The 50 Things to Do Before you’re 11 ¾

Ever since I found out about this great initiative from the British national trust I wanted to have a look how I scored. I scored well with 42! Some partially (6) because of country or age things Some because my parents decided differently and some because I just was not interested (2). It was fun going through this list as it brought back some great childhood memories. I added some more should do’s as well. There I score 100% How do you score?

1. Climb a tree – Yes, but was not good at it.

2. Roll down a really big hill  – And indeed great fun, still remember my giggles

3. Camp out in the wild  – Kinda, always on campsites with my parents, but did that for years and years and then some. Some campsites were more basic than others – Don’t want to do it anymore.

4. Build a den – Inside the house and outside the house –My brother did a pretty decent tipi from table cloth as I recall

5. Skim a stone  – With my dad and then who would go furthest. Had to watch the dog as she loved chasing them a little or barking.

6. Run around in the rain  – And splashing in the water puddles! Too cool, still do it. Well the run around thing maybe I should redo the splashing part

7. Fly a kite – Yes tiring and boring , but did do it.

8. Catch a fish with a net – Dad was an angler so we did learn the angling part, netting was not his thing. Fishing was not mine. And then there of course was the toxic spill incident in Germany. The dead fish floating by and my brother and I picking them up from the beach. There are pictures of this.

9. Eat an apple straight from a tree – At my grandmothers we did yes. But in order to do that you need an apple tree nearby. Many children do not have that anymore

10. Play conkers – Sure even in kindy we’d make figurines from them. Gran taught us how to cook and grill them

11. Throw some snow – Oh yes and build a snowman – Playing with snow is the best. Still makes me smile when I see the neighbourhood children play in the snow. Their shrieking and laughing is just contagious

12. Hunt for treasure on the beach – We did doe treasure hunts but not on the beach, but in the forest not far from Gran’s place. As we lived too far from the beach we did not go very often.

13. Make a mud pie – And eat it! Really! Mum was not impressed

14. Dam a stream – Did this in the same forest as the treasure hunt and later also in Slovenia. Remember the cold cold water. But oh hat fun and a great way to learn about some basic physics.

15. Go sledging  – See the throw some snow. We started this very young There are pictures of us on a sledge at age 1. Did you know you only really need a rubbishbag to do this? Dead scary then but great fun, a bit like rolling down a hill

16. Bury someone in the sand – We buried dad. But only to chest up My parents were very strict on that one. To the chest and no further.

17. Set up a snail race – Never did this as I found that boring and was never a fan of snails – but would have been fine with my parents if I had wanted to

18. Balance on a fallen tree – Over a river and in a playground In those days not as utterly boring safe as they are now.

19. Swing on a rope swing  – Yes in school in gym class as well as in playgrounds – are kids no longer allowed to do this? Stupid if they are not!

20. Make a mud slide – Getting really dirty is one of the best things about being a child – less for parents but still we sure did this.

21. Eat blackberries growing in the wild  – yes with my parents and grandparents. Food you find and eat it straight there (a little dirt is good for the immune system my parents always said) Gran showed us how to make jam too. We also learned to find sorrel – in case we got thirsty when out.

22. Take a look inside a tree – and yell at the gnomes and other imaginary figures living there. If big enough climb in!

23. Visit an island – Well duh. That is an easy one in a country full of water. But fun is also a former island – one that is now part of land and learn how that happened and why.

24. Feel like you’re flying in the wind – All you need are wide sleeves and a lot of fun.

25. Make a grass trumpet – Did try but never got the hang of it. Dad was a whole orchestra with this.

26. Hunt for fossils and bones – hunting yes, finding them no except in the owl pellets (see later). But we found lots of stones

27. Watch the sun wake up – Still my favourite part of the day

28. Climb a huge hill – Well did do it, not that I liked it, nor did I want to, but the view was magnificent.

29. Get behind a waterfall – and feel totally hidden form the world Was in Germany or Austria where I did this

30. Feed a bird from your hand – Do my uncles pigeons count? Scary creatures!

31. Hunt for bugs – and learn about their importance in the cycle of life

32. Find some frogspawn – and grow them to frogs – It is how I discovered not being the mothering type

33. Catch a butterfly in a net – Never did this as my mum felt it would damage the butterfly, but watching them up close on a flower is magic. I even have had them sitting on my sugar coated hand.

34. Track wild animals – Again the forest – It had deer in it. We tracked it, but never got to see it. Possibly as we were too busy checking out the ground and did not look around plus the running back to my gran to tell her in a loud voice what we’d found did not help Nor did the fact that is was not at 6 am

35. Discover what’s in a pond – Yep preferably by sitting in one Feeding ducks is mandatory

36. Call an owl – We heard one, we called it but the conversation stopped there sure was no Hedwig. We did find the owl pellets

37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool – Rock pool, pond – it is about the creatures!

