Forest School Awards
The family programme for Learning Without Walls

A partnership between NIFSA and the Dufferin Foundation at Clandeboye
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Family Zone - inspiring family outdoor play together Find out more about the Forest School Family Scheme

Become a NIFSA Forest School Family today!

We want you to get out and enjoy playing with your family for free in your wonderful local Council Parks. You do not need any special equipment or have any specialised training to become a NIFSA Forest School Family. Research shows that the biggest epidemic of our time is not going to be obesity but it is in fact simply not getting enough sunlight! By registering to become a NIFSA Forest School Family you will get great ideas for games and fun activities to do in your local Council Park. Let's get out there today and start playing and exploring.

Activities you and your family can do together.

You do not need any specialised equipment or knowledge to take part. We want you to enjoy your time together as a family and explore the wonderful natural world around you.

Click on this link to find great outdoor activity ideas.

Nature is Good for You activity ideas

Register as a Forest School Family for free and get regular Newsletters and Certificate.

What do you need to do to become a NIFSA Forest School Family?

Register your interest by visiting the simple Registration Page below. When you do this, we will send you a confirmation e-mail and give you some ideas to get you started.

We want you to get out on at least SIX different occasions. Every time you go out, take a picture of what you did and send it to us. When you have been out SIX different times, we will send you a NIFSA Forest School Family Certificate for you to print out.

Find out more about the NIFSA Forest School Family

NIFSA is holding regular events to promote the NIFSA Forest School Family scheme in participating Council areas. Please check the Forest Schools Diary section on the Home Page for further information. You can search by selecting "Forest School Family event".


Councils that are participating in the NIFSA Forest School Family scheme:
Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council | Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council logo

Blind as a Bat!
Resources needed:
Blindfold x 1

Halloween is a time when kids think about spooky castles, ghosts and flying bats.
Why not do some activities that involve using a blindfold...

Become a tree hugger - this activity can take place anywhere where there are a group of trees around. Blindfold your son/daughter and then spin them around so as they are not sure what direction they might be facing. Guide them, this is important as they will not be able to see and could trip or fall if not taken by the hand, to a tree somewhere. They must get to know that tree - are there any branches, what height are they, how wide is the tree, can you hug it or is too big, are there any holes in it and so on. Lead your son/daughter back to your starting point, spin them around again and then ask them to find the tree that had been learning all about.

Feely Bag - go for a walk in your garden or local park. As you walk gather interesting objects that feel strange, smell funny, are soft or hard, make a noise if you scrunch them. Feathers, sticks with moss growing on them, toadstools, pieces of bark, pine cones and so on. Blindfold your son or daughter and ask them to take an object from the bag and identify it. If they get really good they might be able to identify trees from the different shaped leaves, for example oak tree.

Zap stick! - this game is about being quiet and listening. Blindfold your son/daughter and place an object that you have to capture e.g. a pine cone or stick. They will have a stick with which they can point with in their hands. Move a good distance away from them. You need to walk quietly up to your son/daughter and try and get the object without them hearing or sensing you. If they hear or sense you and point the stick directly at you, you zapped and have lost.

Crunch time - hang an apple or apples from a tree or clothes line. Blindfold your son/daughter and direct them towards the hanging apple(s). They will need to use all their skills to take big bites out of the apple(s). Why not have a race with them and see who wins.