If you follow us on social media, you'll almost certainly know how much I value time spent outdoors as part of daily life for me and my son. You may also have seen that, on 11th April, Bodylushious is hosting a screening of the documentary 'Project Wild Thing' in the place where I live. So... What on earth is ‘Project Wild Thing' & Rewilding Childhood all about and why am I so passionate about the subject?
The dictionary has this to say:
restore (an area of land) to its natural uncultivated state (used especially with reference to the reintroduction of species of wild animal that have been driven out or exterminated).
In the context of childhood, this means, in a nutshell, allowing children to Roam Free & Play Wild.
A few months back on a random visit to my local cafe, I came across an article in 'Families' magazine on the phenomenon known as Rewilding Childhood. I got on with life knowing I would return to the topic. When time allowed I delved a little deeper and discovered The Wild Network, and the documentary 'Project Wild Thing', which explores how best to market the wonders of Nature to kids. Watching the film, I was astounded at how deeply it resonated with what I thought I was doing with my son in relation to really being and connecting with the outdoors. Around the same time, I was introduced to an inspirational human by the name of Mike Delaitre, all the way from Mauritius living right here in Burntisland. One of his many projects just now is on the impact of the Scottish winter on people from other countries. We shared some really amazing conversations and Mike filmed me for his documentary 'Winter: The Coldest Season'.
So, a powerful combination of happenings that triggered a shake-up in me that I knew would benefit both me and my son. A kind of shake up that would allow me to take myself and my son on a journey back to my own childhood of growing up as a child in New Zealand. I set the wheels in motion for a screening of the film in Burntisland (it's happening on 11th April) and set about incorporating rewilding into our lives in a more intentional way. Here's what Rewilding looks like for us, and 10 Ways we've overcome barriers to make it work:
1 | It's become a top priority
I’m organising each day around the time we’ll spend outside. E.g. Wanting to take Poppit seal spotting at the Burntisland Boating Club. That outing there and back lasted 3 hours, and we even saw a seal!
2 | Involving Poppit in the decision making process as much as possible
E.g. we share all day on Tuesday together, I asked him recently what he’d like to do on ‘special Tuesday’ along with making some outdoor suggestions. He chose the Forest (Binn) and the Beach.
3 | We go at his pace
On the journey or when we get there, we go at his pace. On this trip up the Binn, he trekked up precarious edges, making his own pathways and directing me on the best route to take.
4 | Where possible we try to remove time barriers
This is where the good stuff happens… On a visit to Pettycur Bay beach with ice lollies we sat and watched the two currently-resident humpback whales breaching no less than 10 times!
5 | Time inside is much easier…calmer….nicer
In general our meal, dressing and bed times have been sooo much better. Sleep is coming much easier too…. hello winner!
6 | Being prepared with snacks and keep-warm-gear
During winter I daren’t leave the house without a flask of hot chocolate, a bag of food and warm clothes. Poppit has his own agenda and brings sticks, shovels and rope. I’m fortunate enough to carry those too!
7 | Thinking outside the box/ the shed
When the snow hit a few weeks back, it was a test of our commitment to being out for a long time. However we managed to convert the shed in the front garden into a café for Poppit and his friends. I was even allowed in when there was space! It was such a winner. It meant we could spend the morning baking then come and go effortlessly between Poppit's Café and snowball fights.
8 | I’ve had to re-learn how to be a child again and authentically engage in play to model to Poppit to really ‘get into’ the outdoors
Best of all, once he’s hooked I can step away and he relaxes more comfortably into free play. E.g. I have a thing about pallets. I use them as shoe racks, bed bases, I want to convert all the household furniture basically….but that’s a whole new topic. Anyway, I retrieved one from the back garden and thought it would make it a good surface for Poppit to bang nails into and hang things from. He wasn’t up for that at all, so I propped it against the bins to get it out the way, next thing Poppit's using it as a ladder and climbing up onto bins and the shed…. kept the boy entertained for A G E S. Awesome.
9 | Allowing my son the freedom to do what he wants to do and trusting that he knows his limits
For Christmas the only present I bought him was a real tool kit, he’s always been around and used his daddy and grandad's tools so I figured, why not get him his own kit. It’s funny, he has ‘play tools’ and he uses those, and will only ever use his ‘real tools’ for ‘real jobs’. Kids are pretty good at knowing what they need when we as parents let them.
10 | It’s a great opportunity for us both to get a little more up close and personal with nature...
... and what’s not good about that!
So that's how our days have been looking lately. But what's Rewilding Childhood got to do with Natural Skincare and the work I do? Great question! Rewilding provides an awesome way to incorporate nature and natural living into the way I spend time with my son. He knows a Rosemary hedge and a Rose bush when he sees one because his mummy uses them in her soaps. In fact, he sees it as his job to direct my attention. It creates a conversation that we might otherwise not have. So in terms of running a business that complements the kind of person I am and the mum I believe myself to be, Bodylushious is a pretty good choice.
With that in mind, I am proud to announce the screening of 'Project Wild Thing' at Potter About, Burntisland High Street on Wednesday 11th April, 6 - 8.30pm + discussion afterwards. If you're local, come along (and bring your wild things!) If you're further afield and keen, why not plan a screening in your area? All the info can be found at The Wild Network website.
Hope to see you there! What are some of your favourite ways to overcome barriers and get outdoors? I'd love to hear your tips and suggestions in the comments below!
Have a wild and wonderful week! Bronwyn x