Nurturing tomorrow’s wildlife guardians

In a hugely digital and technology driven age I worry about the impact it will have on future generations and their ability to value the natural world around them. If our youth don’t value our green spaces then who will be there to protect them?

I don’t see myself as old, but when I was young we didn’t even have mobile phones; apple was something you ate; I used a program called Encarta to do my school essays – not Google; and I create my first email address when I was 17. I spent so much of my time outdoors, cycling, playing in fields, making mud pies and generally coming home as dirty as possible – to my mother’s disgrace.

Giving our children the chance to be truly wild, free, fit and healthy is something that I know will be top of my agenda when I eventually decide to take the plunge into motherhood. So I have listed a few sites and suggestions to inspire parents with simple things you can do with your kids outside to get them out in the fresh air and loving life outdoors:

1. 50 things to do before you’re 11¾

This is a fantastic initiative being run by the National Trust to encourage kids to “get mucky, discover their wild side and get closer to nature”. It’s an online challenge too, so if you struggle to pull them away from technology they can still get their fix by having their very own Outdoors Explorer kit, claiming rewards, special certificates, games and secret hidden challenges.

Download the full 50 things list here. Or even get their mobile app!

2. Free Family Fun: Out and About 

Netmums.com has posted a nice article with FREE activities, so getting out and about won’t cost the earth. You can find their article by clicking here.

3. The Wildlife Trusts – Discovery 

The Wildlife Trusts have local nature clubs right across the country with heaps of activities for schools and families to get involved in – most of the time for free! Discovery is focused on helping children to “experience and learn about nature”. They even work with the Cub Scout group to offer a Naturalist Activity Badge. What more could you want?!

4. 101 things for kids to do outside

This is a book written by Dawn Isaac and it’s a great tool that will get you truly inspired – all without the click of a button. The first thing to do with this book is to hand it to your child(ren) with a pen and a tonne of post-it notes. This way you are engaging them from day one on the activities outside and you’ll learn a lot about what excites and interests them – making the transition from screen to soil a lot easier! And all for under a tenner!

5. Day Out with the Kids

This is a great little site fueling you with ideas of things to do wherever you are in the UK. Their homepage starts with an interactive map where you can choose your region and then your county. You then have the option of various activity types and BOOM, you get a list of family friendly activities. Take your pick!

This post has been inspired by an article written in the BBO Wildlife Trust “Wildlife News” magazine – August 2014.

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