Wild Child Day

Wednesday 23rd August is Wild Child Day and is dedicated to wild children everywhere.  We encourage you to organise special events for young people on this day.

Heritage Council research shows that the changing nature of children’s lives is a major concern and that the child-nature connection is under serious threat.  At the same time, there are significant benefits, including to health and well-being, to contact with the outdoors and the environment

Build a bug hotel, go on a nature selfie hunt or host a teddy bear's picnic in the woods, there are endless ways to get kids out discovering nature and here are some ways to get you started…

Nature Hunts and Trails

Why not get outdoors and create a nature hunt? You could use a page of local flora and fauna, and the children can tick a box as they find them or turn the kids into nature detectives and have them solve clues along their walk to a forest or beach. Create a fairy door trail or use an existing one as a route for a woodland walk. You could use tools to help them catch some critters such a magnifying glass or take out a sieve and a bucket and have the kids go searching for creepy crawlies that hide by the river or lake bank.

Camping

Why not organise a family camping trip in one of Ireland’s beautiful forests. You may think we don’t get the right weather in Ireland for camping but mud, wind and rain are part of it, but so are star-filled nights, supper by the sea, sunrises, dawn choruses and banana stealing badgers. Why not take a chance to do some hiking and walks and learn about the wildlife in the area? You can have little activities like a campsite birdwatching event or have the kids listen out for wildlife in the area.

Bike or Scooter Tour

Kids love getting out on their bikes or scooters. Why not organise an active outdoor tour? Encourage children to bring along a scooter or bike so they can travel long distances. Take them along a greenway or trail in your local park. This is an excellent way to encourage them to get some fresh air and get active. Along the way you can stop for a bite to eat and take the chance to let them ask any questions about local fauna and wildlife, they have spotted along the way.

Get Arty

There are so many ways kids can get creative with this year’s nature theme so why not create a nature workshop or work with a local artist to run a wildlife drawing workshop? Get the kids to create a nature diorama using leaves moss and natural finds around nearby woodlands. Encourage leaf hunts where children can make pictures from rubbings. You could even take them along the beach and coastlines to create artworks out of washed up shells and seaweed. Make sure to take lots of pictures and share their creations.

Get Crafty

Habitat building and conservation are high on our list this year. So, why not get a group together to take part in a birdhouse building workshop? Or even organise a Lego building competition and have the children build a home for the favourite Irish animal. The kids could also get outside and make their forest dwelling out of sticks and moss. Have prizes for the best creation. Get the kids thinking about what it takes to make a home and what their local wildlife need to build habitats.

Nature Storytelling

The stories we tell children to help shape their view of the world and the environment around them. Libraries, local bookshops or book clubs could get involved this year and organise a storytelling event for children around wildlife and nature books. Get them to bring along their favourite nature book if they have one and get them talking about why it is their favourite book.

Teddy Bear Picnic

Why not host a Teddy Bear Picnic in your local park or Woodland. Have the children play outdoor games related to animals and nature. Like ‘What time is it Mr.Wolf’ or ‘Animal Tag’. You could even make shift some DIY games to bring along. You could also encourage the kids to have a fancy dress and come along dressed as their favourite animal with spot prizes given for the best costume

Children who spend time in nature early on in life are much more motivated to get outside when they are older. If you weren't lucky enough to spend time in nature when you were little, it's never too late to start getting outside and enjoying the many benefits now.

Event Registration will open on 2 May and close on 31 May