We are taking part in the 30 Days Wild challenge by the Wildlife Trusts. Throughout June we will be doing at least one random act of wildness every day. Between work, school and activities it’s not going to be easy but I’m hoping we succeed.
This is our journey. If you’re looking for inspiration also have a look at my pinterest board. There are also a couple of useful books; 101 Things For Kids To Do Outside which I’ve used before. Interestingly there’s also 101 Things For Kids To Do On A Rainy Day which I absolutely need to get (affiliate links).
Day 1 – Walk on the beach
This was out last day in Wales so we made the most of it by taking a walk on the beach before making the drive home .
Day 2 – Walk in the woods
Rushmere country park had woollen animals hidden all over their sculpture trail so we decided to check them out.
Day 3 – Eat something you’ve grown
We have some alpine strawberries growing pretty much wild in our garden and some of them were ready to eat. They’re not exactly big but they were tasty!
Day 4 – Gardening and Snail hunting
Middle Child was helping at a local nursing home with his Beavers pack today. He helped plant lots of things that they had all grown. First up was counting the number of snails they could find. 19 apparently.
Day 5 – Bug hunt in the school woodland area
I’ve slightly cheated with this one. Today was manic and I had no idea how to get anything wild into our day. The kids were going to after school club though so they were under strict intstructions to hunt for bugs in the woodland area at school. Middle child LOVES woolice so was more than happy to oblige.
Day 6 – Build a Solar Still
To make up for yesterday’s lack lustre effort we went big and decided to build something. We opted to make our own solar stills. It was pretty cool and it’s useful to know that should we run out of water I can just stick a fuschia in a bag, leave it in the sun for the day and get a teaspoon of water to keep me going.
To make the still simply put a green plant in a clear plastic bag and seal. Leave it out in the sunlight and condensation will collect on the plastic. Don’t drink unless the water has been purified though.
I got the full instructions on how to make the still from a book called Go Wild in the Woods (affiliate link). If we do it again then I’d definately use a smaller plant and a bigger bag. We did get a fair amount of water though.
Day 7 – Puddle Jumping
Smallest child is nearly 2 so jumping in puddles is still the most fun thing ever. Plus it was raining and she was soaked to the skin. It was a bit of a no-brainer really.
Day 8 – Urban Wildlife Walk and a bike ride
Today did not go to plan. As we were about to leave for a meeting my car broke down. That meant all five of us had to get all the way acoss town in the rain in about 10 minutes. Obviously that’s not possible but in a vague attempt to stop any moaning and try to chivvy the boys along as quickly as possible I decided to make the walk an urban nature walk. It was actually surprising the variety of creatures in and around our towns.
Afterwards the boys wanted to go on a bike ride, so we did. Hopefully they’ll have a lie-in in the morning after all that exercise!!!
Day 9 – Planting beans and another bug hunt
Middle child has been growing beans and they’re ready to plant out. Hopefully they will do better than our peas did last year! Whilst we were in the garden smallest child was finding as many woodlice as possible, chasing a bee and talking to it! We’ve also set up our little weather station. Hoping we don’t end up catching too much rain!
Day 10 – Nature Watch and rain gauges
School helped me out today by doing it all for me! Biggest child watched Nature Watch in class and Kate Humble redesigned her garden to make it more wildlife friendly. Afterwards they talked all about which native plants you should include in your garden and how non-native plants can discourage insects and wildlife. I have a feeling that he now wants to rip out most of my flowers and put new ones in. Thanks Kate!!!! Middle child made a rain gauge at school as well. We actually already have a little weather station like this (affiliate link) set up at home. Given how much it has been raining and how windy its been this week it has certainly been getting some use!!
Day 11 – Dawn Chorus
Smallest child woke up at some ungodly hour this morning and I couldn’t get back to sleep afterwards. I don’t know why, I’m permanently knackered. Anyway, as time ticked on it started getting light and the birds started to sign. It was actually pretty cool lying there before the day starts lising to the dawn chorus. Pretty much the only benefit to being awake that early in the day!
Day 12 – Hedgehogs and Stories
School is helping me out left, right and centre this week! Biggest child has been learning all about Hedgehogs today. We have resident hedgehogs that walk through our garden but their access routes are starting to look a little blocks. We were inspired by another blogger and have made Hedgehog Highway signs and will be clearing out the holes tomorrow.
