Take it outside with 50 things this summer

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Latest update 11.07.2014 16:52

Help us connect 200,000 kids with the natural world.

Over the summer holidays we’re hoping to help get 200,000 kids playing outside as part of our commitment to helping the nation’s children foster a personal connection with nature.

The big issue

Children spending less and less time outdoors is widely recognised, and back in 2012 we launched our own report, Natural Childhood (pdf), to raise awareness of the fact that if we don’t try and reverse this worrying situation, we run the risk of kids today growing up to be a generation who don’t have a personal connection with the natural world around them.

Comedian and Outnumbered actor Hugh Dennis who is lending his support to our campaign says: 'My most treasured childhood memories are of being in the outdoors so it’s a sad thought that kids today aren’t enjoying the experiences which we remember so fondly. There are so many simple delights to be had – and it doesn’t have to be a chore or ordeal to do either. Back gardens can be as much as a treasure trove for kids as the seaside or a national park.'

How 50 things is helping

Since 2012 over 90,000 children have got involved and tackled wild outdoor adventures. What’s more, we know it’s working - our independent research has revealed that 48 per cent of the children who have got involved and climbed a tree or built a den have fostered a deeper bond with nature. We hope that through the activities we offer at our places and the tips we offer on how to tackle our outdoor bucket list children will develop long lasting relationship with the natural world and have more of a focus on preserving these special places for future generations

Helen Meech our assistant director, Outdoors and Nature Engagement commented: 'We really want kids to enjoy being in the outdoors and to care about nature, so it becomes part of their life as they grow up. The memories made as a child stay with you forever, and if outdoor places are part of these memories then hopefully children will grow up wanting to protect these special places for years to come. I’m sure if nature had a voice it would say that it misses today’s children and wants to be part of their childhood adventures.'

Top 10 things to do in your back garden or park

To mark the official start of our annual 50 things to do before you are 11¾ campaign, some of our top rangers have identified the top ten activities on our bucket list that can be done in your back garden or local park.

1. Climb a tree
2. Hunt for bugs
3. Create some wild art
4. Fly a kite
5. Play Pooh sticks
6. Plant it, grow it, eat it
7. Build a den
8. Set up a snail race
9. Explore inside a tree
10. Make a daisy chain

Find out more about the 50 things challenge.