51 Ideas to Get Your Kids Outside

Recently, I took my kids on a long overdue trip to visit their country cousins. It was the very first time they had ever been on a farm and it was oh so evident as we made our way along the meandering driveway toward the farm where my dad was born & raised, I announced ‘we’re here!’ And my son sighed: ‘now we just have to find a car park.’ Wow, I never felt so ‘city’ before.

Nature Play SA has created a list of the 51 things your kids need to do before they’re 12 – it’s full of fantastic ideas to get your kids outside and amongst nature, the benefits of which are evident. I had to google number 6 but the rest were things I reckon we could just about handle. I’d like to add ‘visit a farm’ to the list. It’s really every boy’s dream holiday… off-roading in an ‘armadillo’ to a distant paddock to ride on a real life tractor, sitting on a horse, getting eye-to-eye with a cow, climbing to the top of a hay stack and then jumping down to the soft hay below, making as much noise as you like without fear of offending your neighbours, chasing chooks and collecting eggs, the list goes on. In fact, you could just about get through all 51 items on this list in one farm visit!

LIST – 51 THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU’RE 12

1. Climb a tree

2. Sleep under the stars (even in your backyard)

3. Fall off a bike

4. Learn to swim

5. Build a cubby or tree house

6. Find a geocache in your neighbourhood

7. Go beach combing after a storm

8. Cook damper in a campfire

9. Go on a camp in the bush

10. Catch a wave (start with a small one)

11. Play chasy in the rain

12. Catch a yabby in a dam (or least have fun trying)

13. Make a water slide with builder’s plastic and a hose

14. Find a cave

15. Make something with things you find

16. Play in a creek

17. Do something you’re scared of

18. Watch kangaroos in the wild

19. Slide down a grass hill on cardboard

20. Yell “cooee” in a gorge or a valley

21. Camp on a beach

22. Build a sandcastle city

23. Skim a stone

24. Plant something and watch it grow

25. Play spotlight

26. Ride your bike on a bush trail

27. Visit an island

28. Go for a two-way hike

29. Snorkel at the beach or on a reef

30. Ride a flying fox

31. Play under a sprinkler

32. Climb a big rock

33. Play in the bush for a whole day

34. Visit a waterhole

35. Meet kids in a park and invent a game

36. Paddle a kayak

37. Dig for worms in your backyard

38. Catch a crab

39. Learn the native names for five plants and five animals

40. Visit a national park

41. Catch a fish

42. Play on a rope swing

43. Eat bush tucker

44. Make a kite and fly it

45. Jump in a muddy puddle

46. Identify the birds in your backyard

47. Go abseiling

48. Catch a tadpole (and release it)

49. Make a mud pie

50. Find a lake, puddle, pond etc and use a magnifying glass to spot the creatures in it

51. Play beach cricket

Find out more at www.natureplaysa.org.au

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