Having contributed to the Kickstarter funding, 2B attended the premier of the Project Wild Thing documentary, at the Sheffield Doc/Fest.
This inspiring film showed the importance for children of being connected with nature. The Director, David Bond, has researched the way that childhood has changed since he was a child. 40 years ago, children came home from school and went outside to play. Today children spend much of their time in front of screens of some sort - phone, TV, computer, iPad – watching programs or playing games. Some of this is educational, but a lot is about interacting with machines, rather than with other humans.
David and his daughter, Ivy, get familiar with a frog
David visited the Scottish island of Eigg and discovered that, whilst the children there have immediate access to a beautiful environment in which to play and learn about nature, technology is creeping in here too. With the advent of high-speed broadband, two children who used to walk along a beach to meet, talk and play together, now talk on-line without moving from their houses.
He found that many children have a perception that the outdoors is dangerous, dirty and boring. However, when taken out into the landscape and shown what it has to offer, they quickly begin to engage and explore.
Part of the hard-hitting ad campaign by David Bond, Director of Marketing for Nature - yes, it's that frog again
Research from all over the world shows the value of connecting with nature - just being able to see nature can, for example, help patients in hospitals recover more quickly; keep people in difficult situations calmer; reduce stress; and lower blood pressure.
We all need to connect with nature, but none more so than our future generation. Being in contact with nature - exploring, climbing, taking risks – will help children learn to become confident of their own judgement; able to think for themselves; and be fit, healthy and happy, and grow into fit, healthy, happy adults.
Wild is exciting – and children are desperate for wildness. Play is vital for development, it is hardwired into the human animal and children are hungry for it. Play teaches us how to be fully human and fully social. We develop our place in society through play. It is not good enough to just take children outside - we need to teach them about nature so that they can understand it, value it and care for it.
For more information, please go to: http://www.projectwildthing.com and join the movement!
2B going wild in Sheffield after the Project Wild Thing documentary
As landscape architects, the message of Project Wild Thing resonates with us - it is something that we instinctively know and incorporate into our work.
We believe that nature, and landscapes (great or small), have a vital part to play in our, and our children's, development and happiness. Nature sometimes needs a helping hand, to be kept as part of a development, introduced into a park, school or housing estate, or enhanced and interpreted where it is. If you are a community group, school, local authority, hospital or developer who wants to work with nature, then get in touch (telephone number at the top of the page)!