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30 Days Wild – Babies in the Wood

At YMCA we love to embrace the outdoors at every opportunity, especially at our Daycamps, nurseries and pre-schools. You’ll find us outdoors enjoying the fresh air in all weathers, rain or shine with a smile on our faces. So, we were delighted to team up with the Wildlife Trust last summer to take part in the UK’s month-long outdoors challenge “30 Days Wild”.

 Doing something “wild” every day for the team at our Newport Nursery, on the Isle of Wight, means using their vast woodland garden setting to immerse the children in nature, to motivate and inspire each of them through positive outdoor experiences. From bug collecting, gardening, painting and exploring there’s nothing like an outdoors adventure.

 Sarah, Lead Practitioner at Newport, shares a typical summer’s day for some of our youngest children: 

“Today, the Ladybirds Toddler group set off on a nature walk around the hospital site. They found some large trees and branches for swinging, large stones to practice climbing and a shady path for walking and running. After all that exercise, we sat down to have a snack and were joined by the ducks. What a lovely morning.”

Our preschool children enjoyed making their very own natural paint brushes. What a creative bunch we have! They even used a tree as their easel for their artwork.


Outdoor learning is an important part of children’s development and just being outside has many health benefits. It encourages us to get back to nature and allows opportunities to understand risks in a safe environment. The team love getting close to nature with the little ones, inspiring and sharing ideas for home activities.

Here’s just a few more of the fun activities they enjoyed as part of their 30 Days Wild Challenge

#inspiring  #exciting:

  • A Snail hunt – we counted how many we could find in the woodland garden.
    Unfortunately we couldn’t find very many snails, but we did find a lot of other mini beasts which we could record.
  • “We’re going on a bug hunt. We’re gonna catch a big one. What a beautiful day. We’re not scared.” Today we found a very hungry caterpillar – munch, munch, munch
  • We made our own play dough and scavenged for natural objects to make tree faces! Great fun!!!
  • Natural object bug design and painting with natural objects, exploring and creating with the babies.
  • Babies in the Woods! Even our youngest team members got to go out and explore the environment around the hospital site using all their senses. They have been listening and copying sounds on sound walks, using touch when they found the large daisies, smelling the flowers and spotting the local wildlife
  • Digging to find worms our toddlers worked together to carefully look under tree stump and rocks and digging in the mud to find worms.

  • We made sensory play dough with added herbs for smells and textures and herby heads that looked and smelt amazing!
  • We made a Nature shop and shopping lists. Promoting sorting and counting, costs and money, role play and mark making.
  • The nursery smelt gorgeous today as Liz and her Grasshoppers group made perfume. There was bashing, mashing, whisking and squeezing to make a very natural rose petal scent




We can’t wait to find out what new exciting outdoor adventures our Newport children will have next – you can follow them on Facebook.

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