Forest school activities for 2 year olds

4 images of toddler forest school activities

Forest schools provide fantastic fun outdoor activities for children. As a parent, I’ve taken my girls to a lot of different ones before they started school. We made loads of happy memories whilst they played in nature and I have no doubt they learnt a lot from the sessions. We’ve also done a number of these forest school activities for 2 year olds as a family. We’ve done them in the garden or on visits to the woods. I hope this post helps inspire you.

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Forest school activities for toddlers

Forest school activities make great outdoor activities for toddlers. They are great for engaging them with the natural world around them. They can involve learning about nature, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, creative play and language development. I’ve included some of my favourite ideas that we have done over the toddler and preschool years and also finished the post with more ideas from others that you might like to find out more about.

Forest school art activities

4 images of toddler doing crafts in the woods

These ideas are all great forest school art ideas. Toddlers love expressing themselves through art and what better place to enjoy it than outside where you don’t need to worry about the mess as much.

Create a birds nest – All you need is some * colourful feathers and/or sticks. You could also add in some short lengths of colourful wool too. Then you just need some small birds to come and live in your nest. Your toddler will hopeful then go on to use their imaginations to play out stories about birds that live in the nest. You could add these * gorgeous toy birds that not only look lifelike but also make the appropriate bird song for that species. Or simply print out some pictures of birds and laminate them.

Painting with nature – Simply roll out a length of paper (I love to buy * rolls of paper or lining paper from a DIY store), then add poster paints (I like * washable poster paints, it’s worth paying that bit more as toddlers are bound to get some on their clothes). After that, it’s a case of letting your toddler choose some nature to paint with (or provide a selection to choose from).

Colouring sheets – There is nothing wrong with providing some colouring materials and some woodland or nature themed colouring in sheets (see below for a couple to get you started).

Mud faces – For this one, all you need is mud and natural loose parts and let your toddler create a face in the mud.

If you love providing forest school craft ideas, you can’t go wrong with these ideas or how about creating clay creatures using * air-dry clay and natural materials found in the woods.

3 little clay and nature hedgehog craft projects lined up on a table

Mud play

4 different photos of toddler playing with mud

Toddlers love mud play and the options are endless. It really doesn’t need to be complicated. In these photos above you can see some very simple mud kitchens created on the ground. All you need is a selection of unwanted pots, pans and serving spoons (raid your cupboards or a charity shop), mud and water. Toddlers will play for ages with these simple setups.

Forest school play

Toddler in a tarp tent and one looking at laminated bird images

Other forest school activities that toddlers love include scavenger hunts where they can practice very simple mark-making whilst exploring their environment. Get your autumn scavenger hunt printable here so you can use it to find nature in the location you are or how about creating your own using some photos that you can print out, laminate, punch a hole in and use some string to attach them to trees at toddler height.

Den building is always fun too. If you know-how, you can build a simple stick den with just a tarpolene and some * bungee cords. If you prefer something a bit simpler, then you can buy * den kits with everything you need and instructions too all in a little bag that you can take on your next woodland walk.

Toddlers also love * hammocks strung between two trees. They love lying in them and enjoying the rocking motion.

Bug hunting

Toddler girl selecting a bug hunting pot and magnifying glass

Bug hunting is a great forest school activity for toddlers. You don’t need a lot of kit but a * bug identification book may be useful. My girls knew lots of different types of insect names at a very young age due to weekly forest school sessions where they’d use a little plastic spoon to carefully move leaves and stones to find creatures living under them to examine with their * magnifying glass.

I have a blog post filled with ideas for Fun forest school activities to do at home that you might like to try too.

The wildlife trust always creates some fantastic resources that you can use at home or in a group setting – find them here.

More forest school activities for toddlers

I've rounded up a few blog posts from myself and other kid's activity bloggers that you might find useful too.

Forest school activities are fantastic Autumn activities for kids, find more here.

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