Live From Britain: 50 Things For Kids To Do Outdoors Before They Turn 12

Britain’s National Trust, an organization that preserves outdoor spaces as well as historic buildings in the UK, earlier this year announced a campaign to improve people’s links with nature and wildlife.

The Trust’s director general Fiona Reynolds said that in particular, children needed freedom to discover nature for themselves, stating her belief that more children go to hospital having fallen out of bed than having fallen out of a tree.

Now we are finding out more details about this campaign.

The National Trust has come up with 50 things for children to do before they are 11 ¾. Five ‘Super Rangers’ at National Trust properties around Britain will teach children how to climb a tree, make a den, and skim stones in an effort to get kids off the couch and into the great outdoors.

Each ranger is an expert in certain activities. Tree man is a 6ft 3″ tree climbing expert who has scaled 50 metre-high trees, Captain Skim can skim a stone over 26 times, Den-Boy is an outdoor hideaway-building champion, Midas will lead treasure hunts and the Bug Catcher can identify 300 species of moth. You can see a photo of these Super Heroes by clicking here.

From The Daily Telegraph:

The new initiative comes after a report commissioned by the Trust found children today spend fewer than ten per cent of their playtime in wild places. Instead the younger generation spend an average of two-and-a-half hours a day watching the television.

Dame Fiona Reynolds, the Director General of the Trust, said children need to reconnect with nature by playing the games generations before them have enjoyed.

“Children today are unfamiliar with the countryside. They need to be given the confidence and the skills to go into the wood and build a den or climb a tree.”

Here’s The List Of The First 10 Things to Do Before You’re 11 ¾:

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

Click here to get the rest of the list. And have fun: you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy getting outside and playing!

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Photo Credit: Design by Nicola


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Sarah M.
Sarah M5 years ago

Sadly, I haven't done a lot of these. I like the list. I'm wondering what conkers is though.

iii q.
g d c5 years ago

isn;t this waht girl scouts teaches???

Gina Denholm
Gina Denholm5 years ago

Us "war babies" did all of this and have survived to tell the tale. Go for it kids....

Stanley Balgobin
Stanley R5 years ago

I would add, play X-box, tweet, text, bully for a day, and eat 3 big macs.

Amber Beasley
Amber Beasley5 years ago

awesome! I did most of those before I was 12. when I have kids I want to teach them most of those (not all, cause I don't agree with catching fish and I'm not much of a camper) and others while they are young. my kids will know their way around nature before they'll ever know their way around an iPad.

Phyllis B.
Jennifer Ward5 years ago

I brought my small grandchildre roller blades (with all the safety gear) My daughter was horrified- but it wasn't long before they were rolling up and down the hallway. The next time I went to visit, the kids greeted me from the top branches of the big tree out front.

I was brought up to swim, ride, climb, run and do PBX exercises (we had them at school)

I have fallen down cliffs and off roofs and never broken anything.

No sign of osteoporosis.

Please don't wrap your kids in cottonwool or 'helicopter' parent- your kids will pay the price of brittle bones and an underdeveloped sense of alertness to danger when they grow up.

Decobecq Brigitte
Decobecq B5 years ago


Great article !

Yes, Life is real and there is some actions that must be done, with a great spirit of games !

For example, TV is a kind of subsitute and do not help really kids.

Also, there is some kind of "new mental diseases" like TDAH, suicides, violences...

Then, those 50 things for kids are a good way to a solution for a healthy kid !

Claire Jordan
Claire Jordan5 years ago

I wonder if the decline in "kid culture" isn;t in part ebcause schools seem to be icnreasingly broken into blocks by age - separate infant schools, primary schools, high schools and sixth form colleges, where in the past there would often just be two shools, 5-11 and 11-18. It must greatly reduce the opportunities for children to learn games from their predecessors.

Claire Jordan
Claire Jordan5 years ago

Some of the things on the National Trust's list are only available to the comparativelt wealthy - it includes walking behind a waterfall, for example, and since few people live near a waterfall that big, most people will have to be able to afford to travel to do this one.

It amazes me that there's a small wood round the corner from me and kids walk past it all the time, yet I've never seen any go in there to play - they just go to the park to play on the swings instead. When I was a kid we would have been in the wood building dens and having grass-fights.

But it must be said that here in Scotland, at least, the sort of days which make you want to be outside are getting rarer. 2005 was a sunny summer but since then we've hardly had any sun. There's usually a couple of weeks of nice weather - warm without being uncomfortably hot, bright, fairly dry - in the second half of May and that's pretty much it. Most of the rest of the year is, at best, soggy and overcast.