Wednesday, 9 August 2017

50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾ - Answer the Call of the Wild this summer !

Whether it's down to parents wanting to keep their kids in sight at all times due to the horrific stories that are featured all too often on the news or more due to the lure of electronic gadgets and devices, there's no doubt about it - kids these days definitely don't spend as much time outdoors as they used to. I'm forever getting the Madhouse kids outside for nature walks, geocaching or trips to the park, but they usually take some cajoling, so I wasn't surprised to read the results of recent research by the National Trust.

Children today spend 57% less time exploring outdoors than their parents and grandparents did – on average just 1 hour 20 mins a day, vs. 2 hours 40 mins (parents) and 3 and a half hours a day (grandparents). Three quarters (76%) of grandparents say they were far more adventurous and daring in their youth compared to both their children and grandchildren. While 75% of grandparents said climbing trees was one of their favourite childhood memories, half (51%) said their grandchildren had not experienced this activity.

Research by leading conservation charity, the National Trust, reveals that grandparents are the key ingredient to helping today’s generation develop a connection with nature. Almost two-thirds of grandparents (61%) take on the role of childminding more than twice a week during the holidays, and a huge majority (92%) say that they take great enjoyment from teaching their grandchildren about adventurous activities, such as building a den or flying a kite.

The research polled 1,000 grandparents and parents for the charity as part of its ‘50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 ¾’ initiative, which aims to encourage families to get outdoors and enjoy spending time together.

National Trust research also found:

· 87% of parents and grandparents said they enjoy seeing their offspring running wild and carefree, with 80% taking pleasure from seeing them playing outdoors away from technology devices.

· In addition, 95% of parents and grandparents agree that it is important for children to connect with nature so that they can build a relationship with the great outdoors and help future generations care for and protect it

To celebrate the joyful experiences the natural world has to offer, the Trust has created a wildlife documentary-style film, bringing to life the innate connection we all have with nature with grandparents leading the way. 

The National Trust, which is funded entirely through the support of the public who visit, join and volunteer, is looking to inspire the next generation of children to plant their roots and kick-start a lifelong love affair with nature through its ‘50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 ¾’ initiative. National Trust Ranger Kate Jones, explains: “This summer, we want to inspire children, parents and grandparents to get outdoors and develop their relationship with nature together as a family. With so many fantastic ‘50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 ¾’ events taking place at Trust locations across the country, there’s no better time to go wild and explore the great outdoors, taking inspiration from our challenges. We know that sharing these outdoor experiences with family and friends from a young age, helps to foster a stronger and more ingrained connection to nature, which we hope will be passed on for generations to come.”

For more information on the National Trust’s ’50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 ¾’ campaign, head to: or search #50things.

I've decided to check off the things that we've already done to see how we're doing - Pierre's only eight so we've still got time to complete some more for him !

The ‘50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾’ List:

1. Climb a tree (admittedly not very high, just a few branches, although they did try a treetop adventure course too)
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
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
19. Play pooh sticks
20. Jump over waves
21. Pick blackberries growing in the wild
22. Explore inside a tree
23. Visit a farm
24. Go on a walk barefoot (does along the beach and in the dunes count?)
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
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
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 make that 35/50 - maybe we'll manage to tick some more off over the holidays !

Disclosure : We'll be receiving some tickets to visit a National Trust property and hopefully take part in one of their '50 Things' activities.


  1. My children have done most of these things, unfortunately we don't have a canoe, apple tree, or snow, it snowed last year where we live for two minutes in the night but had cleared by the morning xxx

  2. We've done 31. Still got time though 😀

  3. We've done 31. Still got time though 😀

    1. We caught a fish in a net on holiday so that's one more !


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