Forest School Activities

Module 5: Natural Crafts and Play

Enjoy endless opportunities to play and create using natural materials to relax, learn and connect through making things together

Forest School Activities Online Training

Module 5: Natural Crafts and Play

Get Creative in Nature

Crafting is so much fun and there are so many natural resources that can be used to make beautiful objects!

Our book, Learning with Nature is packed full of crafting ideas and this module includes activities using willow, leaves, bark, clay, cleavers and sticks. Make paint from leaves, hedgehogs from teasel, dreamcatchers, bird feeders, tree faces and much more!

You don’t need to be an artist to have fun with crafting - enjoy endless opportunities to play and create using natural materials to relax, learn and connect through making things together.

What makes the Forest School Activities Training Course so important

Today more people understand the necessity for outdoor learning.

Moreover, the importance of securing nature’s future.

Sir David Attenborough said: "No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced."

We know working with nature is the best solution for climate change...

What’s more, Covid 19 has taught us that immersion in nature positively benefits children’s and adults' health, mental health and wellbeing.

Which is why now more than ever, it’s vital to show people of all ages how to engage with nature.

"Spearheading the transformation of education and health through nature"

This video-based online learning course gives you everything you need to run engaging outdoor sessions…

From acquiring the skills … to mastering the techniques … to health and safety risk assessments … 

Remember, this extensive nature-based training programme comes from my 30 years of experience teaching Forest School to outdoor practitioners and teachers like you, in face-to-face settings … and now online.

I understand the barriers you face: namely space, time and cost. 

This comprehensive training will equip you with the outdoor learning knowledge and skills you need to overcome perceived barriers and take your classroom outdoors.

You’ll get clear guidance … on how to run engaging activities for early years, primary and secondary children. 

You’ll get practical tips on … conducting risk and benefit assessments.. and much more.

You’ll get lifetime access to my highly visual training videos that let you see and hear in detail the outdoor activities taught. You can replay the videos as many times as needed.

So that by the time you complete the Forest School Activities Online Training Course

You’ll have all the information you need to plan engaging outdoor sessions…

Take a look at some of the activities you’ll learn

Teasel Hedgehog

From our book ‘Learning with Nature’ I am going to show you how to make a family of hedgehogs using clay. As it’s autumn time, we start to think about the shelters animals live in and what they may need for the winter ahead.

Leaf Bashing

This video looks at some simple ideas that we can use to make natural paints and crafts. Depending on the season and the research you might like to do, it’s incredible how much colour can come from the natural world, from near and afar! We look at what you might need for leaf bashing both as an educational activity for identification and language development.

Forest Weaving and Dream Catchers

This is a popular craft that I was taught in Mexico. In this video I demonstrate both a simple version of 'Forest Weaving' and a more complicated way of creating this hoop. You’ll need willow or a bendy material to make a hoop, and some wool or strong thread.


You really don’t need lots of equipment to get started

Even after all the years I have been teaching outdoor learning and facilitating Forest School, it was great to be reminded of the power and simplicity of creative play and learning. Marina slowly builds upon simple ideas, layer by layer and the possibilities soon become limitless. What I also love about this module is that you really don’t need lots of equipment to get started as the idea is to inspire and see where it takes you. You really don’t have to be an artist to do this module... just a willingness to have a go!

Charlie IrvingForest School Practitioner

Easy to follow the instructions

This module is full of innovative ideas for utilising natural materials for creative fun! Marina describes each process with clarity and it is easy to follow the instructions. There is a welcome diversity of materials and outcomes which will inspire young and old.

Kate MacairtPlay Therapy Trainer

Each video will give you the skills, confidence and courage

The modules are a wonderful visual resource to help practitioners in any setting to feel inspired. When you don’t have lots of time to prepare or you need an activity then the resources will give you something to pick up and use easily in any environment with some simple ideas for equipment and materials. With these resources you will have a resource that equips you with an extensive list of ideas, that will help you every time you take your group to play in the woods. Each video will give you the skills, confidence and courage.

