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A mother helps a young child climb over a fallen log in the parkland, on a bright, wintry day.
Family visitors can explore the fallen logs dotted around the parkland. | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’

Get your kids closer to nature with ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’. There’s plenty of outdoor activities to do all year round, from watching the sunset to creating some wild art.

About '50 things'

A girl in a red coat looks through a magnifying glass at a bug on someone's hand
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What’s ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ all about? 

Discover how and why we created the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ list to help children connect with nature and the natural world.

Girl in pink jacket standing under blossoming tree in orchard look up at the branches
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Top ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities to do in spring 

Spring is the perfect time to get started on our list of ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’. Here are some of the best activities to try, from stargazing to snail racing.

Visitors exploring the parkland in winter at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Yorkshire
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Safety information for ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities 

To ensure you can complete your ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities safely, here are some top tips to help you complete your challenges with safety in mind.

Boy holding a worm at Nostell Priory, West Yorkshire
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Top ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities to do in your back garden 

Discover wildlife and experience nature close to home, with these ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities to enjoy in your garden.

'50 things' activities list

Visitors in the gardens at Christmas, Tredegar House, Newport, Wales
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No. 1 Get to know a tree 

Discover the first of the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’, get to know a tree. Search for clues in its roots, bark and branches to uncover its story.

Child rolling down a hill in the garden at Sizergh, Cumbria
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No. 2 Roll down a really big hill 

Rolling down a really big hill is perhaps the best way ever invented to get to the bottom. Enjoy no. 2 of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities.

Children playing on the campsite on Brownsea Island, Dorset
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No. 3 Camp outdoors 

Grab your torch and head for the wilderness. Wherever you choose to go camping, it will be a fun adventure in nature. Camping outdoors is no. 3 of the‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Den Building in Hoe Fen wildlife discovery area at Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire
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No. 4 Build a den 

Building a den is no. 4 of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’. Read our top tips on building the best den ever.

Visitors skimming stones along the shore of the lake at Buttermere Valley, Cumbria
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No. 5 Skim a stone 

No. 5 of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ is skim a stone. It’s a tricky skill to master, but with a steady arm and a keen eye, you’ll soon learn how to skim a stone.

Child in a pink hooded jacket, pink trousers and turquoise wellies jumping in a muddy puddle, Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey
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No. 6 Go welly wandering 

When it's pouring with rain, what could be better than chucking on your wellies and waterproofs and zooming around in the puddles, soaking up all the watery fun?

Children flying a kite in the early evening at Sheringham Park, Norfolk
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No. 7 Fly a kite 

When there's a bit of wind in the air it's the perfect time to enjoy no. 7 on our list of ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities.

Children pond-dipping at Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire
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No. 8 Spot a fish 

Spotting fish is a great way to spend time on the beach, or when exploring water inland. Here are some ideas to help you with no. 8 of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Children eating a picnic in the covered seating area at Charlecote Park, Warwickshire
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No. 9 Eat a picnic in the wild 

Pack a picnic next time you go on an adventure and enjoy tucking into your sandwiches surrounded by nature. It’s no. 9 on the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Child with a handful of conkers in the grounds at Castle Coole, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
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No. 10 Play conkers 

Conkers may well be one of the oldest games around. In some parts of the world it’s called ‘Kingers’. Get top tips for how to make sure yours is the champion.

A young children cycles along a garden pathway with an adult just behind them. The child is wrapped up in a colourful striped winter coat and helmet.
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No. 11 Explore on wheels 

Whether you’ve got a bike, scooter, wheelchair or skateboard, enjoy no. 11 of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ - explore on wheels.

Young girl building a den at Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex
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No. 12 Have fun with sticks 

Den building, wand making, Pooh sticks and even nature trail making – who knew sticks could be so much fun? Discover no. 12 of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Two children playing in the mud pie kitchen at East Riddlesden Hall, West Yorkshire
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No. 13 Make a mud creation 

What will you make with mud? You can do no. 13 of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ almost anywhere, as long as you have a few essential ingredients.

Visitors walking by the stream at Bodnant Garden, North Wales
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No. 14 Dam a stream 

Adventure no. 14 on the list of ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ is to dam a stream. Just collect twigs, branches, stones and rocks to stop the flow of water.

