Last week the birdsong was bursting out of the trees. I can’t wait for spring to fully arrive, and to officially re-launch My Wild Child at our three host sites- Feed Bristol, St George Park, and the Bommie in Knowle.
Over the last few years I’ve had the privilege of working with children and families in Somerset, Wiltshire and Bristol. I’ve spent my days splashing in puddles, making mud feasts, watching murmurations of starlings, finding treasure in ditches and hedgerows, and experiencing the changing seasons in minute detail. I’ve worked with children in the Early Years in various settings since 2004, and have seen first-hand the way nature impacts on a child’s development, and inspires a lasting love for wildlife.
I’ve worked on a meadow restoration project, teaching children about the importance of seeds and pollinators, and last year created a giant willow bee for a carnival procession. I think it’s fair to say I have quite an obsession with insects, the tiny, busy creatures who keep everything going. The wonder, excitement and joy that young children display when discovering a shiny black ground beetle for the first time, is something I share wholeheartedly!
The natural world offers itself up to young children’s hands and imagination to be explored. Digging for worms, collecting shiny conkers and soft striped feathers, watching a blue tit devour a fat green caterpillar, or a spider spin a dew-covered web; these experiences give our human lives shape and meaning, and when you’re in the first few years of your life they can be transformative. Play in the outdoors is the greatest gift we can give our children- it is their birthright.
The three My Wild Child sites offer something for everyone. At the Bommie I’m excited about the streams, and the potential for building dams and water play structures. St George offers a huge scope for games and trails, and Feed Bristol is full of opportunity to watch things grow. In the upcoming sessions you can look forward to planting seeds with your children, learning about owls and foxes, being part of a leaf slide-show, mud painting, stories and music from nature.
Spring is around the corner full of new shoots, unfurling leaves, and wonderful opportunities to enjoy with your family. So come out and explore with your wild child!
Come join Freya at Avon Wildlife Trust’s regular My Wild Child sessions for under-fives at The Bommie – Knowle on Wednesdays, St George Park on Thursdays and Feed Bristol on Fridays. All sessions run from 10:00am – 11:30am, and are supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
Find out more about the sessions here: avonwildlifetrust.org.uk/mywildchild