Out in the Woods for Samhain Van Schooling

As a family I think we are all agreed that the magic involved with the celebration of Samhain in Autumn means a lot more to us then any other festive time throughout the year. We love to be outdoors in nature at all times of the year and October is no different.

When we were housebound we always made a party of it and let our imaginations run wild on the decoration front. It was a special time with happy memories and there was always that worry of what if our new van life version couldn’t somehow match up.

This year we plan on hanging out as a wild family, having some woodland fun with the children, cooking a feast on our fire pit and sitting round talking about our ancestors and swapping stories. Plus the obligatory bit of dress up and trick or treating for the small ones, although we will be gifting some of ours to the fairies.

Story Telling

We will use this as a good excuse to cosy up around the fire and read one of our favourite stories ‘when the wind blows’ by Charlotte Zolotow. It is a magic story about the cycle of life and how nothing in our universe will ever truly dissapear, it shows us instead how the energy of the wind or the waves moves around or can transform into something else.

Magic Potions & Leaf Crowns

Thanks to the ‘Nature Detectives’ on the forestry commission website for having such easy to use all round nature activities for all ages. We will be using the ‘magic potions’ and ‘leaf crowns’ to have on hand for some creative adventures through the woodland.

You can download your own worksheets for free here:


Woodland Witches Tea Party

Finishing off the day with a witches tea party around the cauldron. Leaving out a plate of food for the fairies, our ancestors or any wandering souls that happen to be passing by and fancy joining in. The children love collecting kindling and learning how to make fire. Another favourite job of the small ones is chopping and measuring out ingredients for our gently spiced chicken curry, busily stirring the cauldron as it bubbles.

Talking about our ancestors

Samhain is a time for remembering our ancestors and asking for guidance from them, as it is told that the veil between our two worlds are thinnest at this time of year. We don’t have space to carry much extra in our van in the way of photographs or sentimental trinkets to remember family, luckily we value the stories from our own living memory that we can enjoy sharing about our ancestors.

We talk about memories of loved ones with the children and what we know about the people who went before us. It is a gentle reminder of where we have come from…and where we all end up! Without being too sombre or scary a conversation for children to be involved in.

Moving on & Letting go

Samhain is the Celtic new year, it is a time for new beginnings. So it feels good to clear out anything old or unhelpful to make way for new opportunities to flood in. We are all so focused on what we want to bring into our lives, we tend to forget it’s just as healing to let stuff go. I might sit for a few days quietly getting a sense of what would feel good for me to let go of at each level of body, mind & spirit. Then write these down on a scrap of paper and toss them into the Samhain fire. The children love a good reason to set fire to something, so it’s a simple ritual they can be involved in if they want to on whatever level is meaningful to them.

Happy Samhain! How do you celebrate the day? We would love you to send us your ideas…