I’m sure you already know from previous ‘booky’ posts that we love a good Julia Donaldson & Alex Scheffler collaboration in the Reed household. Whilst out shopping just before Christmas we stumbled across the new Stick Man sound book and took it straight to the till.
This story is enchanting. It tells the tale of the poor Stick Man who is whisked away from his family in all manner of catastrophes, wondering if he’ll ever see them again. I’ll leave it up to you to find out if he does but remember guys, this is a kid’s book … There’s always a happy ever after!
The Forestry Commission were clearly as spellbound by this lovely story as we were because they have unveiled a plethora of Stick Man trails in many of their woodland areas around the country. You can find your nearest here. Our local spot is Westonbirt Aboretum and luckily we have annual passes so we decided to set off with my sister and her two boys on our forest adventure.
When we arrived we bought a Stick Man activity pack from the Welcome Building for £3 and Oliver was excited to unveil the contents. Lots of worksheets to complete on the trail and at home, a guide, a pencil, a crayon for the bark rubbings and some pipe cleaners so that we could make our own Stick Man to take home. These were a lovely touch that are great for children from 3+, I’d say. They were slightly above Harry & Darcey’s comprehension but they liked the colourful pictures!
Around the trail you’re on the lookout for the colourful Scheffler illustrations with the different Stick Man characters on which show you’re on the right track. Further along each point are activity boards which encourage you to build a nest, make a tower, count different animals and really engage with your beautiful surroundings. Oliver loved spotting the pictures & explaining to Harry & Darcey what to do next!
When we neared the end of the trail, Oliver, Harry & Darcey did a little exploring in the trees and loved stomping in the leaves and splashing in the mud. At Westonbirt, the trail is in the Old Arboretum so no dogs are allowed in this section which is helpful for nervous children (fortunately, this doesn’t apply to any of ours!).
Although we’d skipped the rain, three little sets of tired legs needed refuelling so we stopped in the on site café for a yummy cake before setting off home. The children loved the adventure, and we had great fun collecting Forest Treasure for Oliver to show his school friends tomorrow!
I’d thoroughly recommend any of the trails the Forestry Commission put on. Their Gruffalo’s Child trail last winter was equally as good and is a lovely way to spend an afternoon in the fresh air! Adult entry is £6 during the winter season and children under five are free so the expense is minimal. I’m now intrigued to see who we might find in the forest next winter!