If you’ve ever been to a Wild Imagination event you’ll know that you will find all kids of nature play activities specifically designed to let any kiddo’s mind run wild and free.
Wild Imagination is a wonderful alternative to vacation care in the school holidays where little ones laugh, splash, crawl and climb through mud play, nature crafts, potion making and cubby building. All of the activities utilise ingredients from the natural world around us such as flowers, sticks, herbs, spices, leaves, wood and anything Brooke Davis can come up with.
Brooke is the imagination behind it all who believes that kids need more green time and less screen time. To help this idea come alive she has recently launched a crowd funding campaign for her nature play activity book for kids ‘Your Wild Imagination’.
From 3+ years old the book is for anyone big or small who wishes to be inspired. It includes over 20 nature play activities that can be transformed by your own unique creativity.
We spoke to Brooke Davis about her new book and what inspires her:
What inspires you?
I am constantly in awe of the inquisitive disposition of children and their innate connection to nature. My two cheeky and adventurous children show me every day how to be playful (although some days I wish they would play more like superb fairy wrens and less like baboons!) I am fortunate enough to live in the Adelaide Hills with a beautiful garden, which is where the images for the book were photographed. The ever-changing trees and diverse bird life provide me with so much joy and it urges me to encourage others to spend time in nature.
Have you always wanted to do a printed book?
Writing a book was actually something that came to me in a dream early last year – yes, I know that sounds a bit woo woo! The dream was so vivid that when I woke up I decided that ‘sometime’ in my future I would write a book. Initially I thought it would be a decade in the making, but in November last year I went on a magnificent trek in Nepal and while technology-free (as well as husband- and kid-free!) for 12 days I found myself drawn to writing and planning the book. I hope this adventure leads to many more books because I have planned them all in that travel journal!
What was your first nature play memory?
I spent my early childhood living in Darwin and I remember being outside pretty much all the time. My sister and I would bring our dolls outside and make cubbies for them, and play imaginative games while climbing trees. I remember listening to the deafening sound of the cicadas and collecting their skins – it was like a mini treasure hunt finding them all over the backyard. I would follow the green ant trails to their intricately weaved nest and eat their tasty bottoms whilst trying not to get bitten.
What has been the most exciting thing about the crowd funding journey?
Planning and photographing the book was a lot of fun! But it has been seeing the reaction of those who have only just discovered Wild Imagination become so passionate about the book. I have loved seeing people from all over the world pledge to buy the book; it gives me hope that the next generation of leaders will have a strong connection to nature and will work to protect the environment. Playing in and with nature is the first step to developing an environmental conscience, because we won’t care for something if we don’t connect with it.
What’s next for Wild Imagination?
Short term, we’ve got some events with partners lined up for the coming months and the October school holiday program is in the planning stages. We’ll launch the book in October and will be working hard to get it into book shops and gift shops. Longer term, I plan to create more nature play books with different activities for various age groups and interests – including for tweens/teens and adults. The many benefits of nature play are well documented. And the importance of nature connection cannot be understated. The question I always come back to which drives me forward is: How are our children going to care about the environment if they spend a decreasing amount of time connecting to nature? We need all the nature warriors and change makers we can get to protect this one beautiful planet we share, and I’m grateful that the way I have chosen to spread the joy of nature is embraced by so many people.
For more information on school holiday programs or to support Brook’s Crowd Funding Campaign visit: wildimagination.com.au
Photography by @sweet_little_light