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Thereâ€™s a great tradition of forest monsters in myths and fairy stories, from the big bad wolf in Little Red Riding Hood to todayâ€™s favourite, the Gruffalo. Now itâ€™s time to create your own forest monster, just in time for Halloween.
Autumn is the best season for forest crafts, with so many materials at your disposal, from pine cones and fallen leaves to acorns, bracken and even some late flowers. If you are stuck for an activity this half term, get the kids out in the forest and have a â€œbuild a forest monsterâ€ competition. Mums and dads must enter too!Â
Weâ€™ve put together a few ideas to get you started and even included some of our own creations. When you have built your forest monsters, send them to us and weâ€™ll include a gallery of the scariest monsters right here on Forestipedia.
Here are some tips about what to gather from the forest. Once you get out there, of course, the childrenâ€™s imaginations will take over and they will have ideas far more off the wall than anything we can come up with here.
â€¢ Sticks for arms, legs and bodies
â€¢ Twigs for hair, eyebrows, fingers and toes
â€¢ Ferns, bracken and leaves for cloths or fur
â€¢ Half opened sweet chestnuts for eyes â€“ or as body fur â€“ be careful, they are very prickly
â€¢ Pine cones, nuts and acorns for eyes, nose or body
â€¢ Pine needles or moss for hair
â€¢ Late flowers for decoration â€“ even monsters should look their best
â€¢ Berries for eyes (and fake blood!)
Berry smiles for this monster
You can keep it truly rustic and build your monster in the forest â€“ perhaps leave it peeping from behind a tree to scare the next people who wander along.
Or put all your gathered goodies into a bag and head for somewhere warm. This gives the added benefit of being able to introduce some additional materials. Set out a table with a protective cloth and put together:
â€¢Â Paints and brushes
â€¢Â Pairs of craft eyes
â€¢Â Felt tip pens
â€¢Â Plenty of paper
â€¢Â Glue and adhesive tape
Now, mum and dad can have a coffee and relax â€“ or, much more fun, get stuck in and create your own forest monster!
Fangtastic leaf monster
Head out onto the forest this half term and do some monster making. Itâ€™s a great way to fill a happy day at half term, get the children out in the fresh air, teach them about nature and celebrate Halloween. Send them to us via Facebook or Twitter using #forestmonsters and weâ€™ll feature the best monsters in a monster gallery
Our Forest Rangers will be running Halloween activities for children over half term at all our locations, taking them out in the forest and coming back to the Forest Retreat for some craft activities. We will see if we can persuade them to post some of their masterpieces in our gallery.
Donâ€™t forget to send us your forest monster pictures too. Happy monster making!
Let your imagination go wild!