Where The Wild Things Wander
If you go down to the wood's today, you're in for a big surprise!
Woods never cease to spark imaginations and we believe they are the world’s best playground, not just for fantasy but for inspiring a love of nature and to be somewhere to truly roam free.
The best bit is it’s free and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Surrounded by 500 acres of woodland, you can immediately step straight from your lodge into nature at Bluestone. As well as the designated nature trails through the resort, you’ll find a magical fairy village hidden in the trees and those with eagle eyes will spot the secret homes of Welsh hobbits tucked away among the leaves. Deep in the ancient, wooded valley surrounded by straight tall trunks and twisted gnarled roots, it’s easy to conjure up fanciful things and let your imagination run wild.
Free Range Fun is the Bluestone way – remember those halcyon days of play we all enjoyed when we were kids ourselves? Far away from screens and distractions, playing in the woods requires only a pair of wellies as you leave the normal, boring world behind. See life through your child’s eyes again and embrace the fun of getting messy, where there are no boundaries and there’s no limit to the worlds you can create.
And if you need some inspiration, we’ve got some great ideas for winter activities for children of all ages (and even the grown ups will love to play). Whether you want to build dens, spot wildlife, get creative or play games, we've got plenty of ideas to embrace your inner adventurer and help families enjoy the Bluestone woods and the great outdoors all year round.
Fantastic beasts and where to find them
Why not become a nature detective for a few hours and look out for our wildlife. While our badgers, foxes and owls tend to only come out in the darkness, it’s not uncommon to see hedgehogs, the occasional otter and all manner of birds including kingfishers, herons and woodpeckers. You can even meet the Bluestone Rangers and sign up to some of our organised activities. Find out more at Ranger HQ, our lakeside outpost dedicated to nature and wildlife on the resort. Or try these ideas:
Scavenger hunts are an exciting way to get children exploring the natural world. They are also a great way to add fun to family walks. The possibilities are endless. You can do seasonal scavenger hunts, searching for signs of spring or autumn treasures. How about a colour theme? Challenge younger children to look out for different colours in nature, while older children could track down different shades of one colour.
Leaf and bark rubbings (wood art)
Woods are full of natural craft materials. Keep your eyes peeled for fallen leaves, petals, sticks and pebbles, then get creative with some woodland art - this activity is perfect for the arty and creative types. You could build a tower out of twigs, make a pattern using colourful petals, or even make funny faces on the woodland floor. Maybe you could collect enough natural materials to write your name and take a picture.
Hide and seek
An absolute classic that kids love from an early age. Choose an area of the woodlands with lots of hiding spots and get really creative with your hiding places. Remember to have a safe word to shout if anyone gets lost!
Get them lost and test their navigation skills! Leading kids through orienteering games improves their navigational skills, builds teamwork and the ability to communicate and provides physical exercise. Most orienteering games utilise a course, which you’ll need to set out ahead of time, and the kids compete using a map to navigate their way through the course as fast as they can. Split the kids into small teams to keep the littler ones safe.
Away with the fairies
The best way to enter a fantastical world full of fairies and woodland secrets is to join one of our tours, complete with a real Welsh hobbit, for a truly magical experience. It’s a 90-minute interactive session will fill you with a sense of wonder and gives everyone the chance to be part of the magic. Or try these ideas:
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes!”
Here at Bluestone we have a mantra – get outside in all weathers and embrace the elements. Once you’ve done the hardest part of leaving the house and ditching the usual indoor routine – then you’re always rewarded with space and time where adventures and memories are waiting to be made. Pull on those wellies and get active in the woods which offer both shelter and endless possibilities for play.
Poohsticks is a game first mentioned in The House at Pooh Corner, a Winnie-the-Pooh book by A. A. Milne. It is a simple game which may be played on any bridge over running water; each player drops a stick on the upstream side of a bridge and the one whose stick first appears on the downstream side is the winner.
Build a den
Whether you're building a shelter to protect you from the elements or a secret hide where you can watch wildlife, den building is a fun activity the whole family can enjoy together. Why not bring along a blanket or mat and some things for inside the den like a torch - a perfect place for storytelling. And remember, only gather branches and sticks that have fallen to the ground. Please don't break them off trees - we like to look after our planet!
Sword fighting sticks
Find your favourite sword fighting stick by searching for the best fallen branch you can. Get rid of lumps, bumps and leaves and even add your own touches with rope to personalise it. Remember to play safe and avoid hurting the other person!