30 days Wild
by Laura @one.wild.family.life
The Wildlife Trust are again challenging us to spend the 30 days of June, wild. One wild act, big or small, every day in June aiming to bring people closer to nature. At The Wooden Play Den, we are big advocates of outdoor play, and encouraging families to explore in nature – check out our #wpdnatureplay for loads of great ideas on how to incorporate toys and resources available from our shop into your adventures, to encourage a love and knowledge of nature.
I’m going to give you 30 ideas on how to spend your 30 days wild (or any of your other days too!) it really is lots of fun to include your little ones in outdoor adventures, and not only fun, good for mind and body too.
I’m going to split the 30 activities up into 3 different categories – garden/park, seaside and home. Hopefully you’ll be able to use some of these ideas, and incorporate them into your play and adventures.
Garden/Park – let’s start with getting out and about, close to home or in the garden. These are little things you can do to encourage everyone to get outside but that won’t take up too much time or energy. They will encourage learning about nature, enjoyment within nature and observation of the world around us.
- Magnifying glass – by giving your little one a magnifying glass you can encourage observation of the world around you. Look for insects, textures, flowers and more.
- Shape Viewers – go on a shape hunt. The shape viewers add some peeking fun to this game.
- Treasure Tubes – these are great vessels for collecting things you find, so easy to view what has been collected too.
- Tree ID cards – it’s the perfect time of year to look up through the canopy and see if you can identify any of the trees – compare leaf sizes and shapes too.
- Colour hunts – I love using the yellow Door hearts for this, they are the perfect size for small hands to hold and find matching colours.
- Insect Hunts – The Den Kit have a fantastic Bug Kit, allowing for observation and learning – we paired ours with Little Robin Education bug cards for identifying what we saw around us.
- Playdough – Take a pot out with you and make prints, use anything you find, from bark on the trees to stones and fallen leaves to make imprints in the dough.
- Read outside – There are so many fantastic books – many nature themed - in our book category, grab a seat outside and read together in the fresh air.
- Garden animals – Lanka Kade animals are so robust, and make excellent towers – grab the ones that are native British species and take them outside to play and build with.
- Build a Den! – Play mats and play silks take on a whole extra role when taken outside. Hang them from trees, make capes, tie them to sticks and run!
Sometimes, getting outside is easier said than done. There are many ways to engage with nature without leaving the comfort of your home. Let’s gather our toys and see what we can come up with.
10 activities indoors for 30 days wild.
- Small world play – grab your favourite wooden animals/people/scene accessories and let your little ones create to their hearts content. Add in some natural things too – pine cones, stones, leaves, sticks and see what they create!
- Weather – one of our favourite topics to learn about – the yellow door stones, and the flash cards are a perfect combo – get creative with them and make your own weather map or prediction chart.
- Books – a big advocate of learning about nature – books are such an engaging way to do this and there are nature books to suit all ages and interests.
- Toy and ID Card Match – Grab some flash cards of animals, grab your wooden animals and match away! Foot prints are also a great way to extend this play – the footprint stones are fab for crayon rubbing or using in dough.
- Life cycles – Playful Little Readers have some great life cycle sets to aid with learning these.
- Birds and Bird sounds – We love learning bird song – youtube is a great tool for this, pair with some Lanka Kade wooden birds too. Another favourite is the Big Book of Birds.
- Playdough and yellow door – there are endless combinations here, the rollers are so fun for little hands, foods, animals, insects, flowers, natures treasures. Playdough is so calming – especially the beautifully scented Little Munchkins dough.
- Plant seeds – We have some great sets to help with this – everything is included, and watching your seeds grow is so rewarding.
- Alexia Claire Post Cards – These engaging cards are definatly conversation starters. Grab a snack and a few cards and chat away together, we love learning to collective nouns from these cards.
- Loose Parts – use nature as your inspiration to create with your loose parts – flowers, trees, butterflies, the possibilities are endless!
One of our favourite places to go to spend time outside in nature is the beach! Nothing beats walking on warm sand down to the sea for a paddle and explore.
Here are our top 10 wild things to do on the beach:
- Little Robin Education Cards – scavenger hunt, see what you can find!
- Pirate set – who doesn’t enjoy dressing up as a pirate, hide treasure from each other and draw maps in the sand.
- Alexia Claire Rock Pool Card – Rock pooling is so much fun, grab your card and a bucket and see what you can find!
- Lanka Kade – another trip out for your wooden animals, this time take your sealife set!
- Periscope/Binoculars – great for a game of hide and seek among the rocks, or bird spotting along the cliffs.
- Magnifying glass – the trusty magnifying glass again – collect shells and stones to look at up close – or look at the plants along the shore. So many possibilities of finding something exciting.
- Pouring toys – great for playing with in little pools and small waves – water play is so relaxing and pouring is great for hand eye co-ordination.
- Vehicles – grab your favourite cars, planes etc and build roads, hills, tunnels for them to drive around, along and through.
- Knights and Dragons – Castle building and the beach go hand in hand – so why not add some knights and dragons to your beach bag for some small world play!
- Otto’s Ocean – one of our most popular stories, take the book with you and read together on the beach before seeing if there is any rubbish to pick up and take off the beach with you. (There are a great selection of beach inspired stories available too which would make super beach reads!)
I hope some of these ideas will help you enjoy your 30 days wild, the absolute best thing you can do is get out and about together. Share you adventures with us using the #wpdnatureplay.