The Wild Network: Getting kids outside and reconnecting with nature

The Wild Network is a diverse community of people with a mission to get more kids outside and reconnecting with nature.

Back in the day before the bombardment of modern technology and “entertainments”, children would play outdoors where they were more connected to nature and to people.

What The Wild Network refer to as “wild time” – time spent outdoors, roaming free, and playing wild – is vital for children, which is why the organisation is aiming to bring about the “rewilding of childhood”.

The Wild Network say: “Every day we see more and more evidence that shows how important it is for children to be at their most resourceful, creative, healthy and connected to the living world.

“Wild Time provides all of the vital tools to for children and young people to thrive in a world of rapid change. What’s more it’s not just kids that benefit, whole families, communities and schools are better when they are wilder.”

While evidence has found that most parents and teachers understand the importance of wild time and want more of it, action is low.

Research by The Wild Network has identified four main barriers to wild time – fear, time, space and technology. These include risk-averse culture, nature starved curriculum, vanishing green space, and increasing screen time spent in front of TV, smartphones and tablets, and computers.

The Wild Network – which comprises of 30,000 mums, dads, guardians, community workers, activists, policy-makers, doctors, care givers, creatives, play-workers, and educators as well as NGOs – are working to grow wild time.

Penned as “fun, free and good for you”, The Wild Network’s website offers wild time ideas such as making a journey stick and roaming the wilds, rolling down a hill, and cloud spotting.

A free Wild Time App also gives ideas for outdoor activities based on the amount of time someone may have free, from 10 minutes up to half a day.

The Wild Network was established following the 2013 documentary, Project Wild Thing, in which British film maker David Bond invites parents everywhere to help their kids re-connect with nature in the digital age.

Concerned with the amount of time his kids spend indoors in front of a screen, David Bond appoints himself Marketing Director for Nature and with the help of a number of bemused professionals, he is soon selling Nature to British families.

The film which kickstarted The Wild Network movement has been shown on network TV in 11 countries and in over 750 community screenings in school halls and community centres across the world. Over one million people have watched the film, and continues a vital resource in getting kids and their parents outdoors and into nature.

The Wild Network

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea

 

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