20 adventures every child should experience before they're 16

(34 Posts)
nappyaddict Sun 31-Mar-13 22:19:56

Which ones have your children done? Which ones did you do before you were 16 and which ones have you done since?

1 Make a natural shelter and sleep in it - make a den from wood and leaves and sleep under the stars.

2 Cook on an open fire - toast marshmallows, bake potatoes and enjoy an outdoor bonfire feast.

3 Make a go-kart - and then test drive it!

4 Use a sharp knife - teach children how to handle a sharp knife carefully and safely. Teach them how to handle it correctly. Try whittling sticks from the age of 6 onwards.

5 Climb a tree - something we all used to do as a child but our children perhaps do less often. Let them clamber!

6 Make a mud pie - all kids LOVE mud - make a muddy corner of the garden for them to squelch, squish and play in.

7 Get soaked to the skin - obviously not in freezing weather! But it feels so fab to really get soaked to the skin.

8 Dam a stream - pick stones and pebbles and sticks and mud to dam a stream.

9 Read a map - whether it's orienteering, a road map or a simple drawn map - let them find their way.

10 Track a wild animal - Early morning and early evening are the best times to try to follow animal tracks.

11 Climb a mountain

12 Skinny-dipping/wild swimming

13 A bonding weekend with one parent

14 Learn basic first aid

15 Learn to sail

16 Build something out of wood

17 Grow your own dinner - start with herbs and easy things like tomatoes and cucumber. Grow carrots, potatoes and berries...

18 A night picnic - Darkness can make the most otherwise mundane activities exciting

19 Learn to walk a tightrope - start with a kerb then try a low rope

20 Make a Mentos and Coke rocket - unleash the scientist in your children.

AChickenCalledKorma Sun 31-Mar-13 22:27:04

Great list! My 10yo DD is permanently up a tree and it depresses me how few of her friends seem to have the slightest clue how to follow her. She has done 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 16 & 17 and I'm going to keep this list for inspiration.

DD2 is much less adventurous by nature, which is interesting. We can take both children out into the woods or a remote campsite and DD1 will be drawn to the mud/trees/fire/sharp implements, whereas DD2 is more likely to make a dolly out of a pine cone and find somewhere comfy to nurse it confused.

We went on a night time walk as a family, to find glow-worms ... and found some, which was pretty cool!

FiveGoMadInDorset Sun 31-Mar-13 22:31:05

They climb trees.

They wild swim.

They will learn to sail before they are 16.

In fact the only thing they may not do is climb a mountain.

With the exception of No 19 my two have done all of those and are 11 & 12 - They have done High Ropes courses so probably have done a tightrope of sorts too I guess - thank god for Scouts!!

TheWave Sun 31-Mar-13 22:46:54

I like the climbing a mountain and a tree ones, and the map-reading one.

Duke of Edinburgh is good for making them do some of this, such as the First Aid etc.

Also, what about more cultured adventurous stuff? In no particular order and made age appropriate of course...

1. Have tried a musical instrument properly.
2. Be able to eat food from different cultures in restaurants etc.
3. Have watched the news regularly and is able to discuss themes.
4. Attended a big concert - classical and/or pop.
5. Read a Saturday/Sunday paper.
6. Attended a big sporting event - maybe not just football, but athletics, tennis, etc.
7. Been to a play (not a musical or a panto).
8. Learned to sit still and watch something without snacking/slurping until the interval.
9. Been responsible for teaching younger children a skill/babysitting.
10. Really learned to enjoy views - sunsets, the Thames, et.c

TheWave Sun 31-Mar-13 22:48:46

Sorry being dippy as picked this off the active threads, just realised you did post in "the great outdoors"

So just number 10 from my list then smile

MaureenMLove Sun 31-Mar-13 22:51:26

I think DD (17) has done pretty much all of those on both lists. Again, thank god for Guides/Scouts! And DH, who thinks he's Ray Mears! grin

TheNurseryCryme Sun 31-Mar-13 22:53:31

10,11,13,15,19 still to do.
Not bad though I think given they are 5+6.
Will be climbing a mountain real soon I hope.

And DH, who thinks he's Ray Mears!

My 12 year old thinks he is Bear Grylls grin

He now has half the street sitting out on camping stools whittling sticks and making bows and arrows!

Schooldidi Sun 31-Mar-13 22:56:10

Dd1 has done most of those I think. She's 13 and we have been heavily involved in Rainbows/Brownies/Guides since she was tiny. She came on Guide camp for the first time at 18 months.

I think I did all of them by the time I was 16, again Guides was a really positive influence on my adventuring skills.

TheNurseryCryme Sun 31-Mar-13 22:59:20

Can I add a couple more?
21 Skim stones

22 Build an ice hole or igloo or a least make a snowman

23 Catch a fish and gut it and eat it, or at least in fishing with a net for Minnows or crabs

reddaisy Sun 31-Mar-13 23:04:11

Oooh love this thread and I agree with the cultural ones as well.

