Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Let them eat mud!

Okay, I'm on a mission now. To all those mums who don't know what to do with their children after school:

"Stop sending children to endless after school activities and let them play!"

I remember seeing in the news a while ago a list of 50 things that children should do before the age of 13. A quick google and I found them at

In 2007 the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents called for an expansion in opportunities that allow children to experience risk, so that they will be better prepared for situations they face in later life. So here’s a rundown (in no particular order) of the kinds of stuff your child should do by age 13 to prepare him or her for greater challenges into adulthood…

1. Roll on your side down a grassy bank
2. Make a mud pie
3. Make your own modelling dough mixture
4. Read under the bedcovers with a torch
5. Make perfume from flower petals
6. Grow cress on a windowsill
7. Make a papier mâché mask
8. Build a sandcastle
9. Climb a tree 1
0. Make a den in the garden
11. Make a painting using your hands and feet
12. Organise your own teddy bears' picnic
13. Have your face painted
14. Play with a friend in the sand
15. Make some bread
16. Make snow angels
17. Create a clay sculpture
18. Take part in a scavenger hunt
19. Camp out in the garden
20. Bake a cake
21. Feed a farm animal
22. Pick some strawberries
23. Play Pooh sticks
24. Recognise five different bird species
25. Find some worms
26. Ride a bike through a muddy puddle
27. Make and fly a kite
28. Plant a tree
29. Build a nest out of grass and twigs
30. Find ten different leaves in the park
31. Grow vegetables
32. Make breakfast in bed for your parents
33. Make a mini assault course in your garden/the park
34. Learn what a sustainable resource is
35. Take up a sport
36. Learn some words in a new language
37. Cook a family meal
38. Read a novel
39. Make a compost heap to recycle rubbish
40. Go to the cinema with friends
41. Have a midnight feast
42. Try to learn a musical instrument
43. Go to see a play
44. Look after an animal
45. Write a handwritten letter to someone other than Santa
46. Invent your own game
47. Learn to swim
48. Invent your own secret code
49. Go go-karting
50. Find a penpal

My daughter is five and has done 21 of them. How many has your child done?


Mean Mom said...

Oh no! There's a few things on that list that my 3 lads didn't do! They're now 26, 24 and 19. Do you think it's too late?

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Hi WM, what a wonderful post - and what a great idea to make such a list. I'm going back to count what my two did when they were young - and I'll count for Grandson too. I know he's done quite a few of them, and he will be 5 on 30th May!
M :-)

Anonymous said...

I like your look on life!! And i can certainly relate to your'rainbows is enough' post.
My daughter is 6 and has done 36 - living in the country has its advantages!!

Maternal Tales said...

This is very spooky but I had a quick count and then another one just to make sure and my 4 and three quarter year old has done 21 as well... Now just imagine if they were the same 21!!! Great list btw. I shall endeavour to complete it in the next few years x

Maggie May said...

I used to play in cow pats when I was a kid (My mum never knew this until I grew up!) Never hurt me. I think I got some of my artistic skills from doing that. Today you'd get salmonella or something worse!

My kids got up to all sorts (which they didn't tell me about until they were grown!) Nearly had a fit when I knew!

Don't think my grandchildren get a chance! They are accompanied EVERYWHERE, as are all children today!
You are right to tell folks to give up all these silly night time activities and LET CHILDREN PLAY!

Anonymous said...

None yet (it's not born) but I LOVE the list and will bookmark it!!!

Claire Sutton said...

Eldest son aged 7 has done 30 (although I think no 5, the petal perfume may never be achieved!) so at least he's over half way with another 6 years to go! Does munching popcorn whilst watching a movie with friends at 1am in the morning on New Yeas Eve/Day count as a midnight feast? If so, it's 31!!!

Kelloggsville said...

39! but she is 10'

proof of number 11:

I am happy to join this campaign - my favourite time filler when H was much younger was baking together. Always felt it was sort of a hidden maths/science lesson and I enjoyed it too.

Anonymous said...

Fasinating post. My five year old probably hasn't done enough. You've given me more than a few ideas.

Jacki said...

Emma has done 26 of them. I think she is good to go. :-)

Littlemummy said...

Erin's three and we've done 13, think we need to get busy!

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

I love this perspective. I say we've only conquered 10, but what a fantastic thought!

scaryazeri said...

Yeah, but most of these require my involvement of some sort. Whereas, if I just take her to someone's house; I can sit down and chat to a friend while the kids play...Much better!!! he-he

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

ok ok then what!!

Mummy Cow said...

I love this! Jen's 10 and has done 31. And I've done them with her. Good one WM!
MC x

Fi from Four Paws and Whiskers said...

Wow - i so agree. I had 4 children, and through time/financial restraints and to eb honest, my sanity, I restricted their activities. They had to REALLY want to do it and be dragging us out of the house. We always allowed one, and on occasions two, as in sports plus music or dance, but we never allowed more as that kept us plenty busy and broke lol...
but they did learn to amuse themselves in between.

I used to live in Nether Alderly...but now live on the other side of the world, where I am a vet and teach vet nursing at the local polytechinic.
I love that list!


Sass E-mum said...

Lovely list. Peaches has (after a fashion) done 22 before the age of three.

I'm most looking forward to the breakfast in bed milestone.

scrappysue said...

grow cres on a windowsill? how very british! well, i'm going to pick my youngest and she's done
28, but then she's twice izzy's age!!!

Suburbia said...

All except 32 and 37! Not sure those will ever come to fruition!