30 Wild Ideas for #30DaysWild

30 Wild ideas for wild families

We are BIG fans of the Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild campaign to get families re-connected to nature and to appreciate and enjoy spending time outdoors.

Last year we collected litter every day for 30 days; doing our bit to try and make roadsides, waterways and natural outdoor spaces a bit cleaner for the wildlife with which we are luckily enough to share these places.

This year we thought we’d share our own list of 30 ideas for outdoor fun and adventure. Some are perfect for mid week or at the weekend, others might require a bit more time. All-in-all though, they are easy to complete and don’t require specialist skills or equipment – just the will and motivation to get outside and give them a go.

There are 6 categories: Night Time Adventures, Weekend Adventures, Midweek Adventures, Mini Wildlife Adventures, Camping Adventures, and Little BIG Adventures

So what are you waiting for? There’s a wild world for you to explore and enjoy.

Go wild!

Night time adventures

Back to Categories

1. Night walk in a wood

Going for a walk at night, in the dark is a completely different experience to the daytime, even if it is in an area that you are familiar with. Your senses are much more heightened; you’ll be more aware of each and every sound since your vision is impaired and this, aided by your imagination, can be a thrilling experience.

Different animals come out at night and ones that you might not be familiar with. Look out for any signs of movement, shadows in the dim light and listen carefully for sounds such as bats screeching, owls hooting and foxes barking. Take along a headtorch but try not to use it if possible. Ideally use a headtorch that has a red light beam since this won’t impede your night vision if it shines in your eyes.

Night walk 2

2. Night time skate/scooter

2. Night time scooter
Everyone loves to get on skates, skateboard or scooter during the day but who says you should only scooter or skate during the day? As darkness descends and the streetlights come on, head out into the streets for some excitement. Choose an area that you are familiar with and wear a headtorch so that you can see in front of you.

3. Star constellations – 5 to spot

The best place to try star gazing is where there is little or no light pollution. This isn’t always possible but try head away from the street lights and up onto a hill. Choose a clear night, with little or no clouds and take along a pair of binoculars or a telescope if you have one.

The most obvious thing to look out for are satellites and in particular the International Space Station. Satellites look like shooting stars or fast moving aeroplanes. You can spot them with the naked eye and you are likely to see them quite regularly. The International Space Station looks like an even brighter satellite. It is the third brightest object in the sky.

star signs

Try to spot some of the most recognisable constellations:

  • The Plough (also referred to as the Big Dipper) is a group of stars that form part of the larger constellation called Ursa Major or Great Bear. It is one of the most familiar star shapes in the northern hemisphere. The plough is shaped like a bowl and handle or saucepan. Three stars make up the handle and four stars make up the bowl. It is really easy to spot.
  • The North star, also called Polaris, is the brightest star in the sky and is an important navigational tool because its position in the sky is almost exactly lined up with rotational axis of the earth. So if you are in the northern hemisphere and face Polaris you are looking directly north. Polaris should be easy to find because it is the brightest star in the sky but you can also locate it using the Plough. Draw a line continuing from the two outer stars that make up the bowl of the Plough (these are referred to as pointer stars).
  • Orion is one of the more famous constellations. It is most identifiable by the hunter’s belt, three stars lined up in a neat row.
  • Orion’s Nebula is where a beautiful cluster of stars are forming. To locate the nebula, look at the vertical row of three fainter stars that hang off Orion’s belt. Orion’s nebula is the fuzzy patch in the middle.
  • Cassiopeia is easy to find because it is a zigzag row of five stars that form the shape of a W (or M, depending on its position in the sky).

4. Hide and seek by torchlight

Hide and seek is a fun game that most people love to play. You can play it anywhere, anytime. Playing hide and seek in the dark, is even more exciting! Grab your torches and you’re ready!

