Enchanting activities are taking place in Forestry Commission sites across the South to engage a whole generation of youngsters in imaginative outdoor play.
The Forest Fairy Tales campaign aims to reverse perceptions that many parents have about their child’s interest in the world of pretend.
A recent study revealed that 90% of parents think children are losing their imaginations by the age of ten. The lack of outdoor play and too much time spent on computers and games consoles are being blamed.
The Forestry Commission’s programme of events invite you and your children to enjoy the magic of the forest throughout the rest of 2013.
At Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, near Ringwood, a magical, musical tree house, inspired by Russian stories adds a new dimension to the play trail. Unveiled as part of the Park’s 25th anniversary celebrations, the Russian tales of a walking magical hut inspired the ornate fairy tale style house and the Moors Valley version will offer a variety of unique play features and is inclusive of children with a wide variety of needs.
As well as exploring the structure, children can enjoy filling buckets and colanders suspended on chains with sand in order to make a variety of musical sounds including gongs, bells, and drums.
At Bolderwood in the New Forest, ‘A Mousy Tale’ will be brought to life this summer as the woodland sets the scene for a forest adventure to discover some very special hidden secrets – 24 and 25 August, 12 noon, 1.30pm and 3pm. No need to book, just turn up. £3 per child.
‘Tales from the Deep Dark Woods’ take place at Moors Valley on Saturday 24 August as part of Dorset’s ‘Sting in the Tale’ storytelling festival. You and your family will be led on a journey deep into the woods, as performers tell traditional tales of forest lore and wonder on the way (charges and booking applies, please call: 01425 470721 or visit www.moors-valley.co.uk).
Activities will be taking place throughout the year at a number of Forestry Commission sites. To find out more and download free online activity sheets visit www.forestry.gov.uk/fairytales.