50 things to do before you're 11 ¾ in the North East

Make the most of spring and summer and try out some of the '50 things to do before you're 11 ¾' here in the North East.

Camping at Highertown Campsite, Lansallos, Cornwall

No.3 Camp out in the wild  

Few things can beat a family camping trip so how about enjoying a family adventure with a difference and camping out in the wild this summer? You can pitch your tent at Broomhouse Farm, a working farm on the Wallington estate, and lend a hand with feeding the animals. Or book up for Gibside's Family Camping Festival over the May bank holiday for 2 nights and 3 days of family fun while camped out under the stars.

Den building Killerton Devon

No.4 Build a den  

Test your woodland DIY skills by designing and building your very own den from fallen natural materials in the wood. Use branches and twigs to make a shelter, add some leaves to make sure you won't get wet if it rains and make yourself at home. A den also makes a cosy base for exploring the great outdoors and planning your next woodland adventure. Look out for the den building areas in the woods at Wallington, Gibside, Cherryburn and Cragside.

Young girl with kite streamers

No.7 Fly a kite  

The best kite flying spots are big open spaces with a clear sky and a strong breeze. Take a trip to the seaside at Souter Lighthouse and the Leas or the Durham Coast and watch your kite dance on the sea air or head somewhere high, like Penshaw Monument, and see your kite soar like a bird above. The courtyard at Wallington and the paddock at Seaton Delaval Hall also make good places to fly your kite on a windy day.

Children sitting in a field with bare feet

No.24 Go on a walk barefoot  

Take off your shoes and socks and discover the different textures of nature in between your toes on a barefoot walk. Let the grass tickle your toes, scrunch across sand or pebbles on the beach, explore how rough bark feels under your feet or be really brave and squelch through mud. There's a barefoot walk to try at Cragside, complete with a tap at the end so you can wash your feet - don't forget a towel!

Child looking at a bug in an insect catcher

No.31 Hunt for bugs  

You can find all sorts of mini-beasts lurking outdoors so keep your eyes peeled and see what you can find. Peek under leaves, stones and twigs, investigate the branches, bark and leaves of trees and look to see who might be hiding in long grass. The Nature Nuttery at Washington Old Hall is a good place to hunt for bugs and you can help build a bug hotel as well. You can also be a nature detective at Wallington, Gibside, Souter and Cragside - what will you discover?

Pallets and pipes stacked up to create bug hotel

No.36 Make a home for a wild animal  

You can lend nature a helping hand while you're enjoying the great outdoors by making a home for a wild animal. You could build a cosy house for a hedgehog or a high-rise bug hotel. Or make a bird or bat box for your garden. You could even make a mouse house or ladybird bed and breakfast to make even the smallest creatures welcome. Get stuck in to home-building at Seaton Delaval Hall or build a bug hotel at Cragside.

Children excited at finding a crab in a rock pool

No.37 Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool  

Summer is the best time to look out for the weird and wonderful creatures who live in the rock pools on the sea shore. Keep your eyes peeled for crabs, starfish, sea anemones and other salty sea creatures living among the rocks. If you want a hand telling your whelks from your winkles, join the rangers at Lindisfarne Castle, Souter Lighthouse, Low Newton or on the Durham Coast for a seashore safari. Or take your net and bucket to the seaside for your own close encounter.

Girl holding a GPS unit used for geocachine

No.49 Find a geocache  

Do you like a challenge and a breath of fresh air? An outdoor digital treasure hunt could be just what you're looking for - it'll help you explore the countryside and discover new places plus you'll have a great family adventure. Find the geocache hidden at Penshaw Monument, borrow a GPS and search for the four caches tucked away at Gibside or hunt out all the geocaches that have been hidden along Hadrian's Wall and the Durham Coast. There are plenty more places to find them too...