The wild wood adventure

A one day activity for 8-12 year olds, ( School years 4, 5, & 6).

Oaken, the woodland-lore keeper needs help to find the lost keys to his chest. He asks the tribes of children to set out on a search. Will they be able to solve the tasks ahead of them and complete the quest?...


This one day wild play adventure and team challenge was designed by Wild Things to;

a) nurture respect for, and enjoyment of the natural world, through fast paced exhilarating experiences in the natural environment,

b) to encourage children to work as a team and to build co-operative skills in the solving of challenges,

c) to provide adventurous play opportunities such as cooking on a fire, building dens, and attempting low rope challenges, in a supervised setting,

d) to nurture self-esteem and confidence through these activities, by providing challenges and the opportunities to learn new skills and try new experiences,

e) to spark the imagination through entering a story in an adventurous setting.


1. Meeting Oaken. The children arrive in the wood where they meet Oaken, the woodland lore keeper. He is looking for help to find the lost keys to his chest, keys that were kept by two tribes of children who used to live in the woods. Armed with ancient maps, the children set off in two groups, to find the tribes old settlements and to
start their quest.

2. Re-creating the settlements. At the old settlement sites the children need to work together to re-build the shelters that have all but vanished. It is here that they also need to make a totem flag for the tribe that they will become a part of for the day, and to use face paints and materials to decorate themselves. With this done they return to Oaken’s camp where he is waiting to perform a ‘visioning’ ceremony which may help them on their quest. When strange characters loom out of the smoke of his cauldron the children have their first clues as to where they may find the keys, but they are going to need to use their maps and remember Oaken’s words of advice!

3. Crossing the fire-swamp. Smoke drifting from the woods leads them from a path to the remains of an under-earth shelter, the camp of an elder of the woods. Her trade in making herbal medicines has been interrupted by the trouble makings of another wood dweller-Random Jack. She realises that she may be able to help them find the key, but only if they can help her to un-do Jack’s mischief, and recover her work tools from the other side of the fire swamp which lies below her camp. The children are going to have to look out for each other as they find ways across the swamp, be it by walkways, rope swings, scramble nets or stepping stones. If they make it across they might find something they need...

4. Lunch. After the first stage of the quest is completed it’s time to re-fuel!

5. Games with Random Jack. Ready to set out again, the maps and clues lead the children to a clearing where they find a bell. When rung, it will summon Random Jack-the notorious mischief maker of the woods. Jack might well agree to help them, but only on his terms! Will they risk rolling his dice of chance to play one of his games? If so, they are going to need to put all their heads together to find a way to complete the impossible water challenge, or maybe they’ll need to trust each other to walk the tight-rope circle of faith.... But will Jack stick to his promise and help them find a key?

6. Opening the chest, and Bird and animal diaries. Re-united, the two tribes will hopefully have between them what they need to open Oaken’s chest. Amongst his books are two old diaries. Oaken now leads them back to their settlements to follow the last diary entries of the Bird and the Animal tribes.

7. Closing fire. Oaken invites both tribes to join him at a small celebrational fire before it’s time to leave. Here they work in groups to get things ready. They will learn to cook their “dough sticks” on the fire and of course to eat them!
Every one will also need to make a woodland clay totem, before the two tribes go off to prepare their own rhythmic woodland performance for the final celebration.

Evaluation comments for The Wild Wood Adventure:

- “Expertly organised” ( Heathlands Primary )

- “They can’t stop talking about their experiences. Voted as the best trip ever.”
( Ollerton Juniors )

- “I have never seen the class work so very well together as a team and listen to each others views ... a number of children who struggle academically ‘blossomed’ during this visit” ( Ollerton Juniors )