Maryz Sun 31-Mar-13 23:20:09

Mine have done them all - they have been through scouts.

I will add to that (if we are talking to age 16)

Go on a train journey alone, involving at least one change (and chuck in a cancellation to see how they cope).

At least one hike-sleep-hike where they have to be self-sufficient for 48 hours.

Mine have also done all TheWave's and TheNursery's list - I must be doing something right.

mercibucket Sun 31-Mar-13 23:23:19

Urgh, that list makes me shudder. I am obviously no great outdoors person!
I've done, maybe half? Kids maybe half of them too. Getting soaked to the skin is horrible. Bivouacing is horrible. Map reading is stressful. Go kart???!!?? Growing your own dinner is a bit of a cop out as well - killing your own dinner, then preparing it and cooking it, seems more bear grylls. Mine can all fish, or skin rabbits/pheasants (but you wouldn't catch them setting traps for brer rabbit)

mercibucket Sun 31-Mar-13 23:23:19

Urgh, that list makes me shudder. I am obviously no great outdoors person!
I've done, maybe half? Kids maybe half of them too. Getting soaked to the skin is horrible. Bivouacing is horrible. Map reading is stressful. Go kart???!!?? Growing your own dinner is a bit of a cop out as well - killing your own dinner, then preparing it and cooking it, seems more bear grylls. Mine can all fish, or skin rabbits/pheasants (but you wouldn't catch them setting traps for brer rabbit)

bruffin Sun 31-Mar-13 23:32:44

At 16 my DS walked to my Mum's with 2 mates. It was 70 odd miles and took 3 days. They loved it and my mum ended up with 3 smelly boys on her doorstep. They booked a campsite one night but wild camped second night.
He has done most of the others through scouts and D of E.

Maryz Sun 31-Mar-13 23:36:49

dd is doing something like that this summer, bruffin, as a challenge for guides.

They get dropped somewhere in the middle of nowhere that they don't know with a map and all their kit (including food). They have a five day hike over 70 miles, with checkpoints once during the day and allocated places to (wild) camp at night. She is really looking forward to it (if a bit scared).

She will be just 17.

sydlexic Sun 31-Mar-13 23:37:54

DS can read a map and do first aid, he is 12 and is the most cautious person in the world.

bruffin Sun 31-Mar-13 23:55:04

DS just did it for a laugh Maryz, but being good scouts they prepared well. They even made friends with a dog on the way.
He wished he had done it for charity afterwards.
They were planning to walk to other nans this summer which is 200 miles, but now thinking of 3 peaks instead.

Maryz Mon 01-Apr-13 00:11:58

I'm glad dd is doing it under the auspices of the guides, as I'm a bit wary of 16/17 year old girls wild camping (yes, I know I know, boys are vulnerable too, but I have an image of them being followed up the Magillicuddy Reeks and smothered in their sleep grin).

I think the fostering independence is the important thing here. A train trip to London and a youth hostel overnight, doing their own cooking etc for 14/15 year olds would be great. I'm lucky in that my children have had a lot of opportunity for self-sufficiency over the years.

I can't get over the number of parents who wrap their children in cotton wool, and then suddenly at 18 they move out to university or wherever, and can't even wash their socks or make a bowl of spag bog over a one-ring gas cooker.

borninastorm Mon 01-Apr-13 00:20:10

Both my teenagers have done all the outdoors list thank you to Cubs and Scouts. DD was the first girl member of Cubs in our village and was v proud of this, she mucked in with everything and loved it.

They've also both done most of the cultural list except I'm unsure that DS1 has read a Sunday newspaper as he's not one for reading anything!

DS2 is too young yet at 3 but he'll definately be following in his older siblings footsteps.

Maryz Mon 01-Apr-13 00:21:46

I have to confess I cheated a bit on the newspaper bit.

dd has certainly read one. ds2 has probably only read the sport bit, and the tv guide. Though we do leave the new review section in the loo, optimistically.

Startail Mon 01-Apr-13 00:37:10

DD1 (15) has done a lot of both list. I wouldn't fancy go carting on our lane and small child teaching is her younger sisters department (on day DD2 will earn her living teaching I'm sure).

Also she will never play an instrument well, she's tried, but she sing to exam standard.

As for wild swimming, getting soaked and climbing trees I can't elaborate as her antics are too well known.

bruffin Mon 01-Apr-13 09:02:11

I must confess although DS is very outdoorsie as described above.my Dd 15 is not. Like Maryz Dd she was the first girl cub and camped etc with cubs and scouts and is doing D of E with school. She does a lot better on the other lists, but then DS ticks most of those boxes as well.

bruffin Mon 01-Apr-13 09:06:00

Can i just say how wonderful scouts and guides are for that independence and sense of adventure.

