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Top ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities to do in autumn

Two children lying in a pile of autumn leaves at Castle Ward, County Down
Children playing in the autumn leaves at Castle Ward, County Down | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Autumn is full of opportunities for outdoor adventures, such as splashing in puddles and collecting champion conkers. Here are the top challenges in our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ list to tick off this season.

No. 1 Get to know a tree
Explores the nooks and crannies of a holey tree or grab a crayon to make a bark rubbing. See how far you can wrap your arms around its trunk and look up to see what wildlife is hiding among the branches.Find the perfect tree
No. 4 Build a den
Let your imagination run wild while practising your den building skills. Collect branches and crunchy leaves to build your hideaway in the heart of nature. Our top tip: save time by leaning sticks against a large tree trunk.Start building
No. 6 Go welly wandering
Pull on your wellington boots and embark on an autumnal adventure. Splash around in puddles, squelch through some mud or crunch your way through fallen leaves on your next welly wander.Make a splash
No. 10 Play conkers
Try your hand at one of the oldest autumn games. First, find the right conker – there are plenty around to pick from this time of year. Next, thread it with some string and find an opponent. Can you become the conker champion?Have a bash
Children collecting conkers in the garden at Mottisfont, Hampshire, in autumn
Children collecting conkers in the garden at Mottisfont, Hampshire | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra
No. 12 Have fun with sticks
The humble stick comes in all shapes and sizes, and there are many fun things you can do with one. Lay a secret trail for your family to follow, make a magic wand or play Pooh sticks at your nearest stream or river.Discover stick activities
No. 13 Make a mud creation
How creative can you get with mud? Put on your wellies and find a squelchy spot to find out. Create a modern art masterpiece or cook up a mud pie – add some twigs for candles and pretend it’s a birthday cake.Get muddy
No. 18 Create some wild art
Create a colourful piece of wild art this autumn. The season provides everything you need to make your masterpiece: fallen leaves, sticks, acorns, mud, grasses, conkers and feathers.Find creativity in nature
A father lifts up their small child so they can reach fruit growing on a tree. The background is hazy with mist on an autumnal day.
Raking leaves in the wild play area at Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra
No. 21 Forage for wild food
Foraging is a rewarding hobby that involves searching for and eating plants, herbs and fruit growing in the wild. Dip your hands into hedgerows, trees and bushes to see what tasty treats you can pick. Look out for seasonal blackberries, apples and hazelnuts on your travels.Go foraging
No. 31 Make friends with a bug
Search high and low, under rocks and on top of branches, for a colourful world of minibeasts. Does your tiny critter have fur, wings or many legs? Remember to handle them gently and put any creepy-crawlies back where you found them afterwards.Hang out with nature
No. 36 Make a home for wildlife
Give nature a helping hand by creating homes for wildlife. Build a hedgehog house or put up a bug hotel – even piles of twigs and branches can be great places for insects to live. Collect natural materials from your back garden or local park and it won't be long before an animal moves in.Tips for building a home
Two girls exploring the woodland trails at Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire

‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’

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