The National Trust list of 50 things to do before you are 11 ¾ has something for everyone and it’s a great way to plan a day out if you’re stick for ideas.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money and you don’t even need to go to a National Trust property to take part. We’ve completed lots of the activities when we’ve been out and about on walks. However, we’re also really lucky that we have lots of great National Trust properties nearby.
Two Favourite National Trust Places to explore in Oxfordshire
Two of the Boys favourites are White Horse Hill and Basildon Park. At Basildon Park you can explore the Parklands by following one of the four marked routes. The walks range from 20 mins to 2 hours and there’s plenty of wildlife to look out for on your way.
At White Horse Hill you can see the White Chalk drawing of the Bronze Age Horse. They say that Dragon Hill is where St George slayed the ferocious fire-breathing dragon.
The National Trust suggest completing the following challenges when you visit White Horse Hill and the boys have certainly had fun rolling down the hills and flying kites up there:
No.2 roll down a really big hill
No.7 fly a kite
No.25 make a grass trumpet
No.28 climb a huge hill
50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 ¾ Categories
The list of 50 activities are split into 5 categories which are:
- Adventurer – If you’re a brave adventurer then these challenges should be right up your street. From tree climbing to den building via stone skimming and kite flying there are heaps of activities to keep you busy outdoors.
- Discoverer – these include going on a long bike ride, making a trail with sticks and making a mud pie.
- Ranger – ranger style activities will keep you outside having fun. They include visiting a farm, making a grass trumpet and going stargazing
- Tracker – If you can’t wait to get outside, then these are some of the best activities to find and meet creatures. Make sure if you meet any creatures you’re kind to them and carefully put them back where you found them.
- Explorer – for all those explorers there are some brilliant activities that will keep you discovering loads of new things. From growing your own fruit or veg to rock climbing or cooking on a campfire.
Part 3 Of Our 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 ¾
In part 1 and 2 of my series on 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ I wrote about 10 of the activities on the list including tree climbing, blackberry picking, visiting a farm, building a dam and hunting for bugs.
Part three covers another 5 things the boys have ticked off 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ list.
11. Discoverer – Play in the Snow (N0. 15)
Most children love playing in the snow, I know the boys do. We’ve got some great hills near us so as well as building snowmen and throwing snow balls there is some great tobogganing.
We also went to Finland one Winter and the snow was waist deep in some parts, the boys had great fun diving into the mounds of snow.
12. Discoverer – Make a Daisy Chain (No. 16)
The boys haven’t made any daisy chains lately but when they were smaller they loved making them.
You don’t even need to go very far to make a daisy chain as you’ve probably got quite a few of daisies in your back garden. And, daisy chains are really easy to make. Here’s some tips on how to make them from the National Trust:
Choose your daisies!
Make a slit with your nail through the stem of the daisy, (but not too near the bottom, in case it splits all the way along and then it won’t form a chain). It’s a good idea to make a slit that’s not big enough for a daisy flower to get through, as you’ll see in the next step.
Once you’ve made the slit, open it up enough to get the stalk of another daisy through the hole, and pull it until it stops at the head.
Repeat this process until you’ve made a chain that’s long enough to go round your wrist, neck or head. And if you don’t fancy making a daisy chain for yourself, then how about one for the cat, dog or hamster?
Don’t worry about picking the daisies as it will make the plant grow even more flowers.
13. Ranger – Climb a Huge Hill (No. 28)
Wittenham Clumps is the common name for two chalk hills in Little Wittenham just down the road from us. The grassy slopes of The Clumps lead up to a wooded area which has the oldest beech tree plantings in England, dating to the 1740s.
It’s a great place to climb a hill and the boys love racing up to the top.
14. Explorer – Go Bird Watching (No. 44)
In Oxfordshire you only have to look up to see Red Kites flying across the sky and we also have plenty of small birds in the garden including Blue Tits, Robins, Finches, Starlings and Black Birds.
But the Boys other Granddad and Great Uncle both live on the Isle of Arran and are licensed bird ringers. So, when the Boys go to visit they have plenty of opportunity to go bird watching.
The Isle of Arran is full of wildlife and the birds that can be spotted include:
Arran has a healthy population of raptors, notably Buzzard, Kestrel, Sparrow hawk, Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl, Peregrine and Golden Eagle. Nightjar may be in cleared forest. Red-throated Diver breed on remote hill lochans.
As well as raptors, Arran is a nationally important area for Red-breasted Merganser, and, in the autumn, for Black-throated Divers. Great Northern Divers, Red-throated Divers and Black-throated Divers can be seen off the coast most of the year. It is an internationally important area for Hen Harrier, for which there is a Special Protection Area (SPA) of over 11,000 hectares.
I don’t have a picture of the boys’ bird watching but here’s on of them on the Isle of Arran watching the grey seals.
15. Explorer – Learn to Ride a Horse (No. 48)
I grew up with horses, so I’ve always had a great love of riding. G had her first pony when she was four, so we were keen that the boys should learn to ride.
When they’re at home they don’t get much opportunity to ride as they are always so busy with football and Scouts etc. However, we always go to Croyde Bay for a family holiday at least once a year and they boys always go out for a hack when we are down there.
There’s a great riding school Roylands in Croyde Bay which we go to as they provide supervised hacks all year and the boys now have their favourite horses at the stables
That was another 5 out of the 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ that the boys have ticked off so far. It’s great for kids to get out and about exploring nature but just make sure they do it safely. The national trust has a useful Safety Guide that you find helpful.
It’s great fun to use the list to come up with new ideas of things to do. I’d love to know how many you’ve ticked off the list and if you have any helpful tips of where to go to do them?