The way to play hide and seek by torchlight is; someone is chosen to be the seeker and they have to close their eyes and look away from everyone (no peeking!) while the hiders (the rest of the players) run and hide. Once the hiders have found their hiding spot they turn off their torches and try to stay silent. When the seeker has counted to 30 they then begin the search for everyone using their torch. The hiders could be anywhere – behind trees, logs – anywhere really! Watch out for and hidden obstacles when you run in the dark! The seeker catches a hider by shining their torch on or at them. If the seeker finds someone, the person that has been caught has to follow the seeker around, helping with the search by also shining their torch on other hiders. The first person to be found is the seeker for the next round.

5. Night time wild life ramble

Unlike us humans, many animals are nocturnal – meaning they sleep during the day and become active at night. So heading out at dusk (or later) gives you an opportunity to see creatures you wouldn’t come across during the day. A good example of this wildlife is bats. On a walk through the woods you may find these incredible creatures swooping above your head, catching flies and other insects for their dinner. There are also hedgehogs scurrying around, owls (listen carefully!) and even deer, if you head out just as light begins to fade. And remember: the quieter you are, the more likely you are to see animals – most nocturnal creatures rely on their ears as a guide during the night!
1. Night walk in a wood

Weekend adventure ideas

Back to Categories

6. Sea life sculpture

Weekend 1.sealife sculpture
Unfortunately our beaches are covered with litter that has been dropped by careless visitors or washed up from the sea or ocean, having travelled from far off places. A lot of the litter that you find is plastic which never biodegrades but only gets smaller and smaller and often ends up in the stomachs of fish, sea mammals and birds. If you look carefully most beaches have tiny pieces of micro-plastic on them. It is shocking! So, rather than stand by or walk past and ignore the issue, help raise awareness by creating a piece of art that will get your audience thinking.

Collect as many pieces of plastic debris from the beach as you can. Using the different shapes, sizes and colours, create a sea life sculpture – it can be as realistic or imaginative as you want. Consider leaving a sign or message that explains why you created your art and where the materials were from. Leave your audience thinking and maybe they’ll do their bit.

7. Whittle something

Weekend 2. whittle1
Whittling involves carving wood into an object or shape and requires careful knife skills. The use of knives by children can be frowned upon but if taught well and supervised, children can and should be able to use a knife safely and skillfully. The choice of knife is important and should be a short fixed blade knife or a locking folding knife.

Don’t expect to be carving masterpieces straight away! Start by simply stripping bark off twigs that can then be used a skewers for cooking over the fire. Also try sharpening the end of a stick to make a spear which can be uses to spear litter.

As you gain in confidence and ability, you can go on to make butter knifes, letter openers and forks!

8. Get to know a wild place

We spend so much of our lives indoors due to school and work commitments but getting outside has amazing health benefits. You don’t need to go far to find a new and wonderful wild area away from the hustle and bustle of modern living – it could even be in the garden. Visit your wild place as often as you can and really get to know it – think about visiting at different times of day. Use your senses: look carefully all around at plants and wildlife, listen to all the sounds and try to identify any interesting smells (good and bad!), touch the different textures but be careful when it comes to taste – some things just aren’t meant to be eaten!
Weekend 3. get to know a wild place

9. Make and sail a mini raft

Weekend 4. miniraft
A game of pooh sticks is all well and good but why not take it to the next level and build your own mini raft that you can race down a stream or brook? Find or cut some sticks that are the same length – you’ll need about 10 (depending on the size of your raft). The easiest way to get started is to fix your sticks together using loom bands (yep, remember that fad?).
  • Use loom bands to attach two hazel sticks to 7 or 8 cross sticks of similar length placed at 90° to create the classic raft structure (as seen in the photograph right)
  • Take a piece of garden string and tie it off onto one of the two main sticks using a timber hitch (image right).
  • Then trace the loom band with the string, keeping it nice and tight, to create a square lashing.
  • When you have lashed one (or more) of the cross sticks (or you are running out of string length), tie off with a clove hitch (see images right).
  • Keep repeating the process until all of the cross sticks have been attached.
  • Your raft is not ready to sail!

