National Trust Super Rangers to teach children 50 things to do outdoors

The latest study by Play England showed a third of parents will not let children do ‘risky activities’ like climbing trees.

As a consequence children are growing up with little experience of the outdoors and are afraid to go for a walk in the woods or search for bugs.

In an effort to give both parents and children more confidence the Trust have created a list of ’50 things to do before you are 11 ¾’.

[Related feature: Five eco-friendly activities to do with your kids]

The checklist for under-12s includes setting up a snail race, damming a stream and making a mud pie.

Five ‘super rangers’ at National Trust properties have been chosen as experts in certain activities. Tree man is a 6ft 3" tree climbing expert who has scaled 50 metre-high trees, Captain Skim can skim a stone over 26 times, Den-Boy is an outdoor hideaway-building champion, Midas will lead treasure hunts and the Bug Catcher can identify 300 species of moth.

The “fantastic five” are just some of the volunteers on National Trust properties offering to teach children the skills they have forgotten.

The new initiative comes after a report commissioned by the Trust found children today spend fewer than ten per cent of their playtime in wild places. Instead the younger generation spend an average of two-and-a-half hours a day watching the television.

Dame Fiona Reynolds, the Director General of the Trust, said children need to reconnect with nature by playing the games generations before them have enjoyed.

“Children today are unfamiliar with the countryside. They need to be given the confidence and the skills to go into the wood and build a den or climb a tree.”

See the full list below:

1. Climb a tree
2. Roll down a really big hill
3. Camp out in the wild
4. Build a den
5. Skim a stone
6. Run around in the rain
7. Fly a kite
8. Catch a fish with a net
9. Eat an apple straight from a tree
10. Play conkers
11. Throw some snow
12. Hunt for treasure on the beach
13. Make a mud pie
14. Dam a stream
15. Go sledging
16. Bury someone in the sand
17. Set up a snail race
18. Balance on a fallen tree
19. Swing on a rope swing
20. Make a mud slide
21. Eat blackberries growing in the wild
22. Take a look inside a tree
23. Visit an island
24. Feel like you're flying in the wind
25. Make a grass trumpet
26. Hunt for fossils and bones
27. Watch the sun wake up
28. Climb a huge hill
29. Get behind a waterfall
30. Feed a bird from your hand
31. Hunt for bugs
32. Find some frogspawn
33. Catch a butterfly in a net
34. Track wild animals
35. Discover what's in a pond
36. Call an owl
37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool
38. Bring up a butterfly
39. Catch a crab
40. Go on a nature walk at night
41. Plant it, grow it, eat it
42. Go wild swimming
43. Go rafting
44. Light a fire without matches
45. Find your way with a map and compass
46. Try bouldering
47. Cook on a campfire
48. Try abseiling
49. Find a geocache
50. Canoe down a river

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