Fifty Things To Do Before You're 11&¾ (The Link-Up)

My childhood garden was large and full of little nooks and crannies (notice you never get a cranny without a nook?) that offered hours of entertainment. Summers were long and balmy, filled with the squeals of laughter of four siblings who would tie each other to trees with their pigtails (thank you brother 1), hold talent contests on the picnic bench, splash around and soak each other with the hose, play badminton in the quiet side road next to the house, race on the go-kart from the side garden and under the archway to the garage into the back garden, and practise tennis or netball against the side wall of the garage. All under the watchful eye of my mum from the living room or kitchen window, both of which were upstairs (weird layout) and commanded a magnificent view over our 'empire'.

The point I am trying to make here is that we spent hours and hours every day outside.

As my siblings grew older, I had less playmates but it didn't affect my desire to get out into the fresh air. Even now, I feel free when outside, it soothes my frazzled nerves and I can feel my spirits lifting.

When we went to Nymans for the National Trust event earlier this Spring, David Bond (marketing director for Nature!) asked us whether our happy place was inside or outside. The split was about half and half, which is very different to most families. Most adults (and children) now have an indoors happy place. It is therefore, hardly surprising that children in the UK are the most depressed in the natural world; they don't know about the joy of feeling the wind through their hair and tingling their senses, the sun caressing the skin, the sense of achievement when they climb a tree or jump the brook, skim the stone or make a den.

Last year I blogged about the 50 Things To Do Before You're 11&¾ campaign by the National Trust. I set us a goal of 5 Things To Do Before You're 3 and we attempted four of these things (the waterfall was always going to be ambitious!). In the past year we've ticked off a few more of these (mostly easy to achieve) targets and are making steady progress, mainly thanks to the Country Kids linky over on Coombe Mill.

  1. Climb a tree (04/11/12)
  2. Roll down a really big hill
  3. Camp out in the wild
  4. Build a den
  5. Skim a stone
  6. Run around in the rain
  7. Fly a kite
  8. Catch a fish with a net (25/07/14)
  9. Eat an apple straight from a tree
  10. Play conkers
  11. Go on a really long bike ride
  12. Make a trail with sticks
  13. Make a mud pie
  14. Dam a stream
  15. Play in the snow
  16. Make a daisy chain
  17. Set up a snail race
  18. Create some wild art (21/07/13)
  19. Play Pooh sticks
  20. Jump over waves
  21. Eat blackberries growing in the wild
  22. Explore inside a tree
  23. Visit a farm
  24. Go on a walk barefoot
  25. Make a grass trumpet
  26. Hunt for fossils and bones
  27. Go star gazing
  28. Climb a huge hill
  29. Explore a cave
  30. Hold a scary beast
  31. Hunt for bugs
  32. Find some frogspawn
  33. Catch a falling leaf
  34. Track wild animals
  35. Discover what's in a pond
  36. Make a home for a wild animal
  37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool
  38. Bring up a butterfly
  39. Catch a crab (25/07/14)
  40. Go on a nature walk at night
  41. Plant it, grow it, eat it
  42. Go swimming in the sea
  43. Build a raft (05/08/13)
  44. Go bird watching
  45. Find your way with a map and compass
  46. Try rock climbing
  47. Cook on a campfire
  48. Learn to ride a horse
  49. Find a geocache
  50. Canoe down a river

I've decided to write this post for me so that we can cross off the other targets as and when we meet them. And because it's more a of a reference bank for me, I also thought I'd open it up as a permanent linky until… well The Boy is 11&¾ quite frankly. Either that or until he does them all!

I'd love it if you joined in with your posts or photos (Instagrams/twitpics) showing your children fulfilling one of their Fifty Things To Do Before You're 11&¾.


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  1. says

    Ooh you're doing really well!! I kept seeing the odd one thinking there's a place near us that would be perfect for that (like wild blackberries grow at one of the train stations near us!)

  2. says

    You are making great progress, I think The Boy is going to be like my children and complete these long before he is 12. I hope mine continue to enjoy and develop these simple pleasures beyond the age of 12. Thank you for the mention for Country Kids and delighted it is helping with your 50 Things Chellenge.

  3. says

    I am really trying to pursue this natural childhood with my wee man as I know the benefits. Admittedly I have not been overly focused on all the activities above but as he gets older I think we will get more focused to keep him keen on being outdoors. My next country kids post we were out in the rain so that crosses off one anyway!

  4. says

    you're doing so well with this. I set up our 50 things account yesterday and I'm determined we'll crack on with it. I find that the best days as a family of 4 are spent outside and the days where we're inside all day we get on each other's nerves!


  1. […] first found out about this from TheBoyAndMe and she currently has a linky open over here of The Boy's journey and how he's getting […]

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