Image credit: SAS Survival Handbook

10. Have breakfast with the birds

Okay, so getting up early can be a bit uninviting, especially when you first force open your eyes and wish you’d never woken up. But, it’s worth it – having breakfast outside in the early hours of the day can help you see wildlife not around later in the day. Take your stove, sausages and eggs into your local woods or park and eat your brekkie with the creatures of the forest. Oh, and don’t forget – take some seed for the birds as well!

Mid week adventure ideas

Back to Categories

11. Jigsaw map adventure

Jigsaw map
Why not use your mapping skills for a bit of fun and challenge a friend or family member to find something that you’ve hidden?

The first thing to do is to hide a surprise / treasure in a suitable location within easy walking distance. Then draw a map of the area (as accurately as possible) on a piece of paper and indicate where your treasure can be found, e.g. x marks the spot. Once your map is complete you can then turn it into a jigsaw. Draw a picture on the back of the piece of paper or stick it securely onto a picture / photograph. Then cut your map into jigsaw pieces – you can make this as difficult or as easy as you want depending on the size and number of your jigsaw pieces. Put all the jigsaw pieces into an envelope and post to a friend or family member. You never know they might give you one in return.

12. Create a map

Maps are fascinating and provide so much information about an area. Reading a map is an important skill but so is creating one. If you have a favourite spot that you enjoying visiting, create a map of it, adding as much detail as possible. Make it as accurate as possible and don’t forget to include a key, explaining what you are showing.
treasure map

13. Scooter safari

Can get higher res if to be used
Scooters are a fun way to get about and you don’t have to be a kid to have one; lots of kids have scooters but there is a growing trend for adults to own one too. If you don’t have one, you could always borrow one from someone you know.

Choose a suitable route (ideally a cycle path or tarmacked surface) that is near to where you live. Chuck some bits and pieces in a rucksack (waterproofs, water and snacks) and head out on a scooter adventure. It’s a great way to take in the surroundings whilst getting some fun exercise at the same time!

14. Fly something

Okay so flying a life-size plane might be out of the question but there are plenty of other things you can fly, depending on what you own and your skill level. Drones and other radio-controlled flying toys require some skill but you’ve got to start somewhere. Maybe it’s time to dust off that Christmas present and fly it in the Great Outdoors. Alternatively, on a windy day, go fly a kite. If you don’t have one, you could borrow one or even make one for yourself. If none of these ideas appeal and you really do want to fly a plane then getting folding some paper and make your own paper aeroplanes. Decorate them and see whose plane flies the furthest or does the coolest stunts.
Kite copy

15. Rename a viewpoint

Go out and find somewhere with a good view. Stay a while and spend some time soaking up the sight but before you leave think about what you’d call your viewpoint.

Be creative and have fun thinking of names that give people of hint of what they might expect to see when they are there.

We once renamed a local wood that we visited regularly to walk and bivvy in ‘Campfire Wood’ Whenever we drive past it now, we all shout out ‘There’s Campfire Wood!” and look fondly at a place that is special to us.

Mini wildlife adventures

Back to Categories

16. Hide and peek

Many animals are quite shy around humans and it is difficult to spot them; in fact, they’ll actively avoid being spotted. So to have the opportunity to see that unusual bird, mammal or insect, you need to stay hidden. It’s a bit like hide and seek but no-one is trying to find you. Wear dark clothing and try to blend in with the surroundings. Hide behind a tree or rock, in a bush or, you can, a proper hide! Whilst hidden, remain quiet and keep your eyes peeled for any movement or sounds. Good luck.

17. Hedgehog house

Hibernation shelter
Hedgehogs like to hibernate in the colder months of the year and will snuggle down in damp, untidy, cosy areas like compost heaps, log piles and under sheds or bushes but you can give them a helping hand by making a hedgehog house for them.

The easiest way to do this is to turn over a sturdy crate and cut out an entrance (and even make a porch for them!). Where you position the house is important and will determine whether you actually get any visitors or not. Position the house in a damp, untidy, quiet area that won’t be disturbed, e.g. against a wall or fence and under plants or vegetation. Ensure that the entrance to the home is facing south or south-west to avoid a north or north-easterly wind. Don’t be tempted to decorate the home for them; part of the hedgehogs’ preparation for hibernating involves furnishing the home with leaves and debris from the garden. If you do get any visitors later in the year, don’t disturb them.

