We’ve all heard of “bucket” lists. Now, it seems like there are “parenting” bucket lists out there. Not sure if I like the use of the word “bucket” in this context but it’s basically a list of things to teach your child or things to do with your kids before they grow up. There seems to be just a few of these out there:
Well, take this book or this one For example. Or articles like this or this.

There are so many listed items to choose from and I love the ones that include “mastering an instrument” or “teaching your child to play chess” or “learning a second language”. I’d love to do all of those things for my kids. But that’s not exactly what I had in mind.

Of course, I have the big ticket practical/life things that I want to instill upon them such as:

– learning financial responsibility
– being resilient
– being handy
– learn to cook and do laundry
– learn compassion and giving

I like the idea of lists, but am not keen on the idea of using the list as a set of demands. I want to use it as a reminder, as a list of possibilities not absolutes.

I want my list for my kids to be about the fun stuff. This isn’t about the things I want to do for them so much as the things I want to do with them, i.e. the things that I want them to experience for their own memories. And I want them to be doable. It’s easy to put “historical tour of 10 European countries” on the list, but let’s be realistic, that’s probably not happening.

Many of these things we’ve already done. I hope to do many of these often instead of just once. I’ve borrowed (stolen) some from friends, like # 15 the “mystery rides”. We just started doing this where we’ll throw the kids in the car and not tell them where we’re going or what we’re doing. They thing they are Shaggy and Scooby, trying to figure out clues along the way. It makes going to a street festival more exciting for them!

Here goes, this is my list of 50 things I want to do with my boys before they grow up, my Making Memories list:

1. Have a weekly family meeting to communicate
2. Go apple picking every year and eat too many cider donuts
3. Go camping
4. Go fishing
5. Visit our California family (and go to Disneyland) every 2 years
6. Sit outside and watch for shooting stars
7. Make s’mores over a campfire
8. Read together
9. Have family bike rides
10. Play board games (we do try to have family game night 1x per week or two)
11. Build an imperfect sandcastle
12. