Somehow I managed to miss news of The Wildlife Trusts’ #30dayswild challenge until the weekend. Luckily I found out just in time to join in and today we have been out getting stuck into our day 1 wild activities. The 30 Days Wild Challenge has been set up to get everyone, adults and children, out and enjoying nature by committing ‘random acts of wildness’. Anything that involves enjoying the outdoors counts, no matter how small. Even just taking 30 seconds to roll over a stone in the garden to check for bugs or sniffing a wildflower on the way to school can be included – by doing so the idea is that we are switching on to nature all around us and realising how much it can enhance our lives.
Today we woke up on the first day of June and summer saying White Rabbits, so of course, rabbits had to feature in our wild time for the first day of the 30 Days Wild challenge. After breakfast we collected up the girls’ bunny toys, packed a blanket and two Beatrix Potter stories and headed off to the field. Roo quickly found the first signs of bunnies, spotting rabbit droppings on the path. We then went to inspect the bunny log – it makes Roo laugh as there is always rabbit poo on top of this log that looks out over the fields, so the bunnies obviously like loo with a view. There are lots of burrows underneath too. Today the log was quite overgrown after the recent spring rains and the bunny droppings were looking old. There was great excitement though when we found what I think was a generous amount of owl pellets on the log. Turns out it’s not just the rabbits who like this spot and might explain why it’s not so popular with them recently! Further on we found another rabbit hole under a tree with more droppings. We were definitely on the right track.
On we went until we found a thistle free spot to put our blanket. We had a look for bunnies – we’ve seen them here before – but it was the wrong time of day or they’d heard us coming as there were no signs of Peter and friends. The girls settled down for stories and we read Peter Rabbit and Mrs. Tiggywinkle, surrounded by crops and trees and the sound of the wind rustling through the leaves around us. It was a surprisingly liberating feeling for me to stop and just be outside in the field, rather than walking through as we normally do. I think we might have started a new regular activity! A few spots of rain called for jackets on and the wind was quite noisy but that wasn’t enough to stop us. Here’s a little clip from our second reading of Peter Rabbit with a bit of a battle over the wind to be heard!
Soon it was time to head home again. Roo has two class activities on a Monday and I have my writing course in the evening so it is always a challenge to get through the day on schedule. It was lovely to take 30 minutes out though and enjoy some quality time with the girls in nature and slow the pace down a little. Writing now at the end of the day, I am glad we made that time – the day feels complete.
Are you taking part in the #30DaysWild challenge? It’s not too late to join in – you can find out all you need to know over at The Wildlife Trusts website and all you need to do is pop out the door to listen to the birds going to bed, deliver the spider outside from the bath or to spot the first stars of night to complete today’s challenge!. In the meantime, here are a few things both on our wild ‘to do’ list and that we have done recently in the last few months. I tried to come up with 30 but overshot! Hopefully it will provide a bit of inspiration or head over onto Twitter and search the #30dayswild hashtag to see what everyone else is up to. Please share any of your ideas too – the more inspiration the better!
32 Wild Ideas:
- Make a nature treasure box and find something new to put in it.
- Go on a nature scavenger hunt
- Learn the names of some new birds and flowers
- Learn one new bird song
- Put out food and water for hedgehogs in the garden
- Go bug hunting
- Stay up and wait for the hedgehogs to come in the garden
- Camp out overnight and watch/listen for nocturnal garden wildlife
- Look for cuckoo spit
- Make a nature picture using paint and grass, leaves, rocks and twigs.
- Go for a ‘poo’ walk and see how many different types of animal poo you can identify
- Look for animal tracks
- Take a foraging trip (we have plans once more for elderflower cordial)
- Raise a butterfly from a caterpillar or chrysalis
- Do some bark and leaf rubbings
- Watch the bees and learn about pollination
- Climb a tree
- Feed the birds
- Build a bird hide (old canes and a rug will do for a temporary version)
- Dig around in a flower bed and see what you can find.
- Play nature ‘I spy’
- Try and count the number of different shades of green you can see in an outdoor space.
- Go on a nature colour hunt, looking for things outdoors matching the main colours.
- Have a competition to see who can find the greatest number of living things in 5 minutes in your garden.
- Go for a walk in different weathers. See how the wildlife, sounds and landscape changes each time.
- Go for a dusk and/or dawn walk when most wildlife is out and about.
- Have a teddy bears’ picnic in the woods.
- Take the ducks some seed and count how many different types you can spot.
- Build a den from sticks in the woods.
- Paint outside.
- Have fun with different leaves and seeds such as goose grass!
- Learn how to take great photos of flowers, birds or bugs!