Celebrating Samhain with The Children’s Forest

As the season’s turn and the clocks fall back we have witnessed more people gaining inspiration from The Children’s Forest. The charming stories and activities for the outdoors are divided into eight spells of the calendar Imbolc, Spring, Beltane, Summer, Lughnasa, Autumn, Samhain, Winter.

The book inspires a sense of awe and a deepening fascination with all things natural , a great antidote to an indoor life, and just what may be needed to encourage children out into the wilds as the weather becomes cooler.

We’re now entering Samhain (pronounced SOW-in or SAH-win), half way between the Autumn and Winter Equinox and considered the Celtic New Year, or what we now call Halloween or 31st October.

Kevin Crossley-Holland is a Carnegie medal-winning writer, winner of The Mal Peet Children’s Award at the East Anglian Book Awards, 2019, is a seasoned specialist in retelling folktales, British folklore and poet. Crossley-Holland, best known for the Arthur Trilogy, a fresh look at the legend of the round table, and is a fan of The Children’s Forest;

“The Children’s Forest may be the most joyful book I’ve ever come across. The fruit of many seasons of quiet research, writing, illustrating and assembling, this cornucopia of stories and songs, activities and fascinating information is as timely as it is beautifully produced, and from the moment you engage with it, you’ll be aware of its vision, its wisdom, and the crucial lifelines that connect us to the natural world.” Kevin Crossley-Holland

Glennie Kindred, author of Walking with Trees and other books on Earth wisdom and natural lore is also a fan of The Children’s Forest;

“This delightful and deeply connecting book is an inspiration and call to all, to immerse ourselves in the forest, amongst the trees and the plants that have so many gifts to share with us. It speaks from the intelligence of Nature, which makes this important landmark book a profound breath of fresh forest air. Herein lies a rich treasure of beauty, creativity, and understanding that encourages true deep connection with the natural world of the forest. At this time when so many are hearing the call to return to a deeper relationship with Nature, this book has something for us all, children and adults alike. I highly recommend it.“

Forest School teachers and Nature Connections have found this book an invaluable resource for keeping their sessions enervating. Jon Cree, Forest School Association  Director and ecological educator wrote of The Children’s Forest;

 “This book is full of seasonal nature-connecting activity that will help children rediscover our Celtic connections to the land in contemporary times. It will help create a sense our ‘place in space and time’, seasonally and in the ‘forest’ community, a pressing need in our changing times.”

Badger Forest School in Bristol made leaf cones this autumn, inspired by
The Children’s Forest

Celebrating Autumn

The Autumn Equinox brings a turning point in the year, when summer gives way to autumn and the nights begin to draw in.

It is the season of harvest – fruits, nuts and berries fill the hedgerows and birds and mammals prepare themselves for the colder months ahead.

The Children’s Forest by Dawn Casey, Anna Richardson and Helen D’Ascoli includes lots of seasonal activities, stories and crafting projects for autumn, including leaf sewing:

This and many more autumn-celebrating activities, songs and stories can be found in The Children’s Forest: Stories & songs, wild food, crafts & celebrations all year round.

The Children’s Forest

Cover of The Children's Forest

Now is the time of Lughnasa and the Rowan berries are ripe on the trees just waiting to be made into treasures such as the ones here. This is an extract from our new classic, The Children’s Forest, offering stories, songs, wild food, crafts and celebrations for all year round.

The Children’s Forest is a marvellous collection of practices and activities that will surely connect people, their places, wild neighbours, friends and families. The elements of this book are woven to produce a tapestry of belonging – any one of these threads can produce amazing results, together something magical emerges. 

Jon Young, author of Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature
Rowan Berries
  • The Children’s Forest engages children with nature through play and imagination in the forest.
  • Forest know-how through eight seasons for Forest School leaders, teachers and parents of pre-school and primary aged children.
  • Identify trees, plants and animals including tracking, foraging, wild plant recipes and crafts to make in the woods.
  • Gaelic stories, folklore, songs and imaginary journeys to share.
ivy leaves

A rich and abundant treasury in celebration of the forest, this book encourages children’s natural fascination with woodlands and their inhabitants. The authors have produced an enchanting book where imagination, story and play bring alive the world of the forest. Full of games, facts, celebrations, craft activities, recipes, foraging, stories and Forest School skills, The Children’s Forest is much more than a manual: it is an invitation.
Ideal for ages 5-12 it will also be enjoyed by adults, families and younger children.

Cover of The Children's Forest

The book is organised into the eight Celtic seasons of Imbolc, Spring, Beltane, Summer, Lughnasa, Autumn, Samhain and Winter. Within each chapter are the following sections: The life of the forest; Plant lore; Imaginary journey; Tree Lore; Activities, crafts and games; Animals; Celebration.

The appendices at the end of the book cover skills, safety, the Ogham alphabet, story sources and further resources.

Available to pre-order now. Sign up to our newsletter to receive 20% off.