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Bucket List For Kids: 50 Things To Do Before They’re 12

Have your kids made a mucky slide out of mud lately? How about watched two snails race very slowly? Have they ever eaten a crisp apple plucked right off a tree? These are some of the 50 things that children should do before they’re 11 and three-quarters, according to a new checklist compiled by the National Trust, a charity that looks after historic buildings, gardens and forests throughout Britain. “Children are suffering from a lack of nature and outdoors,” said Phil Harper, a spokesperson for the National Trust. “It’s a real opportunity to engage kids again, and get them into the outdoors and really emphasize the pleasures there are.”
The list is sure to bring back happy memories for this era’s overprotective parents, who had far more freedom than they will likely ever give to their children.

Parents seem less concerned about how a couch-potato lifestyle is hurting their children. The World Health Organization has warned that obesity rates among kids are rising at an “alarming rate.” Along with keeping children fit, research shows time outside in nature improves a child’s ability to focus and concentrate, key skills for learning, and also reduces depression. The list provides a “gentle reminder” to parents to make green play a priority, alongside other activities like ballet or hockey.

The need for more nature is striking a chord with some educators. Playgroups and kindergarten classes held in the forest are now popular in European countries like Sweden, Germany and Switzerland.

Parents can provide an important example by turning off their gadgets and exploring nature again.

The list:

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 a compass
46. Try bouldering
47. Cook on a campfire
48. Try abseiling
49. Find a geocache
50. Canoe down a river

Source: Catherine McLean
Tuesday, May 29, 2012