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Bear Grylls says let your children take risks: Here's 50 things for them to try before the age of 11

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 09, 2014

Bear Grylls

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PARENTS are doing their children a disservice by not exposing them to risk, according to television adventurer Bear Grylls.

Bear, who takes 13 men out to a desert island to fend for themselves in his new Channel 4 show, said that it was part of being a dad to teach his three sons how to make a catapult, tie a knot and improvise a kite.

His boys, he says, set up search and rescue scenarios at home.

The Chief Scout is pushing for the school curriculum to be overhauled, with survival skills such as lighting a fire and tying a knot at the fore.

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Bear added: “If you try to negate risk in children’s lives, you do them a disservice, because you teach them not to be afraid of risk.

“There is risk everywhere, even when you go out on the street. So if you teach kids to dodge risk, you totally disempower them.

“You empower kids by teaching them how to do something dangerous, but how to do it safely.”

Hundreds of children in Gloucestershire attend Cubs and Scouts where survival and outdoor skills are learned.

Scouting numbers have increased in Gloucestershire with more girls, boys and adults seeking out everyday adventure. The total number of young people and adults who have joined scouting has risen 1.4 per cent in the past year and membership figures have now reached 6,612.

Sue James from Gloucestershire Scouts groups said: “It’s true that children don’t always know survival skills. When we take the Scout groups out camping they learn skills such as putting up a shelter or making plate racks or starting fires. It’s learning but having fun at the same time.”

The National Trust has come up with a list of 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4. How many have you achieved?

1. Climb a tree

2. Roll down a really big hill

3. Camp out in the wild

4. Build a den

5. Skim a stone

6. Run around in the rain

7. Fly a kite

8. Catch a fish with a net

9. Eat an apple straight from a tree

10. Play conkers

11. Throw some snow

12. Hunt for treasure on the beach

13. Make a mud pie

14. Dam a stream

15. Go sledging

16. Bury someone in the sand

17. Set up a snail race

18. Balance on a fallen tree

19. Swing on a rope swing

20. Make a mud slide

21. Eat blackberries growing in the wild

22. Take a look inside a tree

23. Visit an island

24. Feel like you’re flying in the wind

25. Make a grass trumpet

26. Hunt for fossils and bones

27. Watch the sun wake up

28. Climb a huge hill

29. Get behind a waterfall

30. Feed a bird from your hand

31. Hunt for bugs

32. Find some frogspawn

33. Catch a butterfly in a net

34. Track wild animals

35. Discover what’s in a pond

36. Call an owl

37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool

38. Bring up a butterfly

39. Catch a crab

40. Go on a nature walk at night

41. Plant it, grow it, eat it

42. Go wild swimming

43. Go rafting

44. Light a fire without matches

45. Find your way with a map and compass

46. Try bouldering

47. Cook on a campfire

48. Try abseiling

49. Find a geocache

50. Canoe down a river

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  • sensitivechil  |  May 21 2014, 10:46AM

    This is such great advice and so inspiring we shared a link to this article on our Facebook parent community and it reached 15000 people!

  • Randwick_Resi  |  May 09 2014, 1:16PM

    Making a plate rack is one of the Scouts survival skills!

  • ianinglis  |  May 08 2014, 7:17PM

    Um, number 17 is risky how?

    |   5
  • timmy0811  |  May 07 2014, 1:26PM

    All done other than 49

    |   2