Are you between 4 and 8 years old? Then this trail is for you! Follow the route and do what the animals do in the Amsterdamse Bos. Below you will find short assignments, both written and spoken.
Would you like to discover more? Then get a bag with seasonal assignments and extra play material at De Boswinkel.
Hi sweet children,
Welcome to the Adventure Trail. We are the animals and plants of the Amsterdamse Bos. We invite you on a journey of discovery into our life in the Forest. The squirrel and marten are your first guides. Do you dare to climb and scavenge with us?
Dear adult companions,
Each task can be done multiple times. Stay on the paths of the route with the children. Marvel kindly: let plants, flowers, fruits and animals be where they want to be. At the De Boswinkel, you can rent a backpack with this season's special scavenger hunt.
Rub your hands for a moment. Prick your ears. Stand on your toes with your arms forward. Make yourself long and agile, and grow a long tail. Do you smell the forest? Come on, let’s make ourselves invisible. We jump on our toes among the young trees on the path to the climbing branches. Can you climb like a squirrel or marten?
2 Winter wren
There is only one forest bird smaller than me. But I am the wren of the forest. From my high throne I can hear and see everything very well, and I sing about it. Come and sit very quietly in the circle. The second-smallest will sit on my throne. Make yourselves tiny, with your little wings close to your body. Keep your eyes and ears open.
Can you hear and see the other birds and animals around you? The wren on the throne can tell you what they heard or saw.
Quack away those wings and tails and grow some flippers between your hands and toes. Bend your knees for a moment. Croak, well done! Your thighs are strong enough.
Make three frog jumps to warm up. We will now cross the frog pool. Are you ready? Hip go up the stones. Yes, use those front legs! You can sit quietly on a stone to see if you see a tasty fly or mosquito. But not too long, because the heron, marten or fox could see you.
So I jump back into the forest to find a big fat snail. See you later!
Zzz buzz, we are insects and we are very neat animals. Wash your antennae with your front legs for a bit, so you can smell better. Clean your pretty eyes too, so you can see colours and movements better.
Rub all wrinkles out of your wings with your middle pair of front legs and clean your abdomen with your hind legs. Are you warmed up, neat enough and ready? Flutter or fly along the path and enjoy what you smell and see along the way.
I have been growing in this place for almost 100 years. I am the beech tree. I have plenty of time for you and all the animals that come to visit me. I’m never in a hurry. My branches and leaves grow towards the sun. With my roots I hold on to the earth, because I don't want to get blown over.
Can you walk on my boardwalk without falling over? You may walk slowly if you like.
Come and sit on a bench. What do you see on my trunk, on my branches and between my roots? Can you hear something in the branch song I am rustling for you?
I am the salamander, and I am lost. I'm looking for my friends in the water. Without water, nothing can grow. Not me, not the forest and not you.
Hey! I smell water, over there by that little bridge. Look at the stream. Can you see the bottom? Do you see something swimming or floating around? Would the water be warm enough to swim or would it be better to stay on the bank?
Bye folks I'm off. Have fun on your journey of discovery.
'Tick-tock-tick-tick-tick. Honey, where are you? Here I am.' You can hear my strong beak drumming on the trees. Further on, my sweetheart ruffles back an answer. But you don't usually see us. I am the woodpecker and I climb up the trunk of a tree. How do I do that? Look at your thumbs. My claws have two thumbs each and I also lean on my long stiff tail.
Ha, I smell an insect, it is hiding under the bark of the tree. Tail against the tree and tap! With my big strong beak I peck away the bark. Lick, swallow! That was a tasty morsel. My love and I don't need this birdhouse. We carve a new nest in a tree every year. When our hatchlings are so big that they no longer fit, we fly out. Then other birds, or occasionally a pine marten, move in immediately. Sometimes they even hibernate in the nest during winter.
Which bird are you?
I am flat, black and as small as a pencil tip. Yet I am the most dangerous beast of the forest; the tick. With my eight legs, I can climb super fast.