18. Csi Murder Scene

Oh dear – what’s that I see? Could it be… a mini-beast murder? Take on the roll of Sherlock Holmes in this crime-busting activity. See a squashed bug, a dead worm, a cruelly killed creature – find out the cause of its death! Note the murder down, along with the date, time and any clues, in your own detective’s booklet and investigate. There’s no crime big enough for this detective! (Don’t forget your magnifying glass).
dead animal

19. Make a natural collage

Beach art
When you’re feeling artistic you don’t need to turn to the pencils or paint brushes but get outdoors and use what nature has to offer. Wander around the garden, a woodland, river bank or beach and you’ll find a wide variety of materials that could be used to make an interesting collage. Choose a suitable background, such as paper, cardboard or a large piece of bark and arrange your broken seashells, flowers, grass, seaweed, straw, leaves, seeds and nuts or pebbles artistically in a pattern or to make a picture. You can also glue them onto the background for a more permanent collage that you can bring home with you to remind you of your day out.

20. Clouds – find out the name and predict the weather

We often see the weather being presented on the TV. The presenters predict what the weather will be like over the next few hours or days. But these presenters don’t just guess what the weather will be like. They have knowledge to back them up (as well as satellites orbiting our planet). If you want to show your family your knowledge of the weather then why not do some research into clouds and what different shades and shapes mean.
Here are a few you could research:
  • Cumulus
  • Stratus
  • Cirrus
Once you are able to recognise the shapes of clouds and name them accurately, you can start looking out for them and predict what the weather will be like. Tell your family if it is going to rain or worse!  Jotting down some notes will help; you can use them when you are making your weather forecasts. Once you become an expert, you could record yourself making a weather forecast outside, explaining to people what the clouds heading their way mean.

Camping adventures

Back to Categories

21. Shadow puppets

Once the sun has gone down and the torches come on, it’s a great time to have some fun making shadow puppets and the tent walls are the perfect backdrop. Shine a torch or headtorch onto the canvas / nylon and then create shapes in front of the beam of light with your fingers and hands. You could even use props to create extra shapes. How many wild and wonderful animals can you make? If you’re feeling really creative you could turn your talent into a performance.

22. Camping cookout

When you are camping out for a night under the stars you’ll need to eat and eating food outdoors tastes so much better. There are different ways to cook when you are camping: BBQ, gas stove or on the campfire. For a true camping experience, a campfire is a must but check that you are allowed to build one. Try baking your jacket potatoes in the fire and top with cheese or cook your sausages over the fire and serve in freshly baked rolls, which you could even make yourself. 

Take along some prepared bread dough. Remove a handful of dough and roll it into a long sausage. Remove the bark from the end of a freshly cut stick, such as hazel. Twist the dough around the stick, making sure that the dough is not too thick. Hold the stick over the hot embers of the fire and allow it to cook. Once the dough starts to brown and harden it will slide off the stick and you can put the sausage in the ready-made hole.

23. Make a tent peg

Pegs are important when you are camping; you use them to put your tent up. But what if you run out, forget them or bend a couple… you’re stuck! A tent is no good without a set of pegs. So, as a back up, it is a good idea to know how to make your own peg from a piece of wood, such as hazel.

Hazel is a brilliant wood to use because whenever you cut some wood off it, another branch grows back. TIP: when you cut your hazel tree (which you can distinguish by the leaves in the shape of a duck’s foot) cut it at a 45 degree angle as it means the rain will run off the wood! Once you have done this cover the stump with mud to disguise it.

How to make a tent peg:

  1.  First, find a piece of wood that is a suitable thickness and saw it (like explained above).
  2. To make the pointed end, that will go into the ground, do a shoulder push (with a straight arm, press your knife a few centimetres away from an end and push down away from you)
  3. To make the notch where the guy rope goes, hold the piece of wood firmly in one hand and place your knife blade at 90° across the wood. Press the knife into the wood where you want the notch to be, rocking the knife from left to right to help make the cut deeper.
  4. Place your knife a few centimetres below the cut that you just made and thumb push (push your thumb on the back of the blade) towards the cut. It will stop automatically when it reaches your cut. Repeat this process until you have a deep notch for your guy rope.
  5. When you hammer down a peg you need to make sure the top doesn’t crack. At the opposite end of your point, bevel the end using the thumb push technique.

