Last year, as a challenge to get more children to play outdoors, the UK-based conservation charity National Trust released a list titled “The 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾,” which included tasks ranging from “throw some snow” to “light a fire without matches.” The list proved so popular that the organization decided to release another, updated version, incorporating suggestions sent in by children through the Internet. A poll of over 1,700 children revealed that den building was their favorite activity, and bike riding was another preferred choice because it could be done with family. Many claimed to have completed all 50 items on the previous list.
What’s the Big Idea?
In addition, almost 1,700 parents were polled, and 80 percent admitted that their kids spend less time outdoors than they did as children, with the rise in technology and safety concerns cited as major reasons. However, almost three in four agreed that active adventures were vital in encouraging children to go outside. Some of the new activities submitted by children include “hold a scary beast” and “go on a walk barefoot.” The list includes suggested locations for the activities — all on National Trust land — but the organization stresses that many of them can be done almost anywhere.