Nikki McKnightForest School Practitioner


About the instructor

Welcome to the Natural Crafts Module (2:08)

Foraging Willow for Crafts (1:35)

Leaf Crowns (2:22)

Forest Weaving and Dream Catchers (9:20)

Leaves on a Stick (0:28)

Bark Rubbings (0:32)

Leaf Bashing and Natural Paints (9:17)

Painting With Leaves (2:29)

Clay People (2:03)

Clay Fairies or Gnomes (7:23)

Larch Cone & Teasal Hedgehogs (5:06)

Tree Faces (1:37)

Clay Candles (6:35)

Square Lashings (9:11)

Making Things with Square Lashings (7:21)

Making Bird Feeders (2:52)

Cleaver Nests (1:29)

Natural Crafts and Play Reflection


Welcome to the Natural Crafts Module

Natural Crafts Risk Benefit Assessment

What's Included in Module 5?

✔️ 17 video lessons full of practical and fun ideas and activities demonstrating a wide range of natural materials with activities for all ages.

✔️ Lessons include step by step instructions on a range of activities including clay fairies, teasel hedgehogs, bird feeders, natural paints and nettle cordage.

Plus downloadable resources:

✔️ A Risk and Benefit Assessment

What will you learn?

✔️ Inspire a range of natural and manmade crafts, with endless creative opportunities

✔️ Safely make a range of craft items using natural materials

✔️ Facilitate how to make a range of different items using natural materials, increasing your knowledge of what works and what doesn’t

✔️ Choose materials, techniques, and tools appropriate to the task in hand, age and stage of the learner

The Forest School Activities Training

Our foundation training course comes with lifetime access to over 100 step by step inspirational videos and resources.
Designed for teachers and practitioners. Single modules are £47 +vat or save £100 when you buy the 8 module bundle

Whom you learn from matters

I'm Marina Robb

I'm the Founder and Managing Director of Circle of Life Rediscovery Community Interest Company and The Outdoor Teacher Ltd, and a qualified teacher with over 30 years experience in outdoor learning and nature connection, and a leading Forest School endorsed trainer and practitioner. I'm a national expert in nature based education and therapeutic interventions and my aim is to share my knowledge and experience with teachers and others wishing to work outside the classroom. I've pioneered nature programmes within the health sector for my work with teenagers, families and young people with mental health issues, disabilities, dementia and early psychosis.  

I'm the co-author of ‘Learning with Nature’ a must-have book for Forest School & Outdoor practitioners, and ‘The Essential Guide to Forest School and Nature Pedagogy’ which contains everything you need to know from theory to practice.

I'm also the host of The Wild Minds Podcast.

Complete the full course and you’ll qualify for Forest School Liability Insurance

Birnbeck Insurance is the UK's leading provider of specialist liability insurance for Forest School and Outdoor Learning Practitioners. As such, the firm has approved our Forest School Activities Online Training Course, which means when you complete your training, you’ll be eligible for their Forest School Liability Insurance.
Contact Birnbeck for a quote

money back

14 day Guarantee

Risk free

14 Days Money Back Guarantee

If you are not happy with the course, you can contact us with an explanation and claim a full refund within 14 days.

laptops and tablets

Know that your course is available on all devices

The Forest School Activities Online Training is mobile friendly and available on all devices.

If you have an iPhone, you can download the 'Teachable' app from the Apple Store and download the videos onto your phone.


When does the course start?

If you are paying in full, you will get access to all 8 modules and all bonus materials as soon as your purchase is complete.

How long do I have access to the course?

You will have lifetime access to the course! Unlimited access to the lessons and videos for as long as you like, across all your devices.

Is my tutor qualified?

Yes, Marina Robb is an author and UK Forest School Association Endorsed Trainer and has been training Forest School Leaders since 2011. She has been working with groups in nature since 1995 and you can read more here.

Our organisation can’t pay using a credit or debit card – can we still buy the course?