Follow these instructions but be careful not to cut your fingers and there you have it, your very own tent peg.

24. Solar oven

Fancy making your own food, kids? Wanna do some D.I.Y? Well, here’s your chance! Solar ovens are a safe and fun way to cook your food, as long as you have a bit of creativity (and sunshine).

All you need is an old cardboard pizza box, cling film, newspaper, foil and black card.

  • First cut a square hole in the lid of your pizza box, leaving one edge attached so that you have a hinged flap.
  • Next, cut some foil out and stick it onto the inside of your flap.
  • After you’ve done that, stick some cling film over the hole in the lid of the pizza box.
  • Now open the lid and cover the inside base of the box with black card, and stuff rolled up newspaper in the edges of the box for insulation. Then voila! You have your own oven, powered by the heat of the sun.
Solar oven

Here’s the sciency bit

The foil reflects extra sunlight into the box, the black card absorbs heat to cook your food faster and the cling film prevents any thing from falling in from the outside and keeps any heat inside. Try melting a Haribo, making a s’more or even baking cookies (I don’t think you’ll be able to roast a turkey though!).

25. Arrowhead trail

Arrow 1
Following trails is really fun. Whether it’s a treasure trail or even a set of footsteps following something is an exciting thing to do while you are out walking. Also, making a trail can be fun.

While you are out walking find some sticks and place them on the ground to make the shape of an arrow. Do this every few metres so there is still some searching involved. Try to make them quite obvious so you don’t leave people wandering around, lost, in the middle of a forest. Choose a a good place to put a prize (like a tree stump or rocks on a beach). Leave your reward in a sheltered or secure place to make sure it doesn’t blow away. Make sure that your arrows lead to your prize. You could challenge your family and friends to complete your trail so make sure there are enough prizes!

Little BIG adventures

Back to Categories

26. Climb the height of…

If the family enjoy walking or hiking up hills and mountains turn it into a bigger challenge by attempting to climb the height of a famous mountain, e.g. Everest, without experiencing the death zone, altitude sickness or frostbite. This can be done in stages, by climbing a series of smaller mountains that will total the height of Everest (8848m) – it will still be a challenge but at an appropriate level for youngsters and people of varying abilities / fitness.

Here’s a link to our attempt at climbing (the height of) Everest.

27. Tag team cycle ride

The tag team approach to a long ride or trail makes it possible for a family (with the young, old, or slightly out of shape) to complete an outdoor experience they might not be able to complete otherwise. It is also a good way to build a sense of team-spirit and shared fun.

The idea is to select a cycle ride that is a bit (or a lot) longer than the usual ride you might normally complete, and then share the riding between the riders. So, the first riders are dropped off at the start of a section to start riding while the support car or van drives to the end of the section. When the riders arrive at the end of the section, they swap with the driving team and then drive the support vehicle to the end of the next agreed section. Repeat the process until you reach the end of the trail. You don’t have to do the driver/rider swap at the end of every section, but the idea is that everybody takes their turn to ride at least some of the trail.

Look online for ideas in your local area, but some that we have completed have been the Tissington Trail in Derbyshire, the Tarka Trail in Bideford, Devon; and Drake’s Trail from Tavistock to Plymouth (and back if you can).

28. Hike/camp/hike

Sleeping outdoors in a tent or bivvy bag is an exciting experience, but for a bigger sense of adventure and excitement, go on a hike that involves carrying the gear you need for an overnight camp out. You’ll be surprised how little you decide you actually need (or don’t need) when you are having to carry it on your back! It’s a worthwhile exercise for this reason alone, never mind the fun and excitement you’ll have camping out under the stars and then waking up to walk home again.

