30 Days Wild is an annual challenge from The Wildlife Trusts with the simple concept of doing one ‘wild’ thing a day throughout June, coined “Random Acts of Wildness”. This free challenge gives early years educators including childminders and nannies and parents alike a wonderful wireframe for building a connection between nature and their children, whilst working wonders for their mental health.
Have you ever noticed the little surge of happiness after glimpsing the colourful flash of a butterfly, jumping in a fresh puddle, or hearing a robin’s song in the morning? The Wildlife Trusts wants everyone to experience that feeling - because when you care for nature, you look after it. That’s why we started 30 Days Wild seven years ago, and since then it’s grown and grown, with over half a million people taking part in 2020.
Each June, individuals, families, schools, childcare providers, care homes and businesses across the UK are challenged to do one wild thing a day for 30 days – no matter how small. It could be as simple as going on a walk and noticing the trees and wildflowers around you, or as impactful as going on a litter-pick at your local park or seaside.
By integrating the natural world with the learning environment, children can begin to see things from new perspectives, sparking fresh creativity and enthusiasm. There’s a multitude of benefits for children in taking part in 30 Days Wild – they learn new things, get outside, create lasting memories and also discover a lifelong passion for the planet. Five years’ worth of research with the University of Derby has proven that taking part in 30 Days Wild makes you happier, healthier, and more likely to act for nature, not only right after June, but for months after, too. Another study carried out by The Wildlife Trusts and the Institute of Education showed that children who took part in outdoor activities with nature showed an increase in their personal wellbeing and health, they felt more connected to nature, and even exhibited more confidence.
This year, we’re kicking things off with a collective Random Act of Wildness – the Big Wild Breakfast. On the 1 June, take your morning cereal outdoors and enjoy your first meal of the day al fresco… the perfect way to start a month in nature! We’ve got some other exciting things planned too, like the Big Wild Weekend (18-20 June), where we’ll be encouraging everyone to camp in their gardens or living rooms on the Saturday night, and hosting a live children’s quiz on Sunday.
The 30 Days Wild challenge provides a gateway into a wild childhood – and is there anything more satisfying than a child with muddy boots and bright eyes after a day exploring the outdoors? Before long, you’ll find yourself surrounded by enthusiastic nature explorers!
Mum Gemma lives in Stockton- on -Tees and loves to respond to her children’s interest in nature, via some upcycling projects and talking to them about what they can see every day all around them.
“Our favourite ‘random acts of wildness’ activities for 30 Days Wild last year were feeling some slimy seaweed under our toes and cosy story-times in our playhouse, which we decided to dress up as a nature den inside, with beautiful feathers, interesting leaves and the kids art-work all over it. For 2021, we’ll be joining in the Big Wild Breakfast on 1 June, for sure – that’s a great way to kickstart our month-long challenge. It’s always bright and early with kids at home anyway isn’t it!! It’s not like I’m getting a lay-in any time soon. Getting them straight outdoors for toast and nature-spotting sounds fun. This is magical stuff for children! It’s what we all need; to remember to enjoy the simple moments in life.”
When you sign up for 30 Days Wild, you can access a free set of resources to help you on your way to a wild June. You’ll get a pack of exciting materials like an activity book, a nature table, a wallchart, a progress tracker and more. You’ll also receive access to extra activity plans like this Natural sounds map guide.
About the author
Abbie leads on the 30 Days Wild campaign at The Wildlife Trusts and is a big believer in small actions having big consequences, and nature being for everyone and anyone to enjoy.