Children playing in the garden in winter at Sudbury Hall and the National Trust Museum of Childhood, Derbyshire
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No. 15 Go on a wintry adventure 

When it's cold or snowing, there's still plenty to discover outdoors as lots of outside activities are just as fun in the winter. Wrap up in your warmest clothes, and maybe take a hot drink with you, before setting off.

A child wearing a daisy chain on her head, at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire.
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No. 16 Wear a wild crown 

It takes imagination and patience to create your very own wild crown. Discover what it takes to do no. 16 of the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Children having a snail race on the pavement at Mottisfont, Hampshire
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No. 17 Set up a snail race 

Discover how to set up the best snail race ever. It’s no. 17 of the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Using fir cones and conkers to make a collage
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No. 18 Create some wild art 

When it comes to creating wild art, the only limit is your imagination. What will you use, and how? Create some wild art is no. 18 of the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Children playing Pooh sticks on a bridge over the River Test at Mottisfont, Hampshire
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No. 19 Play Pooh sticks 

Pooh sticks is a simple but thrilling sport, first invented by the famous bear from the stories by A. A. Milne. It is no. 19 of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities.

Children paddling in Lake Windermere at Wray Castle, Cumbria, in autumn
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No. 20 Go paddling 

Whether you're by the sea or at a stream, lake or river, there are a number of ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities you can enjoy, but paddling is one of the most fun.

Visitors looking at fungi in the garden at Quarry Bank Mill, Wilmslow, Cheshire
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No. 21 Forage for wild food 

Foraging involves searching for and eating plants, herbs and fruit. Delicious snacks await you with adventure no. 21 on the list of ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Visitors looking at bracket fungi on a tree at Lydford Gorge, Devon
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No. 22 Find some funky fungi 

What weird and wonderful mushrooms will you find on your funky fungi adventures? It's one of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Summer sunrise at Whitesheet Hill, Wiltshire
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No. 23 Get up for the sunrise 

Get up early with the birds to see the sun peek above the horizon and the skies fill with rich colours. It's one of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Exploring the Barefoot Trail at Godolphin, Cornwall
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No. 24 Go barefoot 

Going barefoot is one of our top ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’. It's the perfect activity to explore the outdoors and make a lasting connection with nature.

Family visitors playing grass trumpets in the garden in August at Killerton, Devon
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No. 25 Join nature's band 

Birds singing, woodpeckers tapping, trees rustling, waves crashing and streams bubbling. These are just some of the sounds that nature makes. Head outside and join nature’s band as part of the National Trust's ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Admiring fossils in the Geological gallery at Biddulph Grange, Staffordshire
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No. 26 Hunt for fossils and bones 

Search for clues to the life of animals and plants from the past. Fossil and bone hunting is mammoth family fun – and it's No. 26 of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Visitors enjoying one of Bristol Astronomical Society's stargazing evenings at Tyntesfield, North Somerset
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No. 27 Go stargazing 

Stargazing is a magical way to bring science alive and experience the beauty of our natural world. Going stargazing is no. 27 on our list of ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Father and sons climbing the bank of the stone circle at Avebury, Wiltshire
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No. 28 Climb a huge hill 

Climbing a huge hill is no. 28 of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’. It might seem tiring, but once you've reached the top, think about how much fun you'll have coming down.

A family exploring rocks on the beach at Wembury, Devon
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No. 29 Explore a cave 

Explore a cave is no. 29 of the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ and you can enjoy it at any time of the year. Entering a cave is like visiting an entirely different world.

Children at Bodnant Garden, North Wales
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No. 30 Go on a scavenger hunt 

A scavenger hunt tests your seeking skills in the wild and is lots of fun too. It’s no. 30 our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Hunting for bugs at Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex
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No. 31 Make friends with a bug 

Whether you're at one of our places, in your back garden or at your local park, you’ll find all kinds of minibeasts if you look carefully. Make friends with a bug is no. 31 on the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

A family boat ride in June on Lough Erne at Crom, County Fermanagh
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No. 32 Float in a boat 

Floating in a boat - no. 32 of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities - can be as slow and dreamy or as fast and exhilarating an experience as you make it.

