December 5, 2021 Karen Lewis

Anchorage Outdoor School’s 100 Things To Do Before You’re 12!

100 Things To Do Before You’re 12…

At Outdoor School, we’re all about having fun outside. And we won’t let that fun end when Outdoor School is over! To help encourage students to play outdoors all year long, we’ve come up with a list of 100 things all Alaskan kids should do before they’re 12. We are fortunate to have an abundance of places to explore and enjoy in Alaska, from neighborhood parks to wildlife refuges and national forests. We hope this list helps inspire new adventures and activities big and small. Many of the things on this list require no materials or things found outside, and can be done in your own yard, neighborhood, or community. 

I had the good fortune of growing up in Alaska, and just the hill in my yard provided hours worth of entertainment: sledding, building snow caves, rolling in the grass, running through the sprinkler, and playing in the leaves. I’m still just a big kid who loves to play outside, and my experiences as a former 12-year-old and ongoing experiences as a ski instructor, backcountry ranger, and outdoor educator also helped shape the things on this list. To this day I still can’t resist running or driving through a sprinkler when I get the chance, and my love of snow only continues to grow with each new winter. I grew up before the internet was omnipresent in our lives, and I’m grateful for that, but I believe we can have healthy kids who love both their tech and their time outside. 

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We will be posting from the List every Friday on Anchorage Outdoor School socials with adventure ideas and extension activities. You can download the 100 Things List here.  Tag us on Facebook and Instagram #100ThingsAK, and we’ll see you outside!

Our list is adapted from Great Outdoors Colorado’s Generation Wild initiative, a research-led, multiyear campaign designed to spark a movement that would reconnect kids to the outdoor world. Their research shows that today, the average kid spends less than seven minutes a day outside in unstructured play. You can learn more about Generation Wild at www.generationwild.com.

Sarah Schuh, a lifelong Alaskan now living in Moose Pass, grew up in Anchorage. She is the Anchorage Outdoor School Program Manager. Sarah works to connect young Alaskans to their public lands through residential, place based educational programs.