This new project aims to provide opportunities for parents/ guardians/ relatives and their under 6’s to get out and about in the many parks and wooded spaces in Bolton, increasing in their confidence to facilitate outdoor play for their children.
We will be running activities themed around everything from Minibeasts to Faeries to The Gruffalo, each around 2 hours long.
If you have any links with health & wellbeing organisations, EYFS providers, or toddler groups in Bolton, please come and speak to us as we are keen to make links with any organisations that may like to refer participants to us or otherwise link up.
In related news, there are a couple of interesting national campaigns going on at the moment, each aiming to reconnect children and people in general with the great outdoors:
30 Days Wild
Throughout June, The Wildlife Trusts are encouraging people to sign up to commit a Random Act of Wildness every day; these could be small things like watching a sunset or sitting among trees, or larger commitments such as a walk in the woods, gardening, or setting up a bug hotel.
I have set up a board outside the E&C room to encourage you all to take part and share those little things you are doing to get back in touch with nature. Please go ahead and add any outdoor/ wild/ nature-y things you have done each day to the wall calendar and post up some photos (or send them to me and I’ll add them). I am hoping that by the end of June the board will be full of ideas and experiences for getting outdoors and rediscovering your wild side.
Need ideas? There is an app for the campaign - https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/30DaysWild/App
Project Wild Thing
This is all about collective action to get children (in particular) outdoors, having “wild time”. It has taken a bunch of different approaches including standard marketing approaches, getting outdoor activity packs into maternity hospitals and getting pledges for parents to match their kids’ screen time with outdoors wild time.
Take a look at the 80 minute documentary on iplayer https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p066vv7f/project-wild-thing
Why is this all important?
The 2 national projects above as well as our Really Wild Adventures are all tackling the issues of disconnection with nature and the implications of this disconnection on wellbeing, and physical, emotional and social development.
Richard Louv coined the phrase Nature Deficit Disorder in his 2005 book Last Child in the Woods. He argues that all of us, especially children, are spending more time indoors, which makes us feel alienated from nature and perhaps more vulnerable to negative moods or reduced attention span.
This has been studied for many years and there is plenty of evidence that:
- children learn more and behave better when lessons are conducted outdoors
- symptoms of children diagnosed with ADHD improve when they are exposed to nature
- children say their happiness depends more on having things to do outdoors more than owning technology.
If you want to know more, come and speak to me or ask and I’ll send through some interesting links and reports.