Somerset Wildlife Trust

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Project Wild Thing logoProject Wild Thing


See you on the outside…

In just one generation we’ve gone from a nation of free-range kids to cotton-wool kids ­ and we need you to help us buck the trend.
If you want nature, wildness and free-range living to play an important part in the lives of today’s children then do join the Wild Network. Already thousands of people, and more than 350 organisations, including Somerset Wildlife Trust, have got together.

And to kick-start the revolution to reconnect kids with nature and the outdoors, a thought-provoking and funny documentary film Project Wild Thing, is at cinemas across the country.

Here’s a trailer for the film and where it’s showing.

The more of us who watch the film, the more we can spread the word -­ so do go and have a wild time.

And tell us what you think ­ join in the conversation about reconnecting kids with nature by using the hashtags #wildtime or #projectwildthing on twitter.

Girl and frogWhat our ‘Wild’ friends have to say…

“Children have a natural fascination to touch and to feel things - it's part of existing in the world.   It's not the kids that have said they don’t want to put their hands in the mud or jump in the pond, it's the adults that have said no.”
Chris Packham, naturalist and TV presenter

“Wouldn't it be an irony if this technology that has freed us up from fear and discomfort and pain, ironically is depriving us of all the things that we treasure and turning us into glassy eyed zombies.”
Baroness Susan Greenfield, professor, writer and broadcaster

“Whether or not children understand or engage with nature really determines what the next generation is going to do about a lot of the big problems that face our environment and the planet.”
Chris Rose, scientist and campaigner

“Across the western world children spend less and less time outdoors. The generational shift to an indoor existence has been strongly linked to a sharp decline in children's wellbeing. Cases of childhood obesity, depression and behavioural difficulties are at a record high.”
David Bond, father and Project Wild Thing filmmaker and presenter

Swap Screen Time for WildTime

Let’s keep it simple, and free.

Start with swapping 30 minutes of your kids (or grandchildren’s) screen time for wild time. That’s just ten per cent of their daily screen time. And see what this extra wild time every day does for your kids development, creativity and imagination. 

If you have thirty minutes of wild time you can:

  • Spy Walk
  • Read Out
  • Rainbow Search
  • Smell Walk
  • Dandelion Invisible Ink
  • Tree Giants
  • Snail Races
  • Leaf Hunt
  • Forest Floor Challenge
  • Nest Challenge
  • Nature Perfume Pot
  • Nature Hunt
  • Wild Art
  • Nature Alphabet
  • Bark and Leaf Rubbing
  • Pick Wild Blackberries

Download the Wild Time app and get loads of wild ideas ­ whether you’ve got 10 minutes or half a day to spare.  This is all about screen time helping to enable some wild time for children and families.

Just turn off the TV, switch off the internet, put down the smartphone, hide the tablet, open the door, get outside and grab that wild time.

10 Top Tips for a Wild Time

• We’ve all got stuff to do, so try bite-size 10-minute chunks of Wild Time
• The hard bit: ban the gadgets! Lock up all your mobiles, laptops, games
• Put on comfy clothes and maybe wellies ­ nothing too smart. It’s all about the adventure not what you’re wearing
• Take a bag to collect wild treasures, and a notebook to write or draw in
• Make sure everyone sticks to the rules. No sneaking off to text behind a tree
• Keep it local at first ­ go into the garden, park, street or patch of green space
• Just look around you ­ see, touch, listen to and smell nature
• Get through the “I’m bored!” moment ­ suggest a few ideas to get their imagination going
• Shift the balance towards free play and away from adult-supervised play
• Plant some ideas then let the children lead ­ you'll be amazed at the adventures you have

Did you know?

• Time spent playing outside has dropped by 50% in just one generation
• A recent survey showed that only one in five children aged 8 to 12 years old has a connection with nature
• And study after study show that time spent outside in nature increases happiness, health and wellbeing in kids ­ and adults too!