Parenting

50 things our kids should do before they turn 12

Laura comes across a "bucket list" for kids and notices that some of her favourite childhood activities made the list.

Photo by realitybytes/iStockphoto.com

Our editorial intern Cassandre Cadieux came across this article in The Globe and Mail today — “Bucket list for kids: 50 things to do before they’re 12.”

Before even reading the article my first thought went immediately to musical instruments. I just assumed that the list would suggest something artistically creative like learning to read music notes — something I never learned to do.

However, as it turns out, the 50 items that rounded out the list were simple, fun little ways to enjoy time with your family — outdoors. It didn’t mention anything about travelling to some exotic location or something that would require a lot of money. It just suggests that we make sure our kids take part in quieter activities like learning to skip stones across the water, climbing a tree and flying a kite — all of which are acitivities that newer generations of kids may not be experiencing to its fullest in this tech-savvy digital age.

The suggestion of “hunting for fossils and bones”, in particular, is a personal favourite. When I was a child I wanted to be Indiana Jones when I grew up (alright, so I still kind of do) and searching for little bones was one of my big things. I even kept a little jar at my side, although I never really came across all that much. But it didn’t even matter whether or not I actually found anything — it was about the adventure and the idea that I potentially could come across a dinosaur bone that kept me going. For a little girl who essentially wanted to be a hybrid of Indiana Jones and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern’s character in Jurassic Park), it was an activity that kept me busy and let my imagination run wild.

While some of the suggestions that made the list might be a little challenging for kids under 12 (abseiling, anyone?), for the most part this list is a compilation of all the things we did as children — activities we should make sure our own kids take a moment to enjoy for themselves at some point.

What was your favourite suggestion on the list? What do you think should be added?

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