Family Outdoor Activities Online Course

Module 3: Tool Skills

girl with saw

Empower Your Children To Use Tools

Teach your children to use knives and tools safely for a range of crafting activities, and build trust and independence. Learn which woods are best for different activities and where to find them. 

You will learn how to make your own Palm Drills (hand held drills for children) and discover which are the best wood types to use and where to find them. 

We will show you how to make your own charcoal and turn it into a charcoal pencil using an elder branch and a tent peg.

What's Included in the Tool Skills Online Course for Families?

Tool Skills

  • 11 video lessons full of tips, ideas and essential safety knowledge designed for anyone who wants to work safely in the outdoors with tools. Learn how to use tools safely from knives to tent pegs, make your own palm drills and charcoal and use it to make a pencil from an elder branch.

Downloadable Resources:

  • 2 Risk and Benefit Assessments - Tools and Simple Woodland Crafts - feel confident in offering tips to use tools safely
  • Guides on Tool Maintenance and Best Woods for Crafting 
  • FSA UK Knife Law Guidance

Each module includes a 'Certificate of Completion' issued by The Outdoor Teacher

Family Outdoor Activities Online Course

The Family Outdoor Activities Course

Are you a parent looking for activities to enjoy as a family in the outdoors? This professional online course has 36 step by step Forest School inspired video lessons that mix fun and games with crafting and skills. Single modules are £29.99 +vat or save £20 when you buy the 4 module bundle

Get All 4 Modules For £99 +vat

Tool Skills Sample Lessons

Elder Pencils

In this video, we are going to use elder to make an elder pencil. We need to have our tent pegs at the ready to make the hole in the soft inner wood and can then put the charcoal that we made in the previous lesson inside the pencil. If we are going for the full pencil, we may want to finish it off with a knife but for younger children, the basic pencil is more than adequate.

Making Charcoal

We often make charcoal when we are wanting to do some art, or make elder pencils. Willow is best for drawing on paper but any type of wood will make charcoal. Ideally you would use knives for peeling the wood. With early years lots of people feel safer using a potato peeler. Either way follow your knife protocol when using sharp tools. Once again, as with creating char cloth, you will need an old tin, put two holes in it, willow, secateurs and a good fire.

Basic Whittling and Knives

In this video clip we go over basic principles of whittling a stick with a knife and talk about how to do this safely with young children. They might want to clean a stick by removing the bark to toast a marshmallow or just enjoy the empowering experience of learning to use a knife safely.

Buy Family Outdoor Activities Module 3: Tool Skills


Buy all 4 modules in our Family Outdoor Activities Online Training Course

 for £99 +vat and save £20


Henry Turner

Henry Turner

Parent & Home Educator

"Marina is the most wonderful instructor, she balances explaining the risks of forest crafts, as well as the opportunities for transdisciplinary learning with incredible insight and passion. The simplicity of instruction and the open narrative that is left by the videos has already empowered me to try new activities when in the woodland with our son."

Deborah Lewis
Deborah Lewis

Parent & Home Educator

"Such a great module to bring to my home classroom - it gave me the confidence to allow my kids to begin using knives and other tools. They quickly became independent in the use of these tools, created some cool if not whacky nature crafts, and I saw in them an enormous sense of achievement."

Margarida Pedrosa
Sinead Carroll

Parent and Early Years Practitioner

"Excellent and very informative course. The safety around using tools is explained in great detail which made me as a parent more confident in introducing tools to my 3 year old. Videos are very easy to understand and enjoyable and have given me so much enthusiasm for making the most of being outdoors. I would recommend this course to any parents."

What Will You Learn?

  • To safely use different hand tools for a range of applications with your family or group
  • To support your children's development of perseverance and risk management
  • To encourage the use and value of green woodwork
  • To cover all health and safety considerations

Buy Family Outdoor Activities Module 3: Tool Skills


Buy all 4 modules in our Family Outdoor Activities Online Training Course

 for £99 +vat and save £20

Marina Robb

About the Instructor

Marina Robb (Bsc; PGCE; MA; Msc; Author) is Founder and Managing Director of Circle of Life Rediscovery Community Interest Company and The Outdoor Teacher Ltd, both leading organisations that aim to transform education and health through nature.

