Saturday 4 May 2013

#CountryKids 50 Things to do before you are 11 and 3/4 at Sizergh Castle #50Things

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

When I spotted that our local National Trust castle Sizergh was having a 50 things weekend I immediately knew what we were going to do today! We have done a few before so its great to have a chance to do lots of them all in one place. It turned out that the list has been adjusted this year following feedback from children. We will need to check the full list to see what we have done elsewhere..

The rangers, gardeners and volunteers at Sizergh had worked really hard to set up a range of activities that the children could do. I think we managed to try all but geocaching today (not enough time!). We started by making kites:

Of course you have to fly your kite to see if you have done a good job:

Job done and one kite stuck in a tree:

We went to the next activity of making a home for wild creatures. In this case bug boxes:

I was brave holding it steady whilst he hammered!

Once assembled we had to put materials in them to make habitable for bugs:

Now we just need to find a suitable location in the garden!

Next up was pond dipping. My son was first to have a go whilst his sister was waiting for the free face painting. The ranger was very informative about things we might find in the pond:

Snail eggs

Of course the whole point was for the children to look for themselves:

Anything exciting?

The newly built pond dipping platform was perfect for this activity: 

Meanwhile a kind man with a tall ladder and a rake was getting the kite out of the tree for us:

There was a mummified looking dead toad by the pond dipping which brave children could pick up to get the hold a scary beast award:

I picked it up but my son wouldn't! His big sister was braver:

As it was quite chilly watching them dipping I suggested moving on to the next lot of activities:

We went for build a den first as this was something they had wanted to do for ages. The den building was a team effort and when we joined in the den walls were half built:

My daughter had enough after a while but her brother carried on until the den was completed:

Yay job done and first one in the den!

After all that effort it was time for a picnic before my daughter did some wild art:

The lure of pond dipping pulled in my children again:

the coot on its nest was totally unconcerned

We then went to check out the activities in the gardens, very distracting seeing the new tulip bed:

My son was distracted by the garden games and chickens:

Eventually we caught up with his sister at the snail racing arena known as Snailverstone:

My son and I chose our snails and then settled down to wait to see which one won... and waited.... and waited..

He was dead chuffed when his snail eventually past the finish line miles ahead of mine! During the race he had had a lesson in making a grass trumpet but he found it almost impossible to get any noise out of it (go on and try it harder than you think!). His sister had discovered the mud pie making challenge next door:

Though little brother didn't fancy getting mucky! Both of them did try and find a proper tree to climb but the ones we were near were a wee bit too easy:

So instead we retired to the newly refurbished cafe (new comfier seating!) for a hot drink and cake:

Suitably warmed up and refreshed we went back out to find the sun had finally decided to make an appearance as we tried to complete the remaining activities:

Afraid to say none found!

Then bird spotting at the hides:

My daughter was up for the next challenge but my son wasn't:

It was across the lawn but as she left her boots with me she then walked on gravel to get to the:

Here they got to plant cress seeds on paper towel:

By now it was 4 o'clock and all the ranger led activities were shutting up for the night. They will be back with even more tomorrow! So we never got around to doing the geocaching. Guess we will have to go back to find the 4 caches on the wider estate...

So an amazing day and my daughter managed to tick off 12 from the list of 50 and my son 9 in one day so that is a good start to the new list. Now we need to check which others ones that they have done previously and work out how to get the rest done!

Top marks to the National Trust staff and volunteers at Sizergh Castle for such a fabulous day out and it was a great use of our membership money. 


  1. 9 and 12 ticked off in one day - what an achievement! The photos are fab and a lovely memory of a exciting and fun packed day of adventure and discovery. NT properties are brilliant for inspiring the younger generation - thanks for sharing with Country Kids.

  2. Was so well organise to get that many done! Thanks for compliments just glad we actually got out this week ;-)

  3. That's a great start to the list. What an amazing day


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