Going on an outdoor adventure, discovering nature’s elements on your own, testing the limits and exploring whatever it is you can find out there…that is what playing is meant to be like! At least that is our opinion. Therefore we immediately fell for the book-of-50-things, developed by Stichting Buitenmakelaar.
Stichting Buitenmakelaar is a Dutch foundation that aims to encourage children to get outside and enjoy nature. Inspired by the British National Trust that set up a list of 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4, Stichting Buitenmakelaar developed a book called ’50 things to do before you’re 12′. It covers 50 outdoor activities for children – everything from skimming stones and building a campfire to climbing trees and sleeping in open air.
In the Netherlands the book is freely available in the region where Stichting Buitenmakelaar is active (Bunnik, Odijk and Werkhoven). Yearly, at the schools in this region, a copy of the book is handed to all children at the age of 6. Being completely adjusted to the region it is distributed in, the book is especially designed to let children experience nature close to their homes.
However, Stichting Buitenmakelaar has a dream. It feels that not only the children in its own region deserve the book, it wants the book to be freely available for every child in the Netherlands from the age of 6.
To realise this dream local adjustment and implementation of the book are necessities and therefore a bunch of enthusiasts are needed. Guess what? We are some of these enthusiasts! From the school year 2017/2018 on all 6 year olds in Leiden will be handed one of those great books.
This is the point where we hope you find yourself asking an important question: why should only kids go out and play? Well, great remark! How can we make kids go exploring the wild if we don’t show them how it is done properly? So here’s to all grown-ups: go play outside!
Give yourself a night off from work (or get off the couch) to go stargazing. Deliberately forget about cleaning the house and go baking pancakes on a self built campfire instead. Start the day by opening the window and peeping your head out. Not to find out what the weather might make you wear, but to let the wind tell you what outdoor adventure it will take you on today.