We've been playing what we call "forest games" with the whole group the past few weeks. One game is called My Tree. In this game, one kid is blindfolded and led to a tree. They feel the tree's bark, smell it, wrap their arms around it to feel the size, and use their senses to get a feel for the tree without seeing it. Then they are led away and the blindfold is taken off. They now have to try to figure out which tree it was.
Another game is called Treasure Hunt. The kids liked this one so much, they've requested to play it everyday since. For Treasure Hunt we split into two groups and walk into the woods a little ways to hide a treasure. On the way back, we look around for landmarks and write down clues to lead the other group on the path to the treasure. Then we trade clues and hunt for the other group's treasure. Here is an example of some clues that a group of kids came up with:
We have been using the larger loose parts to build obstacle courses.
We have also been using hammers to crack open walnuts for a yummy forest snack, and warming up by the fire where we discovered burnt sticks make great writing and drawing tools.
We've been going on slow hikes focusing on finding natural treasures and special spots. We found this cool tree to climb on that the kids named the "cannon log.". At one point it was decided that this cannon log fired out globs of mustard!