Image Credit: Steve Jones
In 2012 the National Trust launched its 50 Things To Do Before You're 11¾ campaign, which was aimed at getting kids outside and into nature, by encouraging them to take part in old fashioned fun such as stone skimming, tree climbing, den building and mud pie making.
The initiative was in response to a report commissioned by the National Trust which highlighted research that showed fewer than one in ten children ever regularly play in wild places compared to almost half a generation ago. Furthermore, only a third have never climbed a tree, one in ten can't ride a bike, and three times as many are taken to hospital after falling out of bed, as from falling out of a tree.*
The charity's 50 Things To Do Before You're 11¾ campaign provides a list of fun things to do outdoors for under-12s (and for those who are young at heart too!) including everything from running around in the rain and bug hunting, to setting up a snail race, damming a stream, flying a kite and making a mud pie.
Let's be honest; the list of 50 things has been massively toned down since 2012. The original list included climbing a tree, canoeing, throwing snow, swing on a rope swing, feed a bird in your hand, catch a butterfly in a net, abseiling, catch a fish.
The original idea was to get kids out and understanding that these activities, the things that kids have done for centuries, done with supervision are not scary or dangerous or something to be avoided.
Anyway, you can print off a wall chart from the National Trust's website to stick on your wall and tick each activity off as you try it.
They have also published a book to accompany the campaign.
* Stats from Play England: August 2011
The list has been updated a couple of times since the campaign was launched. This is the current list, updated in 2020.
About eParenting: eParenting was started by Jacqui O'Brien in 2004. At the time her kids were 1 and 4 and kept her nice and busy. Now they are teenagers and still keeping her pretty busy!