Outdoor learning activity - an adult and child cloud watching
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No. 33 Go cloud watching 

On a warm day, find a patch of grass, lie back and watch the clouds go by. Cloud watching is one of the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Hunting for bugs at Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey
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No. 34 Discover wild animal clues 

Are you ready to take on no. 34 of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ challenge? Follow these clues and you might be able to spot a wild animal sooner than you think.

Pond dipping in the River Wandle at Morden Hall Park, London
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No. 35 Discover what's in a pond 

No. 35 of the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ is to discover what’s in a pond. Scoop some out into a tub and check out what lives beneath the surface.

Bug hotel in the Community Kitchen Garden at Seaton Delaval Hall, Northumberland
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No. 36 Make a home for wildlife 

All sorts of animals, bugs and birds need homes and most have very different ones. Making a home for wildlife is no. 36 of the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities list.

Visitors rockpooling at Wembury Beach, Wembury, Devon
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No. 37 Explore the wonders of a rock pool 

As the tide goes out, the secrets of the sea are revealed in rock pools left behind. Exploring the wonders of a rock pool is no. 37 of the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Red Admiral butterfly a migrant species from Europe, nectaring on a flowerhead, on the east side of Lundy Island, Devon
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No. 38 Bring up a butterfly 

Watching a wriggly caterpillar turn into a magnificent butterfly is brilliant fun for all the family – and it’s no. 38 of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Finding creatures on the beach at Robin Hood's Bay, North Yorkshire
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No. 39 Catch a crab 

Catching a crab is no. 39 of the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’, and to catch one, you'll need to learn more about them.

Visitors in silhouette at sunset at Sutton Hoo, Suffolk
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No. 40 Go on a nature walk at night 

Read these tips to make the most out of no. 40 of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’, go on a nature walk at night.

Family planting seeds in flower pots, Mottisfont, Hampshire
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No. 41 Help a plant grow 

Help a plant to grow is no. 41 of the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’, and is a challenge that'll take a bit of time, but it's worth the wait. Follow these tips for success.

Family playing in the waves on the beach at Birling Gap, part of the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs range, East Sussex
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No. 42 Go swimming in the sea 

Swimming in the sea, no. 42 of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’, is a brilliant experience. Follow our tips to help you have the best time.

Blue tit on bird feeder, viewed from the bird hide at Acorn Bank, Cumbria
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No. 43 Help a wild animal 

Lend a helping hand to the animals and birds that live near you by making sure they have food to eat and a place to sleep. It’s no. 43 of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Visitors in the wetland bird hide at The Vyne, Hampshire
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No. 44 Watch a bird 

Learn what you’ll need to do to give you the best chance of seeing a feathered friend, whether you’re watching birds on the window sill or walking through a forest. Take part in ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities.

Two children looking at maps at Low Wray campsite on the shore of Lake Windermere in the Lake District
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No. 45 Find your way with a map 

Finding your way with a map is no. 45 of the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’. Use our guide and tips to help you set out.

Young visitors playing on the rocks at Owler Tor, Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors, Derbyshire
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No. 46 Clamber over rocks 

Adventure no. 46 on our list of ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ is to clamber over rocks. Discover all sorts of different terrain to explore and conquer.

A family toasting marshmallows over an open campfire at Colby Woodland Garden, Pembrokeshire
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No. 47 Cook on a campfire 

From top tips to campfire safety, find out how food cooked over an open fire can give you a tasty outdoor experience, whether you’re having toasted marshmallows or bacon and eggs.

Child's comments in the log-book in the bird hide on Brownsea Island, Dorset
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No. 48 Keep a nature diary 

Keep a record of your own adventures in nature, capturing your memories of the animals and plants you’ve seen. It’s no. 48 on our list of ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Visitors in silhouette at sunset at Sutton Hoo, Suffolk
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No. 49 Watch the sunset 

Watching the sunset is no. 49 of the National Trust’s ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ list.

Visitors following a family trail at Charlecote Park, Warwickshire
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No. 50 Take a friend on a nature adventure 

You can double the fun when you share your wildlife adventures with a friend. Taking a friend on a nature adventure is no. 50 on our list of ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Visitors walking among daffodils at Dora's Field, Ambleside, Cumbria

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