First up along tall grass. When I feel something warm passing by, I drop onto the animal or human. Then I climb further up that leg or arm until I find a thin, warm piece of skin. I bite whoever I catch. I drink a little blood and sometimes pass on Lyme disease. When I am full of blood I drop again, hide, shed and climb a little higher each time. Do you dare to fall into the arms of an adult from a small height?
To all adults listening: do you or your child have a tick after visiting the outdoors? Remove the tick carefully with tick tweezers. Make sure nothing of the tick remains. Destroy the tick and disinfect the wound properly. Keep a record of where and when the tick bit. See a doctor if the patient develops a fever or a red ring around the bite within two weeks. Tell the doctor where the tick was located.
9 Soil critters
Welcome, welcome. Would you also like a bite of rotten leaves or damp, dead wood? We soil critters eat that and turn it into fertile soil. Just by pooping. There are big poopers like snails, millipedes and earthworms. And with small poopers, like woodlice and springtails. Feel the tree trunks lying here. What do you think; which log do we find to be the tastiest?
There are also predators like centipedes, spiders and some beetles. Shall we run away together like a millipede, a woodlouse, or a group of springtails?
We are the mushrooms and we are full of secrets. We keep invisible spores in our hats and scatter them in the wind. Each spore knows half a secret story for the forest. The spore grows and makes a lot of fungal threads underground to pass on that half story. Where they meet fungal threads with the other half of the story, another new mushroom grows. And each kind of mushroom has another secret.
Do you also have a secret story for the forest? Just climb on one of the wooden mushrooms and whisper it into the hat. The little mushrooms in the forest break quickly. Watch them carefully and don't touch them.
Oh little hedgehogs, are you tired from the long walk? I have a little house under these branches. Come and have a rest. Just roll yourselves into a ball; retract your little spines and paws, close your eyes and put both your wrists over your noses. Can you smell and hear the forest around you?
Dream along about the walk I take at night. When the sun is set, I shuffle through the forest and sniff around. Do I smell something tasty? I like earthworms with some fruit, a bulky beetle, a toadstool or a tasty snail. Sometimes I also smell another hedgehog, then I am very curious to see if we can be friends
Will you dare to walk along my soft hedgehog paths with your eyes almost closed? Watch out on the paved human-made path, you have to keep your eyes open and be careful when crossing.
I am the snail and I slide on one foot, or is it my belly? My mouth is a kind of rasp at the top of my foot. That way I can eat nicely when I walk. I make a lot of slime. Because of that I glide a bit easier and my mouth and foot stay healthy and moist.
I have 4 stalks on my head: 2 stalks with my eyes and 2 with my nose-fingers. Those also help me feel and smell where I am going. Because I want to smell and feel everything well, I always sway a bit.
When I am scared I make myself round and big. Then I pull all my stalks in. As soon as I feel safe again I make myself long and thin. Then I like to know what's going on around me.
Now you make yourself round. Now make yourself very long. Try swinging up over this snail trail on your belly. Great work!
About the Adventure Trail
The Amsterdamse Bos is one of the largest urban forests in the world. A nature reserve of almost 1,000 hectares full of trees, plants and animals, where nearly 1.5 million people visit every year.
The Adventure Trail introduces children to nature in a playful way. They can explore on their own, using the short assignments via the QR code on the signs along the way or with in-depth seasonal tours available in De Boswinkel. A different tour is available for each season with matching assignments. The educational material was developed by Jitske Hallema of 'De Ontwikkeling - Natuureducatie'.
The Adventure Trail was devised in a workshop together with children, teachers, a forester of the Amsterdamse Bos and the agencies Zandraket Natuurspeeltuinen and Aardrijk. The trail has been inspected and certified according to the Attractions and Games (Commodities Act) Decree. The Beleefpad was made possible by a subsidy from the Province of Noord-Holland.