Families building dens in the woods

Rewild your child

What did your childhood look like? Were you swinging from trees, fishing streams, catching frogs and building dens? I was! 

I sometimes regard my profession as an outdoor instructor simply as an extension of when I used to play out as a kid, however, now it is with a lot more focused attention and most of the time with a lot more seriousness, not all the time though!

Children need to be outside, they need to get muddy, play with sticks, observe animals such as frogs and bugs. They need to light fires and toast marshmallows, they need to build dens and imagine they are making a fort or a cabin to protect themselves from a marauding tribe or from ferocious wild animals. You can’t do it all on Minecraft and expect it to shape a child’s character. 

Experiences facilitate the development of our character. What we do is what makes us and what we become is important. Being outside and in the elements shapes us in many ways. It builds resilience and toughness. It encourages self reliance and problem solving skills. It also develops our physical strength such as core stability, balance and endurance. Humans were built for this stuff, we were not designed for sitting around in comfort for prolonged periods, we need to move and work and sweat and get cold and wet then get warm by the fire or from running and dragging things around. That is what we are at a primal level. We were animals! 

Now I am not saying you should lob your kids over the garden fence and send them into the dark of the woods to become feral, I am however suggesting that you encourage them to fully embrace the power of play in a wild setting. 

At Green Man Survival we offer many child friendly experiences; for kids it’s all about getting in the woods, building dens, exploring, learning and accessing that special place in a child’s imagination that has been lost due to the over stimulation of computer games and social media. For educators it is about remaining observant of teachable moments and opportunities to inspire and share our knowledge. 

You will be amazed at the nuances children remember from their experiences. If they only take away one thing from these experiences in nature I hope that it is a new found confidence to have adventures and a renewed interest in poking things with sticks and asking why? Why is the sky blue, why do bees buzz around flowers and not just why can’t I stay inside and play on the Xbox! 

Get outside, start them young and never stop learning. Nature is not a subject you can download, you have to touch it to understand it. Come and join us, you never know, you might also find yourself playing again, remember that? 

a guide to our family friendly half-day activities

Best for children aged 6-8:

Price: £35 per child. All children must be accompanied, the accompanying parents or responsible adults go free!

This is a morning activity that we offer as a group booking for like minded families. The group size is capped at 12 children. The half day is spent in our wild woods building dens, lighting fires and learning all about trees, plants and wildlife. Oh and also enjoying hot chocolate and smores! 

This special family focused Easter holiday activity is offered for mixed family bookings, available exclusively on Saturday 9th April 2022.

Best for children aged 6-10:

price: £35 per adult, £15 per child. minimum of 2 adults per booking.

This is one of our private guided walks that takes us up to the scenic High Dam reservoir. The walk is spent learning all about the environment and wildlife. We also get the Kelly Kettle roaring and enjoy a brew by the lake. On our way back we can spend time quietly sitting in the woods watching birds and tracking deer. It is a big old adventure, especially for little legs!

Best for children aged 8 to 12+:

Price: £50 per adult, £15 per child. Minimum of 2 adults per booking.

An action packed private half day course learning the fundamentals of survival and bushcraft. From shelter building to fire lighting, plant and tree identification & their uses, to sourcing safe drinking water, we will explore what it takes to survive in the wild. Have no fear, the brew box is near, we always have marshmallows for days!

The range of activities for children and young adults is huge, take a look here and see if something takes your fancy. We hope we see you down in the woods, you never know, it may change your life!