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40 Things to do Outdoors

40 Thing to do before leaving Merefield School...

Over a pupils time at Merefield School we believe they should experience the outdoors.  This can be through play, Forest School, Duke of Edinburgh Awards, residential holiday and exploring our local community.  The natural outdoor setting creates a calm, sensory rich environment where children can play energetically without some of the frustrations, noise and other stressors that present themselves at indoor play facilities or on school playgrounds.

There are seven recognised benefits of outdoor learning...

  • Improved sleep patterns
  • Fun way to learn
  • Development of motor skills
  • Encourages a healthy lifestyle
  • Encourages caring for the environment
  • Positive impact on whole family well being
  • Making new friends.

Outdoor learning is more effective when adults focus on what children need to be able to do there rather than identifying what children need to have.  This approach considers experiences rather than equipment which will place children at the centre of the provision.  We aim to provide opportunities for children in meaningful and engaging experiences that support their development in all areas of the curriculum and their physical, social and emotional development.  ‘40 things to do before leaving school’ provides opportunities for children of all abilities to:

  • Be excited, energetic and adventurous;
  • Interact with peers and build relationships;
  • Create, imagine, construct and deconstruct;
  • Explore, discover, investigate and experiment;
  • Express themselves, make sounds and music;
  • Be active, run, climb, jump throw and feel the air;
  • Develop independence, confidence and self esteem.

The Rt Hon Damien Hinds MP, Secretary of state for Education also agrees that children should be happy and healthy with a successful transition into adulthood.  Children should also be curious about the world and people around them; ’40 things to do before leaving school’ give children the chance to experience the world around them, to see and do things they wouldn’t normally do and go places they wouldn’t normally go.  This also develops character from taking on challenges and pursuing interests, by doing things that aren’t always easy to do.  This could then go on to develop as a hobby or personal interest.

At Merefield School, we believe that our pupils should be recognised for their achievements as they experience different things in life so we have devised a reward system to motivate children to try out new activities.  There are 2 levels of award to make it accessible to all, Explorer and Adventurer.  Pupils can earn up to 4 different levels of certificates throughout their time here.  This can take as long as it is needed to work through and will be awarded as required.  Adults should record each experience on a personalised record sheet with an observation, date and a photo to create a scrap book.  This scrap book can then be built upon throughout their time at Merefield School.  Some pupils will experience these more than once and develop an interest in the activities they find most engaging.  This has also helped our pupils prepare for residential holidays as they become more confident and some pupils are also able to complete the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

For more information contact Merefield School.


There are 2 levels of award to make it accessible to all, Explorer and Adventurer.  Pupil’s can earn up to 4 different levels of certificates throughout their time here for achieving the experiences.  This can take as long as it is needed to work through and will be awarded as they are achieved.  

Bronze Award:                  10 Experiences

Silver Award:                     20 Experiences

Gold Award:                       30 Experiences

Platinum Award:              35+ Experiences

40 Things to do before you leave Merefield School!





  • Climb a tree
  • ‘Build’ or experience a den outdoors
  • Roll down a hill
  • Be rolled down a hill
  • Camp out
  • Have fun outside in the rain
  • Build a den
  • Feel or taste falling snow
  • Run around in the rain
  • Fly or watch a kite 
  • Skim a stone
  • Throw a stone in to a puddle of water
  • Fly a kite
  • Collect natural materials on a nature walk 
  • Eat an apple straight from a tree
  • Eat an apple straight from a tree
  • Play conkers
  • Make a mud pie
  • Throw some snow
  • Explore sand between your toes
  • Hunt for treasure
  • Explore natural treasure with all senses
  • Make a mud pie
  • Eat/smell/touch blackberries in the wild
  • Bury somebody in sand
  • Try abseiling or climbing
  • Set up a snail race
  • Explore a tree in every season 
  • Balance on a fallen tree
  • Feel like you’re flying in the wind
  • Swing on a rope swing
  • Feed birds or a duck
  • Make a mud slide
  • Bring up a butterfly 
  • Eat blackberries growing in the wild
  • Plant/grow/eat it
  • Take a look inside a tree
  • Roll or lie on the grass
  • Try abseiling or climbing
  • Use a watering can
  • Feel like you’re flying in the wind
  • Touch a bug
  • Climb a huge hill
  • Explore frogspawn 
  • Feed the birds/ducks
  • Discover what’s in a pond
  • Hunt for bugs
  • Experience a fire outdoors
  • Find some frogspawn
  • Cook on an outdoor fire
  • Catch/chase a butterfly
  • Explore a fire steel
  • Discover what’s in a pond
  • Discover what’s in a pond
  • Call an owl
  • Call an owl
  • Look in a rock pool
  • Make some outdoor perfume
  • Bring up a butterfly
  • Find a rainbow
  • Jump in puddles
  • Blow a dandelion clock/flower
  • Plant/grow/eat it
  • Watch a snail race
  • Go wild swimming
  • Have a picnic outdoors
  • Light a fire without matches
  • Go bird watching
  • Use a map
  • Throw the fallen leaves
  • Cook on a campfire
  • Build a sandcastle
  • Throw the fallen leaves
  •  Explore the outdoors with a magnifying glass
  • Go bird watching
  • Play ‘peek a boo’ from behind the trees
  • Make a home for a wild animal/bug
  • Have a story outdoors
  • Explore the  outdoors  barefooted
  • Explore the  outdoors barefooted