50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 and Three Quarters

50 things National Trust logo

Today the National Trust are relaunching their ’50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 and Three Quarters’ campaign that we were first aware of last year. I think we got the booklet in The Guardian, and saw loads around properties we visited – in essence, and based on the Natural Childhood campaign, children aren’t getting outside as much as they used to – and while sometimes it’s unavoidable, there’s plenty out there to discover, and why not try some fun activities while you’re at it?

The National Trust ’50 Things’ website is here where you can sign up and log what you do – there’s a children’s and parents area. As H can’t read yet we’ll be working on this together but there’s plenty of fun things to do in there – and plenty of local suggestions of places based on your postcode (that’s the most personal information they take).

I’m going to make sure I stand back a bit more and LET H be a child. I guess having the fears about her front tooth and her being accident prone mean I do feel quite protective, so this is as much about me letting go!

I’ve already set us a challenge to visit new National Trust places (as we have so many), or places we’ve not been to in a long time and we now have an ‘Adventure Scrapbook’ for us to log the things H will do as well as giving us good suggestions.

If you’re based around the south east then there’s quite a lot you can do in local National Trust properties – the Surrey Hills being one place which covers a lot (and it’s good to see the Polesden Lacey geocache getting a star as being the best thing to do there – we had tons of fun last summer doing it).

National Trust 50 Things Adventure Scrapbook

So, you might now be wondering what they suggest? It’s obvious stuff, the things we probably did as kids. It’s time to unwrap the cotton wool…. The tasks aren’t difficult, in fact they’re probably things you’ve already done. The pressure is off, you can do it. I can do it too. Fifty things, and all the time in the world to do them – but ultimately, it’s about getting outside. If you’re really good and do all 50 then you can apply to the National Trust for a special badge.

We were also sent a delicious recipe. Mud pie; and no, we’re not talking the mississippi kind I’m afraid. Yes, you are going to get dirty. You know what though – a decent scrubbing brush only costs a pound.

Here’s what you do…

You need –

mud, soil or compost
leaves, flowers, sticks, shells and rocks for decoration

You will also need –

A mixing bowl
stick for mixing

Grab some handfuls of soil, mud or compost and put them into the bowl. Add water and give it a stir with the mixing stick. If the mixture is dry and crumbly add more water and stir again. Keep adding water until it’s a bit sticky. If it’s too sloppy, add more mixture to it.

Turn the bowl over onto the floor (obviously do this outside or in a tuff spot!) and pat the bottom until the mud pie falls out. Shape with your hands and decorate with the materials of choice.


We’ve not made ours yet. I’m still in the process of convincing Shaun we need a tuff spot for play like this… but when we do I shall embrace the mud and the muck and get on with it. That’s how it should be, right?

The National Trust have made a video :

The best thing – this isn’t limited to just National Trust places. They want you to get outdoors – so enjoy your local parks, woods and so on. You don’t have to pay to go outside to an interesting park – check out Poppy Cat’s recent partnership with The Woodland Trust which has links for loads of local places for free. Banstead Woods near us has some great huts people have made which have always been fun to hide in (and pretend you’re a gruffalo).

Banstead Woods

Because I like lists, here’s the ones we’ve done so far of the 50…

roll down a really big hill
skim a stone
run around in the rain (needs a bit more work though)
play conkers
play in the snow
jump over waves
visit a farm
climb a huge hill
plant it, grow it, eat it
find a geocache

so that’s a start. Are you in? I’m roping in friends who are members as well as the Caterpillar Tales family who love this too!

50 things National Trust

We have been sent an Adventure Scrapbook and some stickers, plus a membership card for this project (we are already members so have passed this on to friends to join in with it) – all opinions are our own.

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