To finish off tonight we started reading this beautiful version of Wind in the Willows. It’s such a great story and they boys loved it. It is bloomin’ hard reading in places though!
Day 13 – Hedgehog Hotels part 2
Today we cleared out the Hedgehog Highway. There are a couple of hedgehogs that already use our garden as a thoroughfare (and for other things but we skip that!!!) so all we had to do was make the holes easier access for them. One of the holes is right next to our patio doors so you’ll be sitting watching TV and this little hedgehog will be trundling along the flowerbed. It’s very cool.
Day 14 – Making a mini-pond
Ok, this little pond is not going to win any beauty contests just yet but it’s a nice little addition to our garden. It has easy access in and out and I’ll get some water plants once the water has settled down a little bit. I’m trying to create a bit of a wildlife garden in this area so I’ve got some pollenator friendly plants and the bird feeder near-by. It’s also on the Hedgehog’s highway route so they can pop in for a drink if they want to.
Day 15 – Camping and Going Ape
I’m not at all involved in the kids being wild today! Middle child is going to be going camping for the weekend (first time under canvass without us. He’s been under canvass before and been away without us too, just not in combo. Eek). Where he’s staying is pretty rural so you never know he may get some visitors or do some star gazing. Biggest child has a birthday party at Go Ape in Wendover Woods so he’s going to be hanging around in the tree tops for a couple of hours!
Day 16 – a walk in the woods
Middle child needed to be collected from camp so I decided to take smallest child too (hubby and biggest child we’re off at the soapbox derby). We left a bit earlier than we needed to so we could have a stroll through the woods on the way. Every puddle got splashed in. Every one! Still, it gave me chance to test out her new, thin, puddle suit. When we arrived we had a bit of time at the campsite, so middle child showed me all the tree houses they’d made, we found some animal holes (I’ve decided they’re fox holes but I have no idea if that’s true) and we found a beautiful tiny moth as well. Apparently middle child had spotted an edible dormouse whilst on a nature hike and he’d had breakfast, lunch and dinner outside. Quite a few things ticked off the 101 random acts of wildness list! We now have a VERY tired little camper.
Day 17 – Playing outdoors
When I was a kid my Mum would always tell us to “just go and play!!” It was a given that this would involve playing outside. Sadly that just doesn’t seem to happen anymore. The kids have made a stirling effort today and I don’t think there has been a single moment of the day where there hasn’t been at least one of them outside; smallest child has practically lived in the garden (her favourite place at the moment), the boys have been walked to school, walked a mile around the playground, had PE and had lunch outdoors. They then played outside all afternoon and biggest child has been out on the field with his scout group doing various team games. This might not have been a big wild, connect with nature activity, but it certainly wasn’t just sitting in front of the TV!!!
Day 18 – Wildlife webcams
You may not know this but, there are loads of wildlife webcams you can watch. I’m not sure why but it is a bit addicitive. Smallest child was transfixed over breakfast that she was eating and the birds were eating, and she was eating, and the birds were eating, and it was all very exciting, and the birds were eating, and she was eating…. you get the idea! If you want to check out the webcam feeds yourself go to https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/webcams but be warned, the webcams are really slow to load!
day 19 – feed the birds
I can be a bit rubbish at feeding the birds in the summer as I have a fairly small garden and I don’t want them pooping all over my washing. During the winter we always keep the feeders topped up though. Anyway, for the sake of the 30 day challenge the birds can fill their boots! I’ll also be putting some peanuts out – our resident squirrel goes crazy for them and smallest child goes crazy for the squirrel.
