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51 Things to Do Before You're 12

There are some things that every kid should get to experience. How many of our 51 things have you done? Why not challenge your friends to see who will be the first to finish the list?!

  1. Climb a tree
  2. Sleep under the stars - even in your own backyard
  3. Fall off a bike
  4. Learn to swim
  5. Build a cubby or a tree house
  6. Find a geocache (global GPS treasure hunt you can do with most phones) in your neighbourhood
  7. Go beach combing after a storm
  8. Cook damper in a campfire
  9. Go on a school camp in the bush
  10. Catch a wave (start with a small one)
  11. Play chasy in the rain
  12. Catch a prawn in a river (or at least have fun trying)
  13. Make a water slide with builders plastic and a hose (do it on your watering day)
  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 sand (or grass) hill on cardboard
  20. Yell "cooeee!" 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-day 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 Aboriginal 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 off a jetty (check the water is deep enough first)
  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 living creatures in it
  51. Play beach cricket

Download a printable list of 51 things to do before you're 12:

Go to resource

Letter to Parents and Carers

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Dear Parents, Grandparents, Carers and all nature-loving grown-ups with children in your life! Welcome to Nature Play QLD and congratulations on taking this step to benefitting your children as they grow, play and learn in nature.  A wonderful world awaits! Most people understand the life…

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Loose Parts Play Inspiration

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Are you wanting to jump start loose parts play at home but not sure where to begin? Our Loose Parts Play Wish List is a great starting point. Click on the image below to open a printable PDF version…

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The “healthy dose” of nature: A cautionary tale

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An interesting research article that looks at the possible negative outcomes of the increasingly popular trend amongst health professionals to 'prescribe nature'. This article suggests the need for caution in uncritically or universally prescribing "healthy doses of nature"…

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All Abilities Inclusion

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1 in 5 Australians are living with disability. It can be daunting for parents, educators, and activity providers to think about how to engage children with a disability in outdoor play. We recommend you ask questions, because every disability is different and nobody knows what they need better than…

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Peter Gray Forum Video link

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Peter Gray is an American psychologist and research professor in the Department of Psychology at Boston College. He is most well known for his research concerned with children's natural ways of learning and the role of play in children's development. He is the author of Free to Lea…

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Nature Play Discussion Paper: A review of evidence & implications for practice

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Report developed for Nature Play Qld with funding from the Queensland Government, Department of National Parks, Recreation and Racing. This document is part of series of evidence-based position statements directly focused on childhood and outdoor free play. They intend to demonstrate the importan…

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Green Time vs Screen Time

8 May 2014

The 'Green Time vs Screen Time' tool for families is a fun way to help you keep track of how much time your children are spending playing outdoors ('green time'), versus time spent indoors, watching TV or on the computer ('screen time'). Getting the balance right betw…

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