Explorer Families

Families with young kids (under 10) lot of interest in being outside but often lack imagination or ideas where to start. Looking for fun, simple, playful ideas designed around both kids and parents is key - something for everyone to do. Role of content and stories to inspire is key. Weekly updates and nudges. Open to the idea that their contributions are helping a bigger issue.

Stimulus

The NIU's most resourceful officers have been gathering intelligence for this brief. Check out their intel below...

 Inspiration: The Wild Network. Deeper engagement in the issue using content, stories, curation and community - ideas and inspiration for kids and parents.

Inspiration: The Wild Network. Deeper engagement in the issue using content, stories, curation and community - ideas and inspiration for kids and parents.

If you’re told to do a survey, that’s a bit of a yawn. But if you’re given a challenge to go find the most exciting bugs out there and how will we find out then suddenly you’ve presented the whole idea in a much better light for a child so they’ll still be doing the survey work but they’ll have a purpose and the purpose is meaningful to the children
— Interview
I live in rural Cumbria which sounds great but there’s a lot of the time the weather is bad or I don’t have transport and my area doesn’t really seem to have that much wildlife in it.
— Interview
 Inspiration: Bio Blitz. Place-based experience, interaction with experts and activities for kids and grown-ups, beginners and experts.

Inspiration: Bio Blitz. Place-based experience, interaction with experts and activities for kids and grown-ups, beginners and experts.

Kids are ace when you are out and trying to spot stuff, they are nearer to the ground, they can notice things we adults can’t, we should make more of that.
— Interview
We asked 46 explorer families about the issues they care about. Safeguarding natural habitats, climate change and keeping the countryside and coastline accessible for future generations were top rated (65, 61, 60% interested, respectively).
— NIU officer
Of the 46 families we asked, 59% were worried about climate change, 59% about the disappearance of local green spaces, 54% about kids spending too much time on screens and 52% about kids not spending enough time outdoors
— NIU officer
Felt like you were contributing to something bigger and that was quite nice, because it feels like you’re actually making a difference even if you’re one number in thousands - and also it’s about being part of that group, the thousands, that is quite nice.
— Interview
Having it a bit more social. Because a lot people won’t sit for hours staring at their bird feeder but they might if they were doing it with their friends and drinking cups of tea.
— Interview
When you have young kids, it takes a while getting used to being out walking with them, cos they’re a bit slow, and I used to mountain bike and surf at the weekend, you can get frustrated, but if there was a fun thing to do for me and them that made use of that slowness, that ability to spot or be still, that would be cool.
— Interview

Ideas

In February 2016, nature intelligence officers Swarmed around this challenge for 48 hours. Here are the initial ideas...

 Idea: The James Lovelock Challenge. The challenge is to quite simply design a nature detector that helps people to 'Notice Nature'. All inventions made with simple items from a £1 shop.

Idea: The James Lovelock Challenge. The challenge is to quite simply design a nature detector that helps people to 'Notice Nature'. All inventions made with simple items from a £1 shop.

 Idea: NI5. The top secret arm of the Nature Intelligence Unit – a collective of young people completing missions to notice and protect nature in their local area.

Idea: NI5. The top secret arm of the Nature Intelligence Unit – a collective of young people completing missions to notice and protect nature in their local area.

 Idea: Map Your Walk. Personalised maps of your family's favourite walks, populated with the photos, videos and sounds you record.

Idea: Map Your Walk. Personalised maps of your family's favourite walks, populated with the photos, videos and sounds you record.

What's next?

The NIU is working on a plan to hatch the ideas with the most potential to get us humans noticing nature. We'd love to hear from you if you have more ideas to add to the mix. Please leave your thoughts in the comments box below.