Posted 8th Jan 2015
With less than 10% of our children playing in natural areas compared to 40% of today’s adults who did, The Wildlife Trusts are pleased to be teaming up with Busy Bees nurseries to provide opportunities with nature and inspiration for children at more than 200 nurseries across the UK
Busy Bees has joined forces with The Wildlife Trusts to promote the great outdoors and the fabulous fun to be had exploring all that nature has to offer with children. Intended to reignite children’s curiosity for the natural world, and in doing so help protect its many wonders for generations of children yet to come, Busy Bees Goes Wild will launch this month to babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers across all of Busy Bees’ 236 nurseries across the UK.
This special learning enhancement has been developed by The Wildlife Trusts exclusively for children who attend Busy Bees’ nurseries and will be split into four sections – one for each season. As part of Busy Bees Goes Wild, children will take part in a number of wildlife-themed activities and document their progress in special scrapbooks (pictured left) designed by the charity. Scrapbooks will be judged at both nursery and national level with winners entered into national finals at the end of each season. All children will receive certificates upon the completion of each seasonal scrapbook and national winners will be awarded with goody bags and a free family membership to their local Wildlife Trust. An overall Busy Bees Goes Wild champion will be crowned at the end of the autumn season later in the year and will win a family break at a Center Parcs resort. All children who complete all four seasonal scrapbooks will receive special hats and t-shirts for their commitment and effort too.
Commenting on the partnership, Marg Randles, co-founder and managing director of Busy Bees Childcare, explained: 'Exploring the natural world has been an integral part of childhood for centuries and represents a free, fun and accessible way for children, and their families, to spend quality time together, learn and play. It also supports active and healthy lifestyles. Yet, for several reasons – including the advancement of technology – the great outdoors is becoming a less attractive proposition for many children and parents.
'We’ve partnered with The Wildlife Trusts because we want to champion the great outdoors and encourage our children to discover exciting facts about nature and enjoy the limitless fun that can be had exploring it. We’re really looking forward to launching Busy Bees Goes Wild and can’t wait to see the colourful and creative scrapbooks our children are going to produce.'
Adam Cormack, Communications Manager for The Wildlife Trusts, said: 'Helping children and families to discover nature and make the most of the wildlife close to home is a big part of our work. We want as many children as possible to experience nature and enabling this to happen at a young age is really important.
'The Busy Bees Goes Wild scheme is all about getting children closer to nature. The scrapbooks offer ways for children to record and share their wildlife experiences and the awards encourage an interest in nature through letting them get outside and experience the real thing for themselves. We’re delighted to be helping Busy Bees to get more children interested in nature and we hope that, for some, it could be the start of a lifelong interest in wildlife.'
Children who request to take part in Busy Bees Goes Wild will complete a range of activities in nursery and at home with their families, such as making bird feeders, drawing pictures and documenting wildlife they encounter while outside. In addition to the scrapbooks and associated activities, seasonal poetry and photography competitions will run as part of the initiative. Find out more about introducing children to the great outdoors by visiting www.wildlifetrusts.org/discovery, or for more information about Busy Bees visit www.busybeeschildcare.co.uk.
Images courtesy of The Wildlife Trusts: Jamie Hall, Zsuzsanna Bird