Let your kids Go Wild on Sunday!

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Fed up with the iPad and the constant pestering to play on it?

Wondering if your tween/teen will ever ‘look up’ from their phones and enjoy the world around them?

Realising that this addiction to so-called smart devices isn’t good for your kids but everyone else does it so how do you resist?

Well this Sunday is a chance to throw off the techie shackles, let your kids go wild outside and learn about how to make it fun, along with thousands of others doing the same.  This Sunday, May 11, is National Children’s Day and the organisation behind it is throwing a Go Wild day, to encourage everyone to get their kids off their sofas and into the puddles….or trees or grass.

The reason is simple: children need to connect with nature for their health and well being, yet the current generation of kids are getting far less time interacting with the outdoors than any kids of any previous generation.  Gulp. That’s a lot of generations.  They’re also suffering in far greater proportions from chronic conditions such as childhood obesity, asthma, and attention-deficit disorder which have all increased over the past few decades. Double Gulp.

Some great events are being planned including the launch of exciting new organizations such as Outdoor People (if you live in London worth checking out) and screenings of Project Wild Thing in wild places all across the UK – including the tops of mountains! The trailer for Project Wild Thing’s film is definitely worth a watch….its only short.

The resources they have and the ideas they suggest are imaginative and creative. From a Gift of Wildtime Voucher (free voucher for parents who feel guilty about never playing with their kids outside to print off and give to their child…only for the promise-keepers I reckon) to an App to give you ideas (I know, the irony is rather strong…) to ideas for every family no matter where you live.

Snail racing, leaf snap, and Random Orienteering (choosing a landmark in the distance and working out how to get there without a map or phone) are among my favourites.  Or just getting out a map of  a local area, sticking a pin in it and attempting to get there as a family in a day which is a brilliant idea.

The Wild City Book by Jo Scofield and Fiona Danks gives you plenty of ideas like this and more, just launched this month, so you could check that out for ideas (great Father’s Day present eh?).

Personally, I love the outdoors and my kids and OH feel similarly, but I know how rubbish I am at letting my kids get down right mucky when we go out. So that’s my challenge.  This is, after all, not just about getting them into nature, but unleashing them to enjoy freedom to explore, to experiment, take risks, something that our kids woefully lack in this day and age.  So if your child can’t get out doors for whatever reason, maybe let them bake a cake using whatever ingredients they fancy and see what happens! (don’t come to me if the oven explodes, ok?)

This Sunday our school is running a Go Wild Nature Day on Sunday to launch our Wild Area of the playing fields, a Thinking Path (based on Darwin’s own thinking path) and lots of other fantastic small changes to the school’s outdoor space to make it more of a fun, beautiful and educational part of the school.  So, although it hardly feels ‘wild’ to spend Sunday afternoon at school, it certainly will be close to nature.

And if you’re wondering if the campaign is run by idealistic hair-shirt wearing hippies, think again.  It’s a well balanced campaign in that it recognises the positive side of internet technology and the pragmatic reality that its here to stay twinned with a desire to keep us aware of the dangers of over use, and encouragement with fun ideas of how to bring more balance into our kids’ lives.

Lastly, if you’re wondering how to convey this message to your teenagers, then check out this video called Look Up which might encourage them to spend a little less time with their mobile and a little bit more with people in the flesh.  Its a healthy reminder for us parents too who possibly spend a teeny bit too much time glued to a screen ourselves (like now).

So, what are you waiting for? With Persil at the ready, go and let your kids loose, banish the devices and leave them to their own…..

For more about Save Childhood Movement, check out the rant post I wrote last October about the government’s education plans to reduce learning through play for infants and increase testing, and how Save Childhood Movement are working to educate Gove and his ministers about how damaging and short-sighted those plans are.

8 thoughts on “Let your kids Go Wild on Sunday!

  1. What a wonderful idea 🙂 I think we already experienced our Go Wild weekend last week when we all went on a Forest Holiday and had absolutely no internet or phone reception at all. It was BLISS! Thank you for linking to PoCoLo 🙂 x

  2. What a lot of brilliant and imaginative ways to get the kids out of doors. My only memory of the time when we lived with the the four of you ( aged 4(two of you), 6 and 8) lived in a too-small house on a great modern estate and it had been wet all weekend and your Dad and I said ‘OK kids out you go, wellies and waterproofs on, go jump in puddles in the pouring rain and use up some of that surplus energy’. I’m sure the neighbours considered reporting us to the NSPCC for cruelty, but it had the desired effect (including finding somewhere to dry all those wet clothes in aforesaid too-small house) and everyone was much calmer when it came to bed-time.

  3. so true about having the balance. I know technology has been really important to my kids and helps loads for their learning (we used it a lot for homeschooling in addition to traditional paper-based work) and even now the boys are both learning various languages through their ipad apps – BUT it is also important to have downtime and get outside too and we notice how much it helps relax them when we have a day out in the woods / countryside / beach / park etc .An important reminder – thank you! #pocolo

  4. Not quite making National Children’s Day but we are going camping with the Scouts in 2 weeks time and the kids are so excited. My hubby is a Scout leader and I am going along to help out. Alfie is doing mini beasts at school so he will no doubt be chasing ants and spiders around all weekend lol. Will be a lovely break from technology! #PoCoLo

  5. That video at the end was seen everywhere in fb and I was surely stuck by it. Smart phones and dump people – that’s what all we’ve these days. 🙂

    Stopping from Po.Co.Lo!

  6. I had no idea it was National Childrens Day this Sunday either… right then, well Little A and I will have to mark it somehow. We love getting out and about as well, and I’m going to buy a national trust membership in time for Summer so that we can really get out and about… I know what you mean about letting them get mucky – it’s something I need to let Little A do more of! X

  7. I didn’t realise it was National Children’s Day – or indeed that there was such a thing! Thanks for sharing the news! I like the Random Orienteering idea too – I do a lot of that, though not on purpose normally. My kids are happiest when plastered in mud – or on the IPad. I try and retain the balance in favour of mud despite my aching heart as I trek to the washing machine yet again. Btw, I looked but couldn’t find the post of yours you recommended in a recent comment – if you can remember what it was can you tweet me it?! @wrymummy. Have a fab Wild Weekend. x #PoCoLo

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