To celebrate the arrival of British Summer Time and the first day of spring, The Wild Network is encouraging parents to use the extra hour of daylight to take the kids outdoors and get some more ‘wild time’.
During the colder winter months the battle to get our children away from their gadgets can be a challenge, but with the arrival of spring it’s time to reunite them with the outdoors.
In September last year, the Wild Network launched the UK’s biggest ever campaign to reconnect kids with nature. Made up of more than 1000 organisations, large and small, including the National Trust, the RSPB, Wildlife Trusts, the Woodland Trust, National Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens, the Scouts Association, NHS Trusts, local authorities, schools and playgroups, the network is encouraging more wild time for every child, every day.
The campaign was launched on the back of documentary film, ‘Project Wild Thing’, which focuses on one of the most complex issues of modern society, the increasingly fragile connection between children and nature.
‘Project Wild Thing’ filmmaker and father of two, David Bond, said: “Our kids are spending almost a third of their waking hours staring at screens and the evidence is clear about the impact that this is having on their health and wellbeing.
“If parents take the pledge to use the extra hour of daylight to help kids get some wild time every day, you’ll see almost instant results in their creativity and development.
“It’s all about getting the balance back in the lives of children between screen time and wild time. The pendulum has swung too far away from wild time and we’re encouraging parents to help drag it back.
“And yes screen time can help enable wild time too, making it easy for families to find out about the natural world around them.”
The Wild Network has created a fantastic free app packed full of great ideas that kids can enjoy outdoors. Broken down into different time slots, the app provides twenty-three suggestions that each take an hour and would be perfect for the spring months. There are also plenty of ideas on the website. Hour long ideas include, making a mud volcano, creating a mini beast city and going on a barefoot walk.
Suzanne Welch, education manager at the RSPB said: “With spring now officially here, the extra daylight hour gives children plenty of opportunities to enjoy more time outdoors.
“Spring is a really exciting time in nature – there are lots of new plants and animals to see and morning birdsong begins to reach its peak. Use the extra hour to go on a fun ‘discovery’ walk or a nature’s treasure hunt, asking children what they can spot or hear. Bluebells and daisies, trees that have started to blossom, baby animals or evidence that they’ve beenaround, and different birds flying, singing and collecting materials for their nests are all great things to hunt for.”
Andy Simpson, Chairman of the Wild Network, added: “The app is a brilliant way for sparking kids’ imagination and showing them what there is to do outside.
“Once outdoors you’ll often see that after one activity they’ll start to explore more for themselves and end up immersed in the natural world around them.
“The value of time outdoors can never be underestimated. Research shows just how much our kids are suffering, both mentally and physically, because of this lack of time spent outside.”
To join in the discussion around swapping screen time for wild time and making your own wild time suggestions you can use the hashtag #wildtime on twitter.