So The National Trust is a UK charity that specialises in restoring and preserving historical buildings and gardens. It might do more than that, but that's what I know about them. Anyway, it seems to be common knowledge that kids don;t spend as much time outdoors as they used to, so the National Trust came up with a list of 50 things to do before you’re 11 and ¾.
I like lists. I thought I'd go through and see what I'd done! With commentary, of course. Turns out that I've done 38 out of 50. Not bad eh? I found the list on the parents part of their website here: https://www.50things.org.uk/parents-area.aspx
The few that were missing I found from a google search.
What I'd like to know, is how many of this stuff you guys have done, and if there's a difference between folk who grew up in the UK, and folk who grew up elsewhere. I guess climate of your country will make a difference to some of them. Anyway, have a read and let me know.
1.Climb a tree
Yes – although as I’m a coward I am easily scared by the threat of falling. My boyfriend is much better at this than me. And still likes climbing trees. And scaffolding. And anything he shouldn't!
2. Roll down a really big hill
Yes – mind the cowpats though. And the rocks.
3. Camp out in the wild
Yes – I’m not a fan. I went with the girl guides and also on one family camping tree to the bay of biscay in France. That wasn’t exactly in the wild, though we did find a big fat hedgehog under the tent, and a huge jellyfish washed up on the beach. In fact that jellyfish is what scared me from going in the sea for the next 10 years or so.
4. Build a den
Yes – although a lot of these were done in the house with chairs, the sofa and a duvet cover. I used to love that I've also done this as an adult. It's still fun.
Yes - but I never got the hang of it. I probably gave up after a few goes.
6. Run around in the rain
Yep! This is also fun as a teenager.
7. Fly a kite
My Dad loved doing this with us. We always had problems untangling the kite strings.
8. Catch a fish with a net
Done that in Ireland. It was on a fish farm so it wasn’t exactly difficult. I remember having to bash the fish in the head to kill it then taking it home and cooking it. One of them excreted a lot of poo when my mum was cleaning it. Gross..
I think the national trust wants you to catch the fish then put it back in the water.
9. Eat an apple straight from a tree
Very much so. And pears. My dad grew the best pears. At their best when they are slightly under-ripe.
10. Play conkers
Yes. But I never really saw the point.
11. Throw some snow
Yes. But the coldness of the snow meant I have never enjoyed snowball fights. Making snow angels, now that’s far more fun.
12. Hunt for treasure on the beach
I still do this now!
13. Make a mud pie
I remember doing this as a very young child.
14. Dam a stream
Yes - this is so much fun! It was never anything spectacular. Just little dams. But still fun.
15. Go sledging
I’ve done this twice in my life. Once as a young teenager, where another sledge knocked into me and left me winded. It was my first experience of being winded and I found it very interesting, in a detached sort of way. I remember thinking so this is hat winded means! This is how it feels not to be able to breathe!
The second time I went was at university, and it was awesome.
16. Bury someone in the sand
Not done this, not seriously. I’ve buried feet in the sand plenty of times. That’s really pleasurable.
17. Set up a snail race
I think I may have watched snail race, but I’ve never set one up. I dislike snails. They are marginally above slugs on my scale of things to be afeard of.
18. Balance on a fallen tree
I ADORE playing on trees. Even as an adult. Especially as an adult.
19. Swing on a rope swing
Not sure if did this as a kid. I may have been too fearful. I’ve done it as an adult though. Much fun was had.
20. Make a mud slide
Nooooo.... not sure what this means actually.
21. Eat blackberries growing in the wild
Yepski! It’s a good idea to make sure they are ripe, otherwise they are sour tasting and will give you bad guts.
22. Take a look inside a tree
Hmm. Not sure about this one. I think I always wanted to, but there was a dearth of hollow trees wherever I looked.
23. Visit an island
This is where My memories get confused. I could say yes, but I may just have placed scenes from the hounds of the morrigan or various Enid Blyton books into my memory.
Oh yes. I'd be surprised if anyone who goes outside ever has never experienced this.
25. Make a grass trumpet
Erm, again, I'm not sure what this means. I've tried to whistle on grass. Never got the hang of that.
26. Hunt for fossils and bones
Yes. Not found any though.
27. Watch the sun wake up
I highly doubt this. I have never been a morning person. From about 15 upwards I could stay up all night and watch the sun rise, but I always found it very boring. Sunset is much more interesting.
28. Climb a huge hill
I expect so. No specific memories come to mind, but we did have some good walks on the Yorkshire moors when I was young. I climbed up Arthur’s seat in Edinburgh as an adult, when on a hen party a few years ago.
29. Get behind a waterfall
Like number 23, I have no idea if I’ve done this or if I’m just filching scenes from books and films.
31. Hunt for bugs
32. Find some frogspawn
Yes. In my primary school’s pond there was frogspawn. We all got taken out o look at it. I remember touching it and being grossed out by the slimy nature of it.
33. Catch a butterfly in a net
If this means successfully, then no. If it means tried to, without any actual knowledge, then of course!
35. Discover what's in a pond
Probably. I expect when poking at frogspawn we also looked at the other pondlife.
36. Call an owl
Unfortunately no. But if my house move goes well I’ll be living next to some woods, so maybe then eh?
I remember looking at rock pools, but always being disappointed there weren’t exciting things in there. I felt like Enid Blyton books had lied to me.
No. But I want to now.
39. Catch a crab
Erm... I’m really not sure...
40. Go on a nature walk at night
I cannot recall if I’ve ever done this.
My dad did. He tried to get me interested in gardening. It didn't work. Does that count? Oh hang on, I may have grown some cress once.
42. Go wild swimming
I think so. Probably before I saw the massive jellyfish on the beach in France.
43. Go rafting
I remember building a raft on a school trip. I don’t think we ever got on it though.
44. Light a fire without matches
I remember trying to do this. Possibly using the rubbing sticks together vigorously method. Possibly at Girl Guides. I don’t think it worked.
45. Find your way with a map and a compass
Yep! At Girl Guides, or a school trip. Or both, perhaps.
46. Try bouldering
I don’t think I know what this is.
47. Cook on a campfire
Yes, At guide camping trips. And at Reading festival as an adult. I hated it. Still do.
48. Try abseiling
Yes, on a school trip to Wales. I was missing a contact lens, I was scared of heights, but after I’d gone over the edge I loved it. I would like to do it again.
49. Find a geocache
As an adult I did this. I think was aged about 23.
50. Canoe down a river
Yes, I was probably terrified (I was terrified of a lot of things). I did it on the school trip to Wales.
So, what do you reckon? how many of these have you done?