Bearandcub Mon 01-Apr-13 09:08:36

I did all of them before 16, except climb a mountain. Never been never a mountain really and I'm close to 40.

I would let DS's do all of them. DS1 is nearly 3 and Iwas trying to show him yesterday how to climb a tree, principally to rescue the cat.

AuntieStella Mon 01-Apr-13 09:10:39

Mine have done between 12.5 and 9 of those activities each (depending on age - and half because they built an impressive shelter, we were up against other timings and didn't have the opportunity to sleep in it).

DCs (of both sexes) are/were Scouts/Cubs, and have gained a great deal from they. Having a dippy uncle with several semi-wild acres helps too.

skratta Mon 01-Apr-13 09:11:08

DTDs have done all of them [proud]

DD3 has done all but 19, 7 and 1 (due to motor difficulties- it's impossible basically for her, and 7 and 1 are because of possible health risks as she has lower immune which is part of the syndrome meaning she has weak motor control skills)

DS has done all but use a knife.

Bearandcub Mon 01-Apr-13 09:20:36

*near

AChickenCalledKorma Mon 01-Apr-13 19:31:28

Another big thumbs up for the Scouts. DD1 is just back from her first Scout camp and can now add "sleep in a tent when it's snowing" to her list. DH is jealous. I am relieved that the eighty-seven layers of clothing I sent with her stood up to the test grin.

BackforGood Mon 01-Apr-13 19:35:52

ds who is 16, has done all of those (depending on interpretation of tightrope - again, high ropes and low ropes courses with the Scouts)
dd1 (14) and dd2 (11) both well on their way.
As a lot of others have said, many of these have been done with the Scouts - fab organisation smile

VerySmallSqueak Sun 28-Apr-13 13:36:00

Mine are 7 and 8.
So far they have climbed trees,made mud pies,got soaked to the skin,dammed a stream,tracked a wild animal,and the older one has learnt basic first aid.
This Summer I have arranged that we are going wild swimming.I also plan to make a shelter and sleep out with a campfire,and cook on the campfire.And I plan to start teaching them how to read an OS map and use a compass.
I would like to add to the list.Before they are 16 I would like them to be able to skin or pluck and gut their own tea.I also intend to teach them how to shoot (not animals though - targets).And I want them to have at least tried rock climbing,caving and kayaking.

We're going to have such good fun,me and my girls grin.

somanymiles Sat 25-May-13 05:36:40

How do you make a Mentos and Coke rocket?

My kids have done:

2 Cook on an open fire - toast marshmallows, bake potatoes and enjoy an outdoor bonfire feast.

5 Climb a tree - something we all used to do as a child but our children perhaps do less often. Let them clamber!

6 Make a mud pie - all kids LOVE mud - make a muddy corner of the garden for them to squelch, squish and play in.

7 Get soaked to the skin - obviously not in freezing weather! But it feels so fab to really get soaked to the skin.

8 Dam a stream - pick stones and pebbles and sticks and mud to dam a stream.

11 Climb a mountain

13 A bonding weekend with one parent - we are doing this tomorrow - very excited!

15 Learn to sail

16 Build something out of wood

17 Grow your own dinner - start with herbs and easy things like tomatoes and cucumber. Grow carrots, potatoes and berries...

But some great ideas for new things to try - thanks!

I have done:

2 Cook on an open fire - toast marshmallows, bake potatoes and enjoy an outdoor bonfire feast.

4 Use a sharp knife - teach children how to handle a sharp knife carefully and safely. Teach them how to handle it correctly. Try whittling sticks from the age of 6 onwards.

5 Climb a tree - something we all used to do as a child but our children perhaps do less often. Let them clamber!

6 Make a mud pie - all kids LOVE mud - make a muddy corner of the garden for them to squelch, squish and play in.

7 Get soaked to the skin - obviously not in freezing weather! But it feels so fab to really get soaked to the skin.

8 Dam a stream - pick stones and pebbles and sticks and mud to dam a stream.

9 Read a map - whether it's orienteering, a road map or a simple drawn map - let them find their way.

11 Climb a mountain

12 Skinny-dipping/wild swimming

13 A bonding weekend with one parent

14 Learn basic first aid

15 Learn to sail

17 Grow your own dinner - start with herbs and easy things like tomatoes and cucumber. Grow carrots, potatoes and berries...

20 Make a Mentos and Coke rocket - unleash the scientist in your children.

Ineedmorepatience Sat 15-Jun-13 11:14:27

Hi, I have just found this thread.

Dd3 is working her way through the national trusts 50 things to do before you are 11 and 3/4's

Some of the things are abit lame compared to the OP's list but they are maybe for younger children.

Dd3 is going on her first cub camp next week but has been camping with the guides since she was 3.

My Dd2 is studying adventure sports at college too.

I just love to be out and about with them smile

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