Family Days 50 Things to Do Before or After You’re 11 & 3/4s – A Tried & Tested Guide to Making Childhood Magical

Remember your childhood? Dodgy dangerous homemade go carts, bruised knees and war wounds, climbing trees and building dens, wheelbarrow racing and playing out from dawn til dusk. The holidays seemed to last forever and be filled with adventures that we made without any money in our pockets but with bucket loads of imagination and hearts full of enthusiasm to pedal through puddles, ignore the rain and live for each minute of each day in a world of natural make believe with no concept of time and only how long we could play out being our focus and when we could next call for our mates.

It seems that at the time we had no knowledge of the importance of the era, how times would change and how we would sit back as we grew and realise the importance of the freedom we had in our youth in all that we did. The ability to be able to scrape ourselves up by living dangerously, the acceptance in taking risks and the fun we had in living in an era that did not have health & safety holding us back.

We still try to live by these rules. As parents we can still provide our children with a chance to take risks, to get muddy, to learn lessons by consequence and to ultimately enjoy a childhood of freedom, exploration and adventure just like we did.

So I decided to compile a list of some of the things that we’ve squeezed into a childhood that’s fleeting and becoming more and more defined by ‘cans & cants’ ‘rules & regulation’ ‘a claims culture’ and ‘health & safety’…

We do not live within a ball of cotton wool, we have plasters for disasters and kisses to make things better.

This is our childhood list of 50 Things to Do Before and After You Are 11 3/4s because although childhood is fleeting we believe it can still last forever.

If you enjoy our list please share it for others to enjoy.

No 1….Paddling pool star gazing.


See our Ultimate List of Summer Fun.

No 2…Homemade ice rink.


No 3…Finding sharks teeth


Get more ideas at 40+ Ideas to Make Childhood Magical.

No 4…Aeroplane spotting

No 5…Collecting treasures to keep.

No 6…Nightime Swingball


Have a look at Fun Camping Ideas To Entertain Kids for lots more ideas!

No 7…Wheelbarrow racing

No 8…Carrier bag kites

No 9…Park in the dark.

No 10…Discovering shooting stars.

No 11…Discovering Pearls.


See our 40+ Fun Beach Games and Activities for Kids.

No 12…Waterbutt rolling

No 13…Tin can marshmallow toasting.

No 14…Finding evidence of fairies.

No 15…Pop up tent flying

No 16…Reaching for the moon.

No 17…Embracing the rain

No 18…Bug hunting in flowers as tall as you.


Also see our Rainbow Hunt Toddler Adventure for more fun.

No 19…Build your own campfire

No 20…Tame a prehistoric tree rhino or similar.


We’ve got lots more suggestions on ways to Embrace Imagination.

No 21…Skim stones in your pants.

No 22…Get lost in tall grass.

No 23…Set up camp inside.

No 24…Sit on hay bales.

No 25…Build your own Tipi

No 26…Watch the sun set from a hill.

No 27…Explore a crop circle

No 28…Run through a meadow full of flowers.

No 29…Find buried treasure at the beach.

No 30…walk behind a waterfall.

No 31…hunt for crystal gemstones

No 32…Search for dragon eggs.

No 33…Toast marshmallows in your PJ’s

No 34…Make a fabric swing in the woods.

No 35…Explore something frozen outdoors.

No 36…Dance under blossom trees

No 37…Make an outdoor pop up tent cinema

No 38…Lilo surf in the rain

No 39…Blow bubbles & watch them freeze on frosty mornings.

No 40…Make ice lanterns.

No 41…Make an under table hammock


We love making dens and have lots of ideas for under the table den specials.
Have a look at our Den Day Ideas.

No 42…Go for a nocturnal walk.

No 43…Find a message in a bottle.

No 44…Pan for gold.

No 45…set up a garden shower.


We’ve got lots more ways to make gardens fun!

No 46…have an outdoor egg cooking competition.
No 47…Leave fairy messages whilst the kids sleep.

No 48…bath in the kitchen sink.

No 49…Get your toes muddy.


And finally, reach for the sun and squeeze every last drop from every day…..


I hope you’ve enjoyed our 50 things list, if you would like to follow us and discover more daily, fun and frugal magical memory making activities & adventures during a childhood that’s fleeting you can find us on Facebook.



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  1. The National Trust has been spearheading this campaign for a few years now. 50 things to do before you’re 11 and 3/4 has been one of our most successful campaigns ever and encourages children to get outdoors and closer to nature. Check out our website for more info: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk
    We’re always happy to see people taking inspiration from us so thank you.

    1. We were asked to collaborate with The National Trust & Project Wild Thing/David Bond at Nymans a few years ago to encourage, discuss and give input into the 50 things/closer to nature campaign, which was a pleasure, and it was a fantastic inspiration and very much in line with our everyday ethos, hence Family Days coming up with their own alternative list allowing for a few more scrapes and bruises along the way ???? …..get the kids out! get mucky! Toss aside you’re shoes and embrace childhood with all things natural that are there to explore ????

  2. I LOVE this list and am trying to figure out if my 1 year old will appreciate any of them or if I’m going to have to save this list….and weep because it sounds SO much fun!!!

  3. Love love love this list, will try some of these with my lil ones but we live in London, so it feels like we’re so out of touch with nature.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Where do you live its soo beautiful btw?

  4. I prefer to tell my kids I’ve hidden pearls on the beach, rather than lie to them that they are “magically” found. Call me a dud, but I prefer to tell the truth so I don’t have to explain later.

    1. Me too, Louise. Somehow, lying to my kids feels wrong to me. I prefer to tell them “let’s pretend that it’s magic” rather than tell a lie about it, but a squillion other kids grow up with Santa and the Tooth Fairy and turn out fine, so both ways are good, I guess.

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