If you meet other walkers on route, you’ll notice a glint of respect in their eyes (or in the tone of their conversation) when they realise that you are hiking with the intent of staying out over night.


Some tips:

  • keep heavy things close to your back to help keep your centre of gravity
  • pack things in the order you are going to use them
  • keep waterproofs near the top, just in case
  • put gloves and hats in outside pockets
  • use dry bags to keep valuables – and clothing etc – dry in case water gets through the outer layer of your rucksack
  • pack snacks and take plenty of water, and keep them handy too
  • tell someone where you are going and when they can expect you back
  • take a first aid kit and know how to use it
  • always carry a map and compass (and know how to use them)

29. Wild swim / float

There’s a sense of being at one with nature when you have a wild swim (a swim in the outdoors). The water is usually colder too, so this wild idea is likely to take your breath away (in more than one way).

Take a wetsuit, a towel, some dry clothes and some snacks and warm drinks to help warm you up when you come out of the water.

If you are swimming with children, make sure they have some flotation device (buoyancy aid if they are young or a weak swimmer, or a safety tow float).

Places to wild swim:

  • the ocean – try coasteering or just playing in the waves – be aware of currents and tides
  • lakes – the larger the lake, the colder the water (usually). They are free of currents but make sure you can get to the shallows if you get too tired or cold.
  • rivers – slow flowing rivers are fun to swim (drift) down – be aware of white water
  • water fall plunge pools – don’t go too near the falling water itself though

If you are not a strong swimmer, or don’t fancy exerting yourself too much but you want an exhilarating experience, find some gentle rides to float down. An inflatable ring or car tyre are great for riding small rapids on. Make sure you check the rapids are safe to float down before you jump in, and that you can safely get to shore at any time should you need to. A buoyancy aid is a must for both children and adults alike, and you might want to pop a helmet on the younger rapid riders.

30. Family fun run – park run, 5 or 10 k fun run, fancy dress run, run the shape of

“Hands up who wants to go for a run?” will most likely result in everyone in earshot putting their hands as close to the ground as possible!

Why? Well, unless you’re fit and err… a runner, running is nothing but hard work that gets you hot, sweaty and looking like a beetroot on legs.

But with the right approach, and a bit of creativity, running can actually be fun… for a family. Honest.

scooby gang

Ideas for making a run, fun

  • Take part in a fancy dress fun run.
    Fun runs for charity (like Sport Relief) give everyone a good excuse to get dressed up and having fun – and raising money for good causes, too. The fact that most people are not serious runners makes fun runs relaxed and informal, and very supportive environments. If you find a local fun run and are tempted to join in, then do! And if there’s the option of running in fancy dress, then do that as well; when you see everyone in their costumes on the day, you’ll wish you had worn one too. Plus, wearing a fancy dress costume gives you an excuse to run more slowly and to stop and chat to people on the way if you need a rest.
  • Join Park Run
    Get a Saturday morning off to a nice startPark Run is an organisation that runs 5km timed runs all across the UK (and beyond) every Saturday morning. It is run by volunteers and even runs junior events in some locations. OK, so there are some serious runners that attend Park Run, but this shouldn’t put you off trying one – there are runners of all abilities and from my experience, they are very friendly and no-one actually judges you on your look, gear or ability. The beauty of Park Run is that every respects everyone for enjoying and sharing the experience of running together.Look out for fun Park Runs i.e. runs that take place on special occasions like Christmas.
  • Run a shape
    Running a shape is really good fun and perfect for families. All you have to do is open Google Maps and use the Distance Measure tool (right click on the map) to mark-up a route you want to run, trying to draw a shape or an outline of something. The beauty of doing this is that not only have your created an interesting route for your run, you’ve also worked out its distance! Clever eh?At Christmas time last year we drew the shape of a reindeer using the roads and streets of the local area, and then we ran (jogged slowly) the route dressed with Christmas fairy lights, Santa hats and singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. It was amazing how many people said hello or even Merry Christmas as we passed them. They either thought we were nutty or we helped to fill them with some Christmas cheer.