A book a day for nature play – week 1 of 30 Days Wild

30 Days Wild from The Wildlife Trusts is the UK’s biggest nature challenge!  The challenge is for you to do one wild thing a day throughout the month of June. That’s 30 simple, fun and exciting Random Acts of Wildness: we’re hoping that you have plans to participate with your children.

It’s official! 30 Days Wild makes us feel happier and healthier

Over the past five years, the University of Derby has been analysing data from 30 Days Wild to measure the impact of the challenge on participants.

Building on three peer-reviewed papers, the University of Derby has evaluated survey responses from more than 1,000 people over five years and discovered the enduring effects on wellbeing from participation in 30 Days Wild – the positive effects are still felt two months after the challenge is over.

As a reader of this blog, you are no doubt aware that we love books that support and enrich experiences outdoors with natural elements (see here, here, here, here and here)!

In the UK we are blessed with a great many wonderful children’s picture books which can be deployed in two highly effective ways in early years settings.  We can share books with young children to stimulate interest, followed by exploration and play outside.  And, importantly, we can have a selection of relevant good books to hand, ready for responding to and maintaining the interests and play themes arising in our daily time together outdoors.

Either way, we need an exciting library of appropriate literature that is easily accessible, so that we are able to respond in the moment as well as planning in advance which books we might share with our children.  This works much more effectively when staff themselves love the books and are familiar with all of them, so that the moment when one becomes relevant can be captured, or they know which book will work well to enhance children’s fascinations and further their enquiries.

During the next 5 weeks, the ECO blog posts will recommend children’s books that can serve as inspirations for taking part in 30 Days Wild in early years settings through everyday nature outdoors (and indoors).  We will be emphasising nature on the doorstep: simple, everyday nature which offers deep, meaningful, everyday play in and with nature.

Each day of the week will present a lovely stimulus for engaging with one of 5 nature-based themes, so that interest and interaction with all five themes are supported across each week.  Over the five weeks, you will have 5 recommended books for each of the 5 themes, plus a bonus book for involving families over each weekend: creating an excellent, core resource of 30 books for 30 days of simple, fun and exciting random acts of wildness!  Don’t forget that many picture books can be sourced second hand: cheaper for you and better for the planet.

  • Mondays will focus on Creatures
  • On Tuesdays we’ll inspire play with Earth and Stone
  • For Wednesdays our attention will be on Plants and Growing
  • Thursdays’ focus will be Trees and Sticks
  • Fridays will get ready for the weekend with Weather and Seasons
  • and for the weekends the book will encourage Gratitude and Giving Back 

I hope you enjoy sharing the books for week 1, and with your children you find plenty of inspiration and stimulus for simple, fun and exciting Random Acts of Wildness!

You can receive a digital support pack (for schools, nurseries and childminders) from the Wildlife Trusts by signing up here, and a family pack here.

Monday 30th May:Creatures – Step Gently Out by Helen Frost and Rick Lieder (Candlewick Press 2018)

Tuesday 1st June: Earth and Stone – Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (Walker Books 2015)

Wednesday 2nd June: Plants and Growing – Footpath Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith (Walker Books 2016)

Thursday 3rd June: Trees and Sticks – Not A Stick by Antoinette Portis (HarperCollins Children Books 2009)

Friday 4th June: Weather and SeasonsOn A Magical Do-Nothing Day by Beatrice Alemagna (Thames and Hudson 2018)

Weekend 5th & 6th June: Gratitude and Giving Back – Tiny Perfect Things by M H Clark (Compendium Publishing 2018)

Book covers sourced from Amazon.co.uk




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