Children rubbing bark in Eppring ForestOur home ed group of children and parents sat on logs in a clearing. They had agreed to spend a good minute in total silence listening to the wood around them: the rush of wind through branches, the pink call of a chaffinch and the low growl of an airplane. It was a magical moment.

This is just one of the activities on a sensory we took in Epping Forest on 9th January. Its purpose was to help the children enjoy and experience the forest to the full, using their different senses in ways that were memorable and would alert them to the joy of the moment.

With this in mind, they were invited to:

– make a pot-pourri of scented herbs

– walk through thick fallen leaves, oozing mud and a shallow water channel

– make rubbings on tree bark

– look high up into the canopy with the help of a mirror or look down close to the ground with a magnifying glass

– fill an egg-box with whatever they could find that was smooth, rough, soft, spiky, crunchy or hard

– create wind-chimes from natural and everyday objects

They were free to approach these tasks as felt most comfortable to them, knowing their parents were close by, yet able to venture out to make their own discoveries in a wide yet intimate space that drew them on.


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