Monday, 30 September 2013

50 things to do before you're 11 and 3/4

It's time for a non-miniature post today. I came across this list of 50 things according to the National Trust, . Having grown up in a semi-rural location, I think I stand as good a chance as any of having lived a full and outdoorsy childhood, so let’s see how I did.

1.       Climb a tree. Done many times (and fallen out of a few too).
2.       Roll down a really big hill. I can do better than that, I’ve rolled down the Dune de Pyla which is the biggest sand dune in Europe!
3.       Camp out in the wild. I have camped out thanks to the Girl Guides and Brownies.
4.       Build a den. Using both natural trees and bushes, play equipment or the simple favourite of an old cardboard box.
5.       Skim a stone. Well I’ve attempted it plenty of times. I get ½ a point for trying!
6.       Run around in the rain. I grew up in the UK, this is practically unavoidable.
7.       Fly a kite. I’ve not just flown kites, I’ve flown homemade kites made from bin liners and electrical tape. Beat that!
8.       Catch a fish with a net. I caught my neighbour’s goldfish from her garden pond when I was 9. I got in a lot of trouble for that.
9.       Eat an apple straight from a tree. No because my there wasn’t an apple tree, but I have eaten plums, hazelnuts and figs straight from the tree. I get ½ a point for that too!
10.   Play conkers. Of course!
For anyone unfamiliar with the term,
here is how you play conkers.
11.   Go on a really long bike ride. Nope, I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was 9 or 10, and wasn’t really confident until I was 12. There was no stopping me after that though.
12.   Make a trail with sticks. No, I could find my way round the woods by looking at the trees.
13.   Make a mud pie. Yes, I made a whole mud cake shop. Grass garnish cost extra.
14.   Dam a stream. Yes, although usually they were outlets on the beach so smelled pretty special.
15.   Play in the snow. Yes but only a couple of times as in the ten years I lived on the Isle of Wight it only snowed once! The other time was when an aunt took me to the French Alps, I loved it!
16.   Make a daisy chain. All the time, the cat simply loved modelling them for me.
17.   Set a snail race. Yes, although unbeknownst to me the reason my uncle kept so many snails was so he could EAT THEM!
18.   Create some wild art. Yes, all the time.
19.   Play pooh sticks. Yes, there was a footbridge over a stream that was perfect for this nearby where we used to go on caravan holidays.
20.   Jump over waves. Grew up by the seaside, so all the time.
21.   Pick blackberries growing in the wild. Every year.
22.   Explore inside a tree. Poked a few with sticks if that’s what you mean?
23.   Visit a farm. Yes. My uncle is a sheep farmer though, so it wasn’t difficult.
24.   Go on a walk barefoot. My mother had to shout to make me wear shoes.
25.   Make a grass trumpet. We called them whistles but I think it’s the same thing.
26.   Hunt for fossils and bones. The Isle of Wight is renowned for its dinosaur fossils so I hunted all the time. The best I ever found was a dog tooth.
27.   Go star gazing. I could find Orion the Hunter but that’s about it.
28.   Climb a huge hill. Yes, the walk to school!
29.   Explore a cave. Never found any, the beaches were all sandy.
30.   Hold a scary beast. I held one half of a huge snake at the zoo, I held the head end because I was FEARLESS!
31.   Hunt for bugs. Yes, we had a worm farm.
32.   Find some frogspawn. Did this in school, we grew them into frogs in the classroom. We also hatched chicken eggs in an incubator (the extremely dedicated teacher took it home every evening) and had a very fun day full of little fluffy chickies running around the classroom. We laid blankets down and they managed to find all uncovered places to poop on. I love nature.

What happened more often than not
when I tried to catch a falling leaf
courtesy of the Bitter Stickgirl.
33.   Catch a falling leaf. Yes.
34.   Track wild animals. I found a badger set if that counts?
35.   Discover what’s in a pond. Please see aforementioned goldfish and frogspawn hunting.
36.   Make a home for a wild animal. We put up a nest box once.
37.   Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool. My grandma took me to one once.
38.   Bring up a butterfly. Never did this.
39.   Catch a crab. Never on purpose, but I’ve upset plenty!
40.   Go on a nature walk at night. I’m sure we did this with the Brownies once or twice.
41.   Plant it, grow it, eat it. Sort of. It was more like plant it, forget about it, mother grew it, I ate it. ½ point for me!
42.   Go swimming in the sea. All the time.
43.   Build a raft. Well I tried, they were all incredibly dangerous. It’s a good thing I could swim!
44.   Go bird watching. I didn’t have to, I lived in the middle of the woods so the birds came to me.
45.   Find your way with a compass and map. I’m sure we did this in school.
46.   Try rock climbing. Nope. Tried it when I was a little older – I was terrible.

Check out my campfire cooking skills.
47.   Cook on a campfire. Yes, thank you Brownies.
48.   Learn to ride a horse. No, I was once placed on a horse against my will, but that doesn’t count.
49.   Find a geocache. I don’t think such things existed during my childhood.
50.   Canoe down a river. I canoed on a flat lake once, I don’t think I was ever deemed competent enough to have a go in a current!
I got a respectable 41/50 with one of those 50 being impossible as it hadn’t been invented (gosh I feel old). So how did you do?


  1. Not as good as you. I could only honestly say I have done about 21 of these.

  2. I was very lucky to grow up in the middle of a wood with a beach 5 minutes walk away. Oh how I miss it!

  3. I loved this post! Made me think of what I did as a kid. I think I got maybe a 35/50
    Thanks for sharing