Why not host your own forest school birthday party? Follow our how-to guide and transform your back garden or local space into an outdoor birthday party they will never forget.
It’s no secret that children thrive outdoors, so if your child has a birthday coming up why not save the expense of hiring a venue or entertainment and host the party yourself? You can use any local green space or your back garden. There is plenty of stunning woodlands to choose from across the UK. Pick somewhere local to you here. Perfect for children that adore adventure, nature, and wildlife.
We have lots of ideas to give you inspiration when creating the perfect forest school birthday party. All it takes is a little extra planning and lots of imagination!
Give your party a structure
Most outdoor birthday parties are roughly two to three hours long so you’ll want to fill this time as effectively as possible and keep everyone happily engaged. First of all set the scene. This will depend on the age group of the children and the theme that you have chosen. A good idea is to tell a story, or layout a scenario to follow. Get everyone excited about the forest school activities you have planned.
We find that a good party pattern typically goes like this; Activity, play, activity, snack or small meal, activity/games, cake or toasting marshmallows around a campfire, and singing Happy Birthday!
It’s your little one’s day so if it isn’t a surprise for them why not get them involved in the planning? Let them discover activities they would love to try. They’re sure to get everyone excited to take part!
Choose a theme for your forest school birthday party
We love a theme! It can be really simple, literally, a ‘forest/woodland’ theme would work but it just helps you to guide your day, pick/make decorations, choose your food, plan activities and gives that personal touch to the party.
Pick something your child really loves. Julia Donaldson’s books such as The Gruffalo, Superworm or Room on the Broom lend themselves really well as a theme. There is a tonne of ideas on Pinterest to get you started if your little one is a Gruffalo mega fan. Including recipes, games, crafts, and party gifts.
An ‘Alice in Wonderland‘ theme is a quirky choice that you can get really imaginative with and tailer to older children if you set it out like a garden tea party. Superheroes and Princesses are also really popular with children.
Whatever you choose remember it doesn’t even have to be that specific. If your child loves Lego for example base your activities around building and crafting. All that matters is that your child will connect and have fun with that theme.
Outdoor birthday party decorations
Here’s where the creatives amongst you can showcase your talents! Of course, it will totally depend on your chosen theme but here are a few decoration ideas to get you started when planning an outdoors forest school birthday party.
Build a teepee
When it comes to decorations you really can’t go wrong with a teepee. They are fairly easy to make (3-4 poles tied together with a piece of cloth, sheet, or tablecloth). Add fairy lights or pom-pom garlands for extra sparkle and Instagram worthy photo ops.
You can buy some really fancy ones. Remember though if haven’t got the budget don’t worry just get creative with what you do have. The best thing about children is their wonderful and vibrant imaginations. They will love hiding out in a teepee whatever it looks like!
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Make it magical
Fairies and elves and magic, oh my! Forest party screams fairies, right? and what a simple way to decorate. String fairy lights around your space or hang plenty of bunting in the area.
If you’re feeling crafty decorate a wired garden arch with twinkling lights, flowers or leaves and place it where guests need to pass to enter your enchanted forest. These can look really effective and great for photos to remember the special day.
Add toadstools, gnomes, and woodland creatures into the party space for that extra touch.
Get personalised forest birthday party themed decorations on Etsy
If you’re not as creative, super busy, or just want to spend more time planning the activities, fear not. For personalised and beautifully unique decorations try Etsy.
We have also picked out a few of our favourite decoration packages below, you can buy these online to give your party that added sparkle.
Activities you can include in your forest school birthday party
Create your own scavenger hunt
How charming are these adventure hunt bags from cleanandscentsible? You can print directly onto the bag like the above picture so that your party guests have something they can collect all of their treats and goodies in.
You can download the printable here to print directly onto a paper bag or onto paper/card and glue onto the front. Or get really creative and design your own? You could even hide treasures and prizes in the area and list those instead. A great way to get children connecting with nature and learning as well as playing.
However, you design this activity to suit your party so make sure you have lots of prizes at the ready!
Make firefly lanterns
If you hold a dusk/ early evening party, these firefly lanterns are a great and creative activity to have fun making.
All you’ll need is some battery-powered fairy lights, mason jars, paint, and ribbons and you’re all set.
They look really effective and magical, as well as a creative gift for children to keep. You could even pretend they are dream jars from the ‘BFG’ by Roald Dhal and encourage children to write their dreams on the front. View a video tutorial here.
Materials needed to make firefly lanterns
There’s a hole in my bucket game
Struggling to think of any games? This is a brilliant game for those children who are full of energy! Lot’s of fun and very little cost.
