Ditch the Game Boy and climb a tree says National Trust

Couch-potato kids are being urged to "plant it, grow it, eat it" as one of 50 things to do before they hit the age of 11-and-three-quarters in a huge National Trust visitor push.

The National Trust 'Elite Ranger' squad - image: NT
The National Trust 'Elite Ranger' squad - image: NT
The trust launched its nationwide campaign yesterday (12 April) to encourage sofa-slouching children to make for the great outdoors and enjoy classic adventures such as climbing trees.

The 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾ follows a report commissioned by the trust that found fewer than one in ten children regularly play in wild places compared to almost half a generation ago. A third of children have never climbed a tree.

A spokesman said the checklist was for under-12s and "those who are young at heart" and included 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.

The trust has formed a group of five "Elite Rangers" who will share expert tips on enjoying outdoor adventures during a free weekend on 21 and 22 April when over 200 of its houses and gardens will offer free entry.

Visitor experience director Tony Berry said: "We’re hoping the nation’s children will embrace the 50 things and start having their own outdoor adventures with their family. Our free weekend is a good opportunity to get outside in the fresh air."

50 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
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. 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. 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. Go on a nature walk at night
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
50. Canoe down a river


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