Keep kids busy in the woods
Leave your own four walls behind and go out into nature – not only do we adults benefit from this, but our children also benefit from spending time in the open air. A long walk in the woods is a wonderful experience for the whole family, and it doesn’t matter whether the sun is shining outside or the woods are sleeping away under a white dress in winter. A walk in the forest – that means food for our soul. Suggestions for all our senses. Children can smell the clear air in the forest, feel pine cones, hear the birds chirping. Was that a deer back there, which is quickly looking for distance? Getting to know local animals and looking for their tracks in the forest – that’s a fascinating discovery for young and old!
Most children rarely have the opportunity to explore their immediate surroundings. There are so many secrets waiting to be discovered here. The forest habitat is unique. Lots of animals are hiding here – starting with small species of beetles, mice that scurry quickly through the bushes, the eagle owl, whose call you can hear from afar, to red and fallow deer, which you can see from afar with a bit of luck. It is always fascinating to watch the wood ants at work. Amazing how these little creatures can move many times their own body weight! And what is that? A jay’s feather shimmers blue on the path ahead. She wanders to the beechnuts and pine cones and is later at home doing handicrafts find use.
What children can discover in the forest
Not all forests are the same. A walk through a deciduous forest is very different from a hike through a coniferous forest. Incidentally, the latter is a wonderful place to look for mushrooms, especially in autumn. Of course, a prerequisite is extensive knowledge in this field – and if you don’t know what to do on your own, you can turn to a mushroom consultant with confidence. On a walk in the forest, the children get to know the different types of trees and can determine the age of each tree by looking at the growth rings of specimens that have been felled. In some places, guided hikes are also offered with the ranger, who of course goes even deeper into the subject and can answer all the children’s questions. Mushroom picking with children
You can also – if you behave calmly – certainly observe some animals. A deer scurries past, a bird climbs up a tree trunk or a squirrel sits on a branch and looks down.
Rules of conduct for forest walks with children
Fresh air makes you hungry! A delicious picnic of bread, vegetables, fruit and a refreshing drink strengthens hikers of all ages and gives them strength for the way back. Of course we take all our rubbish with us and under no circumstances leave it in the forest! This is one of the rules that forest walkers should heed. It is just as important to develop an awareness that we humans are only guests in the forest habitat. That means: we behave quietly and avoid yelling – after all, the animals should not be scared by us. The animals’ nursery sometimes starts quite close to the public hiking trails and we can disturb the animals extremely, especially during the breeding season, through rough behavior. Of course, it is not just about protecting the creatures in the forest – but also the plants and trees. That means we don’t carelessly tear plants out of the ground, break off branches or carve our initials into the bark of trees. And another forest rule is important: nothing is picked and nibbled unseen, no matter how tempting the berries may seem. Blueberries are very tasty and of course you can collect them, but it is absolutely necessary to wash them thoroughly at home. This is the only way to avoid infection with the fox tapeworm pathogen. even if the berries seem so tempting. Blueberries are very tasty and of course you can collect them, but it is absolutely necessary to wash them thoroughly at home. This is the only way to avoid infection with the fox tapeworm pathogen. even if the berries seem so tempting. Blueberries are very tasty and of course you can collect them, but it is absolutely necessary to wash them thoroughly at home. This is the only way to avoid infection with the fox tapeworm pathogen.
Camping with children
Other rules of conduct
- Don’t make a fire! (Do not smoke!)
- Dogs should be kept on a leash
- Do not catch, injure or kill animals
- High seats may not be entered
- Please do not feed any animals
- Do not park the car in the forest. If possible, use the parking spaces provided for this purpose.
- Wear long clothes – risk of ticks
- During thunderstorms and storms, you should leave the forest as soon as possible
- Do not let children play in lumberyards
- Avoid unnecessary noise
- Do not eat unfamiliar fruits or mushrooms
What should you take with you for a walk?
If you want to discover the forest with your offspring, it can make sense to pack an animal and plant guide in your backpack. So you can look it up on the spot and you know immediately which animal crossed your path or which plant is on the side of the path. A small container for found objects, such as rhinestones, feathers or empty snail shells, also belongs in the bag. A cotton bag holds any leaves, acorns and chestnuts you find, and if you’re out on a mushroom hunt, it’s best to arm yourself with a shaving basket and a pocket knife.
With children in the forest – it doesn’t get boring that way
The duration of the forest walk depends on the age of the children. A one-hour trip is more than enough for smaller kids, while elementary school children can hike 7 or 8 km. Of course, the tour will be arranged in such a way that the youngsters don’t get bored. Maybe there is an inn along the route or is there a geocache hidden somewhere? ( Geocaching as a family sport ) You can also throw a pine cone or build a water wheel together with the children on a stream. Small boats can be carved out of wood, which receive a sail made of a large sheet and are then allowed to swim in the wet element. Such a walk becomes really adventurous when there is a climbing park in the forest !
Children usually have a lot of fun in the forest and can experience a lot there – and every walk holds very special secrets. Discovering these together with the children – we wish you a lot of fun!
A walk in the forest is also suitable for keeping the children occupied during the corona crisis