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Muddy Faces

Forest School kit recommendations

We asked the experts - you! Forest Schools, Early Years settings and outdoor practitioners at schools shared their recommendations for the must-have bits of Forest School kit.

We'd love to add yours - what is your essential bit of kit? What earns its keep in its multitude of uses? What can you not do without in your time outdoors? Email

Outdoor Hub

Top 3 bits of kit

1. 4 by 4 tarp shelter- large enough to fit a group and a small fire.
Without it, on a rainy day you can have no session. Makes the wood look cosy and the base clear to participants. I also use a small one for pram parking or washing/ craft area etc.

2. Coloured wool- for Nordic weaving / friendship bracelets / talking sticks / magic wands / gnomes.
If you have the local football team colours / common favourite colours, that can help to engage all children.

3. Wood slices - for name tags / noughts and crosses pieces / making animal faces / nailing and adding string to / Christmas decorations / gluing smaller pieces onto / party bag make-our-owns.
I don’t have enough time to saw my own as I work with 160 children a week so its great for me to be able to buy them ready-cut and sized.

Ellie Byram, Two Hoots Outdoor Learning

Top kit recommendation

Collection of natural objects to inspire people to collect similar.

Caroline Denny, All seasons Forest School, Stroud

My kit list for secondary aged students

A large tarpaulin that covers at least 5 meters squared.

Secateurs, whittling knives (some with pointed ends and some blunt ended), palm drills, bow saw, loppers (long handled and short handled), knife safety gloves, axe, spoon knives, wool, a well-equipped first aid kit with major bleed and burn kits.

From Alison Martyn

Early Years outdoor recommendations

In Early Years, we always have the following -

Kelly Kettle for hand-washing and warm drinks, magnifying glasses and binoculars for ID, hammer and nails for simple tool work.

Always phone, first aid, spare clothes and food for cooking or snacks. Water and our reflection fox!

Argh - nearly forgot the fabulous Dragon Sneeze!! Enabler of an Early Years fire, success guaranteed!!

Sarah Rix, MilfordPreSchoolPlus

FORESTed kit list (with budget)

Mark Stutt of FORESTed has put together this brilliant kit list which is even costed out showing that you can get everything you need to start a well resourced project for around £1500 (prices may have changed since the list was made - you'll need to do your own research on this).

Read More about FORESTed kit list (with budget)
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