Urge kids to ditch gadgets for a much more versatile tool – a stick

Get kids playing outside this summer

Ritchie’s rap

The National Trust, which aims to protect and provide access to the outdoors and special places, has partnered with musician Raleigh Ritchie to help celebrate the stick and encourage families to get outdoors this summer.
Ritchie, aka Jacob Anderson, who also plays Grey Worm in Game Of Thrones, has penned an exclusive rap about sticks designed to get families out and about.
He says: “For some people, a stick is just a stick. However, I want to encourage young people to see that actually the possibilities are endless. It can be a pen, a sword, a witch’s broom, a dragon’s bone… anything!
“That’s what childhood should be about – getting outdoors and going on adventures, using your imagination to customise the world you see and feeding that appetite for fresh air and fun.”
He adds: “I love nothing more than taking a walk and getting outdoors to provide some escapism and inspiration – and that’s why the 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 And Three Quarters campaign really resonated with me.
“We’re all big kids at heart, and it’s never too late to have some fun and start your story with nature.”

Imaginative play

Supporting the initiative, child developmental psychologist Dr Sam Wass explains that being outdoors with space to run around benefits all children.
“One of the main benefits of being outdoors is that it encourages children to play in a very different way – they have to use their imagination, and their own creativity, much more than they do when they’re indoors watching screen media.
“Imagination and creativity are vital life skills that will help children stay attuned to nature and the environment throughout their adult lives. Children who learn to love nature at an early age will always enjoy being outdoors.”

Things to do before you’re 11 and three quarters

  1. Roll down a really big hill
  2. Camp out in the wild
  3. Catch a fish with a net
  4. Set up a snail race
  5. Pick wild blackberries
  6. Go on a walk barefoot
  7. Hunt for fossils and bones
  8. Explore a cave
  9. Track wild animals
  10. Make a home for a wild animal
  11. Bring up a butterfly
  12. Plant it, grow it, eat it
  13. Go swimming in the sea
  14. Build a raft
  15. Find your way with a map and compass
  16. Cook on a camp fire
  17. Find a geocache
  18. Canoe down a river