Split the group into two teams, give each team a bucket with holes in the bottom and a container of water. Leave an empty and intact bucket several feet away.
When you shout go team members use the bucket with holes in and fill it with water, balance it on their head, run to the intact bucket, empty their water into it, and run back to their team to repeat the race. The team with the most water in the intact bucket wins.
A great way to promote teamwork and run off some energy! Encourage children with prizes or medals. Top Tip: Get really creative and use slime, dye the water different colours, or fill it with plastic bugs!
Recommended products for a hole in my bucket:
Have a campfire to finish
There is no better activity to end a woodland or forest themed party than a campfire! Especially if the UK weather does its thing, it can get a bit chilly. Get all cosy around a campfire and toast marshmallows or make smores. A great party favour is smores kits where you can put all you need to make one into a clear bag. Etsy sells gorgeous bag toppers to make them extra special or you could design and print your own ones to match your theme.
Recommended products for the perfect outdoor birthday party campfire:
Want a hassle-free outdoor birthday party? Then try a professional forest school birthday party provider
Depending on what you and your child are looking for in a birthday party package, there are many variations of forest school birthday parties.
It’s not too difficult to find a few different forest schools that offer parties; what is difficult is finding one in your area. A quick search engine query is all you need. There are 42 forest schools that are recognised as forest school providers by the forest school association. But they aren’t the only forest schools that follow the forest school ethos or have qualified leaders. As such, you may need to search around a bit to find the right place.
Some forest school parties are run through qualified forest schools, and others simply take place in woodland areas but the host may not have recognised training in the forest school ethos.
To give you a helping hand we have found a selection of companies that host birthday parties and use the forest school ethos. We’ve come across forest schools that host outdoor birthday parties from Northop, Warrington, Delamere, Chew Stoke, and Frome.
Forest School birthday party hosts
Some companies that we have found are listed below. All of these companies use the forest school ethos and run their own forest schools.
Earthwise, Bristol – Forest school birthday parties available in private woodlands in Chew Stoke or Frome. Earthwise’s parties are very child-led; they offer games, natural crafts, campfire snacks, and they also have a scramble net, rope swing, and a hammock.
Forest parties are priced at £160 for a half-day (which is 2 and a half hours). Price includes a snack cooked over a campfire. To ensure that children get the most from their experience they have limited their forest parties to a maximum of 12 children.
Forest Explorers, Delamere – Taking place in Delamere forest, Forest Explores offers forest school parties from ages 3 to 10+. They cater to fairies and wizards parties, den building parties, and simple forest fun parties. Forest Explorers even take caring for the environment a step further by offering plastic-free party bags! They are a plastic-free business.
Each party activity finishes by toasting marshmallows over a fire and drinking hot chocolate. Food is not included in party packages; however, the company are happy to let you use their heated classroom (which they will decorate very colourfully!) where you can serve your own catering at the end of your party.
Parties are £190 for up to 15 children. Maximum 15 children for ages 3-5 years old, and a maximum of 20 children ages 6-12 years old for some of their party themes. There is an additional child cost of £10 per child for the 6-12 age parties (for example, if you had 16 children aged 6-12, you’d pay £200, rather than the £190 price for the 15-child party). Party bags are £4.50 each.
Plas Derw Trust Ltd, Northop – Plas Derw Trust offer forest school birthday parties in several wooded locations to suit your needs. Their parties are available in Caerwys in North Wales, Wepre Park in Connahs Quay, and they are also looking into hosting in Chester.
Parties at Caerwys in North Wales cost £170 and are for children aged 6 to 11. There is a maximum of 12 children for these parties, which last three hours. Themes include Harry Potter, Woodland Fun, Magical Mischief, Superheroes, and Star Wars.
Parties at Wepre Park are also for 12 children, priced at £180. These parties are suitable for children ages 4 to 6 years old, and they last for two hours. Themes include fairies, pirates, dinosaurs, and a teddy bears picnic.
Types of activities you can expect during an outdoor forest school party
All forest school birthday parties are unique. Some are simple; offering children the chance to play, run, and explore the forest area. Others offer scavenger hunts, teddy bear searches, or campfire meals.
Forest fun parties are popular and include many of the types of activities you would expect from a regular forest school programme. Examples of these would be den building or making your own magic wand from twigs.
We have 12 free printable activity cards that are great to use during a forest school party! Download them here.
Whatever the type of forest school birthday party you go for, we’re sure your guests will not have seen anything like it before. We hope we have inspired you to host your own forest school party. Have you held an outside birthday party for your little one? How did it go? Let us know in the comments below.
Try these themed products to help you create the perfect outdoor birthday party: