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Sticks, bug hunts and stargazing - ‘50 things’ kids should do before they turn 12

Climbing trees, building a den, hunting for bugs and going stargazing are among the ‘bucket list’ items that children should be ticking off - before they get to the age of 12.

The National Trust has listed 50 things for children to do before they’re 11 ¾. Among the other suggestions are finding frogspawn, going swimming in the sea and cooking on a campfire.

Some of the items hark back to the childhoods of the parents of today’s pre-teens, such as playing pooh sticks, while ‘rolling down a really big hill’ may be a preferred option for cash-pressed parents than ‘Learn to ride a horse’

And playing conkers, ‘hold a scary beast’ and ‘canoe down a river’ are suggestions which, in today’s more health and safety-conscious climate, may require some adult supervision.

The survey also found that nine in 10 parents would prefer their children to spend more time connecting with nature. Today’s youngsters spend around four hours a week playing outside - half the amount of time outdoors that their parents did. However, 83 per cent of mothers and fathers did believe that it was important that their offspring learned to use technology.

National Trust ranger Ed Anderson said: “This summer, we want to inspire kids and families all over the country to get outdoors, grab their perfect stick and kick start their story with nature.

“With the natural environment under pressure, we hope that instilling a love for nature in our children now will help us encourage them to continue to protect the beauty of the great outdoors for years and generations to come.”

50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4

1. Climb a tree

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

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

More at www.50things.org.uk


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