects of your choice e.g. rubber ducks, toilet roll, toy car etc...

  9. Collective transport

    The squirrels transport their supplies into their camps.

    Game: Sit on the tree stump; take off socks and shoes and transport 10 pine cones into your camp using your feet (pass the pine cones to one another using your feet).

  10. Bear search with help

    Sometimes one can’t recognise where to find the important things. For this it is good to have others around who can help you find the right place.

    Game: A packet of mini Gummy-bears is placed outdoors. One person is blindfolded and is guided to the other side through verbal directions until they reach the gummy bears. Each person becomes the ‘bear catcher’, who can only find his way with help from the others.

    Materials: Mini-Gummy bears – as many packets as there are participants, Blindfold


Once all the groups have arrived, put together the solution ‘phrase’; GOD LOOKS AT THE HEART

If there is still time, act out the stories

Evaluation of the Forest Game:

En route: Find 6 ‘letter’ cards in your colour and take them with you

  1. Small animals, big impact, enormous achievement

    How many building parts is your ant-pile made of ___________

  2. Nature heart

    We decorated the nicest heart (tick) Yes _____ certainly ___

  3. Recognising ones own

    How many people in the group were able to recognise (felt) their own stone… ________

  4. Feeling the small things

    How many knots did you feel along the way? _____

  5. Small things can lead to big things

    In total we caused the bell to ring ______ times

  6. Richness in the forest

    We can count the following things:

    1. __________ 2.___________ 3._____________ 4. _________

    5. __________ 6. _____________ 7.___________ 8._____________

    9. _________ 10. __________ 11. _____________ 12.__________

    13.___________ 14. _________ 15. __________ 16. _____________

    17.___________18.___________ 19. _________ 20. __________

  7. Sponge bob

    In ______ Min and ______ seconds we transported the water and collected _____ ml of water.

  8. Eyes wide open! Wrong place!

    Which objects did you discover? 1.___________ 2.___________ 3._____________ 4. _________ 5. __________

    6. _____________ 7.___________ 8._____________ 9. _________ 10. _________

  9. Collective transport

    How many things reached the ‘warehouse’ without becoming lost? _____

  10. Bear Search

    Bon-Apetit for the bear roast!

A contribution from Dorothee S.

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