Day 20 – Hughenden Manor & Kitchen Garden
Today we popped into Hughenden Manor. They’ve got some really good bug hotels and a lovely kitchen garden. We spent a fair old while looking at all the ants in Bughenden Manor and picking up crabb apples. They also have a little living willow tunnel which smallest child and her bestie spent ages running in and around. I definitely didn’t eat a scone from the cafe. Nope, not me.
day 21 – wild art
Today is exactly the kind of day that this whole challenge is all about. I’m away with some friends for the weekend and so I have a million and one things to do to get ready. I don’t really want to leave hubby with all the kids and all the housework to do. Normally this would mean smallest child gets dragged along with me whilst I do my errands and kind of ignored whilst I get on with housework. Because I still wanted to do our wild thing I she and I could do a little bit of painting with sticks and leaves in the garden. So instead of watching me do housework we had a lovely half an hour together. Yes, the washing up now won’t be done before hubby gets home but that’s not the end of the world…..
Day 22 – camping
The wildness this weekend was all thanks to me. I was away glamping for 2 nights but despite the glam component I ended up sharing my shower with an earwig, moth and centipede. I also built a fire, ate every meal outdoors and toasted marshmallows over the fire. A very nice way to be wild!
Day 23 – SaraFi stu
Sadly there are no photos I can show you but biggest child went to a birthday party that was run by Safari Stu. He got to hold a python, hissing cockroaches and another animal that he couldn’t remember the name of but is like a Hedgehog apparently.
Day 24 – Saving a spider
Today I was forbidden from doing anything else as our 30dayswild task – biggest child saved a spider from being maliciously stomped on by a kid at school. He felt that’s our family job done for the day! He’s probably right!
Update – Turns out biggest child was right and I was too quick to judge. Save a spider is indeed one of the 101 random acts of wildness included in the Wildlife Trust’s guide!
Day 25 – Eco Kids Magazine
For a while now we have subscribed to Eco Kids Magazine. Although it’s slightly scaremonger-y it’s also really informative and the boys love it. There wasn’t a huge amount of time this evening so they had some quiet time looking through old editions.
Day 26 – Bee and Butterfly LifecycLes
Middle child is all about animals and wildlife at school at the moment. This afternoon we were talking all about the lifecycle of bees and butterflies. Apparently they have been watching some videos about it at school so we looked some up together. Did you know that honey is made by bees vomiting nectar into each others mouths repeatedly and then flapping their wings to evaporate the excess water? Neither did I. Slightly yuk but MIND BLOWN!
Day 27 – Chasing Grasshoppers and a picnic
It’s such glorious weather at the moment and it is National Picnic Week so obviously we had to go and have a picnic. Cliveden is one of my favourite places to picnic in the UK. We had a great day looking at the Koi Carp in the pond, being dive-bombed by a Red Kite (they are MASSIVE, particuarly when flying at your head) and just chilling out. When we were having lunch we were near a patch of really long grass and the sound of crickets / grasshoppers was unbelieveable. We decided to turn nature detectives and try to find at least one of the grasshoppers / crickets. Obviously we were rubbish at actually finding them, but we had fun doing it.
Day 28 – walk in the grass barefoot
Today was sports day so we basically spent the entire day in a field. We did make the most of it by spending pretty much the whole time walking around barefoot in the grass. Smallest childlikes how it tickles her toes, Middle child thinks he runs faster and I think I get less flip flop strap marks!!
Day 29 – It’s a Bat, Man
Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Where I live we’re really lucky in terms of wildlife. We have a resident fox and hedgehog(s), lots of squirrels and a bat! I haven’t seen the bat for ages but last night I thought I’d sit out in the garden and wait for it. It’s been super hot (30+ degrees) so sitting out there once it had cooled down a bit was welcome relief. Once it started to get dark it didn’t take long for the bat to make an appearance! I have a bit of a love hate relationship with them; I love watching them flying around but they also scare me – I always get worried they’ll fly in my hair!
Day 30 – Making animals
We made it! I honestly thought we’d end up skipping at least one day but we managed to do something wildlife related every single day in June. We were definitely helped by the school topics both big and middle children currently have and some well timed camping trips. I wanted to make something that we could keep and the in-laws have found these awesome toys for the kids called Waxidoodles so we made animals with them. Some are easier to tell than others but we made a butterfly, spider, flower, slug, person, flamingo and a river for it to stand in! I’ve still got some ideas to do with the kids over the summer, but it will be nice for there to be less pressure to think of something every day. I hope you’ve enjoyed following our 30 days wild journey, I’d love to hear what you guys have been up to. Just get in touch by email, comment on this post or get in touch on my facebook page.
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