Down to the woods with the Stick Man

forest art fun

Yesterday, we needed a change of scene. Time to head to the woods for some fun. Not for a walk that would cover miles and miles. We’ve done so many of those recently. No, this time it was all about play. Creative play. Inspired by the Stick Man books and Somerset Outdoor Play. With a little orienteering thrown in for good measure.

arrow nature trail

Creative play

First up was to make a hunter’s trail, using arrows on the floor to give directions. Once explained to the children, they soon disappeared through the trees. Telling me that they’d call me when it was done. (Good job I had my camera and could fill the time stalking insects.) The children set up the route, which wound up and down, and round and round, until it reached ………

x marks the spot

A shaded grove, where an X marked the spot.Β  As a surprise, they’d buried a pair of pine cones. Good treasure and leading quite nicely on to the next activity!

stonehenge in twigs

Next came some natural art. Given a choice of anything on the woodland floor – nothing to be snapped off or with the ability to crawl away – what could they make. Plenty of cones as we were surrounded by pine trees. At first the children seemed to flounder. What to make and what to use.Β  Then I could almost hear a creative click, as they began to rush round finding suitable material.

First up was Stonehenge made from sticks, with a little person in the middle.

stick man tree

Stick Man

The next was a tree, which inspired even more art to be created. This time made by all three children.

Stick Man head

We love the Stick Man story. Although much debate about whether it should be classed as a Christmas book or not. I see it more as showing all the seasons and the passing of the year.

stick man and tree

When all said and done, it’s still a good story and written in a lyrical way, which I love. We realised, as we tried to quote bits from it today, that it had been a while since we had read it.

stick man and girl

I love their stick man. I like to think that maybe someone will happen upon him over the weekend.

Spotting nature

There were lots more pictures and sculptures. Once started, the children really got the hang of it. I love that all these activities were completed with very few nudges from me.

In between all the art, we enjoyed our surroundings. We all agreed that we had found a spot that felt quite magical. Walking through the trees, we came out into an opening, carpeted with heather.

nature finds

I lost count of the dragonflies that flew around our heads. Some hung, warming themselves in the sun on the surrounding pine trees like intricate Christmas tree decorations, just out of my camera lens reach. Hmm! We did find lots of ladybirds and beetles. Not forgetting the grasshoppers and one lone toad.

Our trip to the woods worked. There were giggles and cooperation that had been missing. Everyone returned home enjoying each others company again. For a while at least. The last days of holidays can be tough. For all of us.

feathery cloud

As we left the woods and returned to the car, we met people starting their walks. One gentleman remarked that the children didn’t seem tired out. Looking round at them, I fully appreciated that there is more to time in the woods than just trying to tire the children out. They still slept well.

This is Stockhill Woods on the Mendips.

(And, yes, we did go home and re-read Stick Man.)


Β Joining in with the Country Kids. Lots of inspiration for playing outside.
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

20 thoughts on “Down to the woods with the Stick Man

  • Saturday 31 August, 2013 at 11:03 am

    I’d not heard of stickman before – shall look out for it. Love how much you and the children did with just natural things around. Looks like you all had a fab time.

    • Saturday 31 August, 2013 at 11:08 pm

      I can recommend the book. Great fun as you can imagine from Julia Donaldson. πŸ™‚

  • Saturday 31 August, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    I love some of your ideas for turning a walk in the woods into a great adventure. I need to reread the Stick Man too.

    • Saturday 31 August, 2013 at 11:09 pm

      Funny how a book you read every night for months goes unread for so long! Worth revisiting.

  • Saturday 31 August, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    A great idea for a few hours out, and Stick Man is a favourite here, too. I don’t think of it as a Christmas book, though I can understand why you might. There’s the seaside and sun in there, too, so I’m with you on it going through all seasons πŸ™‚

    • Saturday 31 August, 2013 at 11:13 pm

      Definitely all four seasons. And a happy ending to boot. πŸ™‚

  • Saturday 31 August, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    What a great way to spend the afternoon. I love how imaginative they have been. Stick Man is a favourite here too, although it’s been awhile since we last read it!

    • Saturday 31 August, 2013 at 11:24 pm

      I love seeing what they come up with. So often I cannot predict. Stick Man is worth a re-read.

  • Saturday 31 August, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    What a fun time you all had in the woods, the children really enjoyed using the natural resources to make creative games and enjoy their adventures. Thanks for linking up and sharing your woodland fun with Country Kids.

    • Saturday 31 August, 2013 at 11:37 pm

      Great to challenge them occasionally. πŸ™‚

  • Sunday 1 September, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Some great photos, it looks like you had lots of fun. We love the Stickman in our house, hoping they make that one for TV next too!

    • Sunday 1 September, 2013 at 3:58 pm

      Nice thought. It would be brilliant animation. Fingers crossed.

  • Sunday 1 September, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Stick Man is one of our favourites but I have got it shelved with the Christmas books!! The natural art looks great πŸ™‚

    • Sunday 1 September, 2013 at 9:54 pm

      We have it with our Christmas books. Something odd about reading about Father Christmas in the middle of summer, but it is such a lovely story that its a shame to limit it to December. I’m breaking the book out of Christmas solitude.

  • Tuesday 3 September, 2013 at 12:01 am

    What a fabulous day out, I love all of it the orienteering, their art work and of course Stick Man, we like him in our house too .

    • Tuesday 3 September, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      It was fun! πŸ˜€ I hope we can have many more days down the woods, along this theme.

  • Tuesday 3 September, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    i feel refreshed just looking at these pictures! what a wonderful few hours spent in the woods!

    i’ve got a housefull of children today and i’m about to go and usher them all outdoors for some fun of our own!

    • Tuesday 3 September, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      Outdoors plus children equals endless fun. It really has been a good summer for playing! πŸ˜€

  • Friday 6 September, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    I love that feather cloud in the last photo. Woods are so much more than just tree climbing and tiring children out, there’s such an abundance of fun and learning activities in them. Your stickman is great.

    Nipping over from Country Kids.

    • Saturday 7 September, 2013 at 12:16 am

      Ha! I say feather too! πŸ™‚ I think that this kind of activity can be a different type of tiring. Using their brains and imagination, and all the fresh air. They always seem to sleep well afterwards.

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