Marina is co-author of ‘Learning with Nature’ (foreword by Chris Packham), a must-have book for Forest School & Outdoor practitioners, and ‘The Essential Guide to Forest School and Nature Pedagogy’ (foreword by David Sobel) which contains everything you need to know from theory to practice

Marina has more than 30 years experience in outdoor learning and nature connection. She provides a deep understanding of effective nature education at all levels and for a range of diverse backgrounds.

Marina is a qualified teacher (PGCE) and since 1989 has studied Environmental Education (MA), Environmental Management (BSc) and Social Research (MSc). She is a leading Forest School endorsed trainer and practitioner (UK and International). Her aim is to share her knowledge and experience with teachers and others wishing to work outside the classroom.

Read more

Satisfaction Guaranteed

If you are not happy with the course you can contact us with an explanation for a full refund within 30 days.

30 day money back guarantee
Family Outdoor Activities Online Course

The Family Outdoor Activities Course

Are you a parent looking for activities to enjoy as a family in the outdoors? This professional online course has 36 step by step Forest School inspired video lessons that mix fun and games with crafting and skills. Single modules are £29.99 +vat or save £20 when you buy the 4 module bundle

Get All 4 Modules For £99 +vat


The Forest School Activities Training

Our foundation training course comes with lifetime access to over 100 step by step inspirational videos and resources. Designed for teachers and practitioners. Single modules are £49.99 +vat or save £100 when you buy the 8 module bundle

Get All 8 Modules For £295 +vat

The Forest School Activities Training


When does the course start?

The course starts as soon as you register. You work at your own pace and you will receive a certificate when you complete.

How long do I have access to the course?

You will have lifetime access to the course! Unlimited access to the lessons and videos for as long as you like, across all your devices.

Is my instructor qualified?

Yes, Marina Robb is a parent of 3 children and a UK Forest School Association Endorsed Trainer and has been training Forest School Leaders since 2011. She has been working with groups in nature since 1995 and you can read more here.

Can I access the course on my mobile?

Yes, the course can be accessed on all devices. If you have an iPhone, you can also download the free ‘Teachable’ app from the Apple Store and complete the course using the app, downloading any videos you like onto your device.

What if I am unhappy with the course?

If for some reason you are not happy with the course, contact us in writing within your first 30 days for a full refund. You will need to include an explanation of why you want the refund.

We don't have access to a woodland - can we do these activities in a garden, playground or park?  

Yes, you can. Whether you are near a woodland or park or have an outside space or garden - all the activities can be adapted for different circumstances.  

These are also great activities to do on a family camping holiday and maybe your campsite will allow fires or you may need to use a fire bowl to lift the fire off the ground.

We have run activities using fire, tools, games, wild food, crafts, swings & ropes, shelters in school yards, playgrounds and parks.  

You will need permission to build a fire if you are not on your own property.

We have also taken many groups on short walks throughout the seasons to gather some plants for many activities.  

Posts can be put up to replace trees, so that children can still set up various rope bridges or constructions and with a little thinking you can easily set up a rope swing and tarpaulin shelters.

Can I share my course with my colleagues or friends?

No - the license is granted for 1 user to view the contents of the course. This access must not be shared with any other person and only the named user will receive the certificate and be able to answer the assessments.

Can we purchase multiple licenses for our staff team?

Yes, please contact us for bulk purchasing discounts. We can set up the user accounts for you and send you access codes and you can pay by invoice.

Do I get a certificate?

Yes, all our courses come with a ‘Certificate of Completion’ from The Outdoor Teacher Ltd. You can view a sample certificate HERE

How can we contact you if we have a question?

Yes feel free to call or email us with any questions - our contact details are on the contact page.

Our commitment to Nature & People: 

The Outdoor Teacher, alongside its sister organization Circle of Life Rediscovery CIC aim to transform health, education and family through nature.

We are whole-heartedly concerned about the safeguarding of future generations, human and non-human alike, and the growing understanding of reciprocity between humans and nature. Whilst we are advocates for all people accessing nature and its benefits, we know that this is only healthy if we prioritise the care for the natural world and address issues of equality.

The Outdoor Teacher is working towards becoming a certified B-Corp. Certified B Corps are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. We aim to be part of this community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using businesses as a force for good.

We are using Monzo Business Banking which is listed as an ethical bank:

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Videos produced by Media Citizens Ltd.