The Wildlife Trusts are encouraging everybody to get outdoors this June and GO WILD! 30 Days Wild is our annual nature challenge, launched in 2015 to enable everybody to enjoy nature on their doorstep. Will you join thousands of people across the UK this June?
Image credit: Tom Marshall
There’s no doubt about it – the outdoors is great for kids. Children are happier, healthier and more creative when they’re connected to nature, and it increases the health and happiness of their parents and carers, too!
Giving children experiences of the outdoors when they are young can help to kick start a relationship with wildlife that will last a lifetime. Not to mention that our natural world is under threat and by teaching children the value of wildlife, we’re equipping the next generation with the skills and passion to make a difference.
We know it can be difficult to know where to start, so our free 30 Days Wild pack has all the ideas you need to get outdoors with the children in your life. We want to show everybody that you don’t have to be an ‘expert’ to enjoy nature. From running around barefoot on the grass, listening to bird song and writing poetry under a tree, to making bird feeders and hedgehog homes, there’s something for everybody to try. In your free pack you’ll receive a booklet of inspirational ideas for Random Acts of Wildness, a recipe for wild strawberry and thyme ice cream, wildflower seeded paper to sow, a wall chart to record your activities and wild stickers.
Here Thomas Smallwood, Armchair Mountaineer, tells you a little about his experience of 30 Days Wild last year: “I am a lover of the wild, but convincing my daughter to go on a nice long walk was never easy. So I actually took part in 30 Days Wild because I saw an opportunity to spend time outdoors with my 5 year old in a way that she might engage with more readily. We came up with the idea of a Wild Alphabet focussing on a different letter each day.
I wanted to introduce her to a few micro-adventures and to help her connect with nature and the outdoors. Selfishly I suppose, I wanted her to connect with the kind of things that I love and have been beneficial to my mental and physical wellbeing.
The end result went beyond my wildest dreams. Emma absolutely loved taking part in 30 Days Wild. It is not an overstatement to say that I saw her grow in confidence over the month. We shared lots of amazing experiences from wild- camping, paddling on the river, "playing" with creepy crawlies to watching snakes and making videos of our adventures.”
Want a taste of the adventure to come? Here are some really wild Random Acts of Wildness – for more, order your free pack online.
Image credit: Adrian Clarke
Investigate tracks and signs
As sneaky and quick as some animals are, they all leave behind clues. Investigate your local green space or garden for footprints, feathers and other signs that an animal has been close by. You can even make your own animal footprint trap using our activity sheet and discover who’s been visiting your garden!
Race to find a rainbow
Play a game to see who can spot colours in the order of a rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. You must shout out when you find the colour! A fun variation is to hide different coloured wool in a wild area and ask the children to find them. They will usually find all the brightly coloured wool first, and spend longer looking for the more natural colours. You can then use this as a segway into teaching about camouflage, and why it’s important that some animals blend into their backgrounds.
Image credit: Sarah Horsell
Remember your adventure
When you go out for a walk make a journey stick to remember it! All you’ll need is string and a decent sized stick. Along the walk collect things that are interesting to the children – perhaps they’re feathers, leaves, or interesting stones. Use the string to attach them to the stick and when you get home, ask the children to use the objects to talk about their adventure.
If you want even more activity ideas, check out our Wildlife Watch website – full of fun resources for children of all ages!
We’re so excited for you to join the 30 Days Wild family. Come along today!
About the Author
Leanne Manchester is Senior Communications Officer at The Wildlife Trusts. She loves all animals, especially whales and bees, and she also has a serious soft spot for pigeons! Wherever you are in the UK, there is a Wildlife Trust inspiring people about the natural world and saving, protecting and standing up for wildlife and wild places near you. Find out more at www.wildlifetrusts.org