Connecting with Nature

The National Trust aims to lure sofa-bound children to the great outdoors and is encouraging more people to connect with nature.

“Sofa-bound” children who have lost touch with the great outdoors have been handed a must-do list of simple activities to help overcome the growing problem of “nature-deficit disorder”.

The checklist is one of a number of measures aimed at reconnecting youngsters with nature after a report showed that rapidly dwindling numbers were taking advantage of their environment, even in the stunning landscapes offered in Devon and Cornwall. The National Trust has published the list of 50 outdoor activities that every child should complete before they start secondary school.

Suggested adventures include running around in the rain, bug hunting, snail racing, wild swimming and going rafting.

We’d like to help you get started by either joining us by taking part in a Blue Mile near you or helping you organise your own.

The list – “50 things to do before you’re 11-and-three-quarters” – was drawn up after research by the charity found that fewer than one in ten children regularly play in wild places compared to half just a generation ago.

The 50 Things to Do Before you’re 11-and-three-quarters

  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 from a tree
  10. Play conkers
  11. Throw some snow
  12. Hunt for treasure on the beach
  13. Make a mud pie
  14. Dam a stream
  15. Go sledging
  16. Bury someone in the sand
  17. Set up a snail race
  18. Balance on a fallen tree
  19. Swing on a rope swing
  20. Make a mud slide
  21. Eat blackberries growing in the wild
  22. Take a look inside a tree
  23. Visit an island
  24. Feel like you’re flying in the wind
  25. Make a grass trumpet
  26. 26. Hunt for fossils and bones
  27. Watch the sun wake up
  28. Climb a huge hill
  29. Get behind a waterfall
  30. Feed a bird from your hand
  31. Hunt for bugs
  32. 32. Find some frogspawn
  33. Catch a butterfly in a net
  34. Track wild animals
  35. Discover what’s in a pond
  36. Call an owl
  37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool
  38. Bring up a butterfly
  39. Catch a crab
  40. 40. Go on a nature walk at night
  41. 41. Plant it, grow it, eat it
  42. Go wild swimming
  43. Go rafting
  44. Light a fire without matches
  45. Find your way with a map and compass
  46. Try bouldering
  47. Cook on a campfire
  48. Try abseiling
  49. Find a geocache (like letterboxing)
  50. Canoe down a river
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