Project Wild Thing is an ambitious campaign to reconnect our children to nature
I wrote recently about how “connected” children are with nature. The RSPB report found that Scottish children have a higher “nature connection” at 27% than anywhere else in the UK. But this is still a low outcome, given that almost three quarters of Scotland’s children are deemed to be “unconnected” or “less connected” to nature.
Now a new campaign,Â Project Wild Thing, could be about to change the statistics for the better. Project Wild Thing is the UK’s biggest campaign to reconnect children with nature and outdoor play. It has been launched by the newly formed Wild Network with the aim of encouraging parents to swap some of their kids’ TV and computer screen time for “wild time”.
The deal is just 30 minutes. So kids will swap half an hour of screen time for 30 minutes of wild time every day.
Outdoors play: The facts
British kids have never been more disconnected from the natural world. The roaming distance that children play from their home has shrunk by 90% in 30 years. In just one generation, the time spent playing outdoors has reduced by half.
Yet outdoors play is shown to increase happiness, health and wellbeing in kids, as well as adults.
So why are kids playing outdoors less? The reasons include busy roads, reduced areas of green space on our doorsteps, health and safety worries and the greater attraction of indoors technology.
Project Wild Thing wants to change this.
Project Wild Thing film
Part of the project launch includes a film, released by filmmaker David Bond, that The Guardian newspaper says will “change your life”. The film, available on-line, as a DVD or in cinemas is about a man. A worried man.
This man is a dad. His kids’ waking hours are dominated by a cacophony of marketing. They have a screen dependence that threatens to turn them into glassy-eyed zombies.
Like city kids everywhere, they spend way too much time indoors. So this man goes out to try to re-educate kids to live the kind of outdoors play childhood that he recalls. He decides it’s time to get back to nature â€“ literally.
How to join the Wild Time movement
Check out the Project Wild Thing website.
See this Wild Time app.
Connect with the Project Wild Thing community.
Join the movement.
Go outdoors with your kids for 30 minutes each day and discover the wonders of nature (it doesn’t cost a thing, either!).
Tell us how you will be getting your kids to go wild. We want to hear about your inspiring ideas and what simple things you have done to encourage the kids outdoors.