38. Bring up a butterfly  – We did this in school Missed the best stage though the butterfly crawling out of its cocoon

39. Catch a crab – Screaming does not describe the sounds – Later the crab caught me, but I was 20 at the time – Should not have stepped on him but then again I could not see him

40. Go on a nature walk at night – Ouch yes. Trail seeking in the dark Never liked it and one time I did fall quite badly. Thankfully within a larger group

41. Plant it, grow it, eat it – Yes I had a school garden – with my lack of mothering genes it was more of a miracle that I actually had food from there. Just no green fingers. Carrots were nice though

42. Go wild swimming – We did not different as there was a small lake near to our house. It is where we swam, not in the official pool. Too far away, too crowded and frankly boring

43. Go rafting – You need a fast flowing stream for that and we do not have them so did not get to do this. But we did have a rubber boat (or rather my brother had one) and we did use it a lot

44. Light a fire without matches – magnifying glass! I think I can still do it. Maybe I should try 🙂

45. Find your way with a map and compass – Brilliant stuff for somebody lacking the pigeon homing device add on. GPS is making life easier but the magnetic field is more secure in service

46. Try bouldering – I guess we did some on holidays but nothing major Some smaller rockpaths. We just don’t have that in our country, so it is hard to do

47. Cook on a campfire – Do marshmellows count? Then it is a yes!

48. Try abseiling – I think I was older before I tried this. In part because there aren’t hills that allow abseiling here. Mind you does heading out of a tree hut buy rope down in an play ground count? Then a yes.

49. Find a geocache – Much much later but that is because Geocaching did not become an option until I was well and truly an adult and my readers know it is one of my holiday hobbies First one ever was in 2007 for me and hooked ever since.

50. Canoe down a river – Not canoeing, but rowing in a rubberboat.

What I am missing and have done are should do’s IMO: – and for the record I did do them all growing up before the age of 11 3/4

  • Iceskating in the wild – No icerink ever gets close to being in nature on ice hearing it creaking under your feet.
  • Have a calf suckle on your fingers (before it has teeth) – on farms a known way to gently lead them to where you want them to go and such and odd feeling. Very calming.
  • See a bird hatch from an egg – Boy are they ugly when they do, but they dry up nicely. “Mine” was a chicken in an incubator.
  • See a mammal being born – Personally I think children should see it all; the making of, birth and dead. I once saw a foal being born, but I admit I could have been 12 already. I don’t think I was ever so silent.
  • Cycling into a storm feeling as if you brain is blown out. Preferably on a dyke, knowing you could blow off! You end up afterwards checking all your limbs but feeling as if you conquered the world.
  • Sailing over open water – No land, just the few of you in an open boat in open water. Nothing to do but be one with water, wind and boat.
  • Hear the ocean wind in a shell – Never ceases to amaze me, even now that I know how it works I still like it.
  • Feed birds in winter (preferably with homemade fatballs) – It is just fun to watch when you bring out the fat balls and birds descend thinking you are not watching. I should do it again.
  • Try milking a cow – Harder than you think. A whole new respect for farmers from before the machine. The farmer we went to for horse riding did the odd cow with infections this old way.
  • Sit on the back of a horse without a saddle – nothing compares to feeling that live animal full of muscle gently letting you sit there and feeling its heartbeat.
  • Lying in the grass hearing the grains rustle in the wind.
  • Looking at clouds and naming their shapes.
  • Watch the sunset.
  • Build a snowman – I mentioned it above, but really it is even better than throwing snow
  • Dig a hole and learn what is in the soil you dug out
  • Grow a walking stick (insect)

This sure made me re-appreciate my parents and the way they raised my brother and me.

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About Gilraen

My blog is simply about my life. I moved countries for the first time in 1993. I lived in the Netherlands, UK and NZ. The initial idea was to keep my overseas friends up-to-date with what was going on in my life. The blog, like me, is always changing and evolving.
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6 Responses to The 50 Things to Do Before you’re 11 ¾

  1. maturestudenthanginginthere says:

    Wow. Very impressed. I’m way behind you on the list. Thanks for the reminder of stuff I still have to do 😉

  2. mysocalledDutchlife says:

    Lovely, lovely blog. I love watching my children discover these things (not all of them yet). I was successful in climbing a tree, aged 6 – I just wasn’t so successful in climbing back down :-/

    • Gilraen says:

      I know it is the getting back down that gets me every time. I’ve thought on occasion to turn into a cat and have the fire brigade come and get me. My pride took over in most cases 🙂

  3. Pingback: 50 Things to do Before | Jabbering All Day Long

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