Yes, we understand that many schools and other organisations can’t pay by card – contact us and we can send you an invoice to pay us by bank transfer in UK Sterling, Euros or Dollars. We can also accept cheques from UK bank accounts.

Can I access the course on my mobile?

Yes, the course can be accessed on all devices. If you have an iPhone, you can also download the free ‘Teachable’ app from the Apple Store and complete the course using the app, downloading any videos you like onto your device.

What if I am unhappy with the course?

If for some reason you are not happy with the course, contact us in writing within your first 14 days for a full refund. You will need to include an explanation of why you want the refund.

Does this course qualify me to run Forest School sessions?

This course is not a qualification but is Certified by The Outdoor Teacher and based on Marina's experience and expertise in this field.
All practitioners in the UK need to follow health and safety law, which requires us to provide risk assessments and be competent to deliver activities. Teachers for example are already qualified already to take their practice outdoors but are likely to need a course like ours to get the practical skills in place.
The Level 3 Forest School training and Forest School programmes (long term) are an educational approach and the training is excellent. If you intend to offer long-term forest school programmes, then I would recommend you doing the qualification.
We have a page about Outdoor Learning Myths and a recent webinar where these issues are addressed:

How is this course different from the Level 3 Training?

This training resource does not give you a formal qualification in Forest School Leadership.

It has been designed at the same standard and beyond as a Level 3, by Marina Robb, an endorsed Forest School Association Trainer with 30 years experience. The course aims to enable and equip people with the practical delivery of Forest School-based activities to a high competency, with all the correct health and safety and pedagogy weaved through the course.  

There is no requirement to have a Forest School Qualification to take children out of doors to learn and play. As a teacher or practitioner, you are legally obliged to have risk assessments in place and insurance relevant to practice offered.

How many hours is the course?

This is a self-paced course so you work in your own time from pre-recorded materials and videos with 2 additional live webinars. The course is organised into the seasons so designed to be worked though over the calendar year.
We estimate that it will take a minimum of 36 hours to complete the course but you will also need to factor in time to practice the activities on top of this. 

We don't have access to a woodland - can we do these activities in a playground or park?

Yes, you can. Whether you are near a woodland, park or school playground - all the activities can be adapted for different circumstances.

We have run activities using fire, tools, games, wild food, crafts, swings & ropes, shelters in school yards and playgrounds.

It does take more preparation and consideration of equipment. If you wanted to make fires, you would either designate a small green area of the playground for this purpose or use a fire bowl to lift the fire off the ground. We have also taken many groups on short walks throughout the seasons to gather some plants for many activities.

Posts can be put up to replace trees, so that children can still set up various rope bridges or constructions and with a little thinking you can easily set up a rope swing and tarpaulin shelters.

In schools we often ask parents to contribute a log for our wood pile and ask for help to bring in useful materials we may need over the year.

Can I share my course with my colleagues?

No - the license is granted for 1 user to view the contents of the course. This access must not be shared with any other person and only the named user will receive the certificate.

See next question for bulk licencing queries.

Can we purchase multiple licenses for our staff team?

Yes, please contact us for bulk purchasing discounts. We can set up the user accounts for you and send you access codes and you can pay by invoice

Do I get a certificate?

Yes, all our courses come with a ‘Certificate of Completion’ from The Outdoor Teacher Ltd.

How can we contact you if we have a question?

Yes feel free to call or email us with any questions - our contact details are on the contact page.

Our commitment to Nature & People:

The Outdoor Teacher, alongside its sister organization Circle of Life Rediscovery CIC aim to transform health, education and family through nature.

We are whole-heartedly concerned about the safeguarding of future generations, human and non-human alike, and the growing understanding of reciprocity between humans and nature. Whilst we are advocates for all people accessing nature and its benefits, we know that this is only healthy if we prioritise the care for the natural world and address issues of equality.

The Outdoor Teacher is working towards becoming a certified B-Corp. Certified B Corps are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. We aim to be part of this community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using businesses as a force for good.

We are using Monzo Business Banking which is listed as an ethical bank:

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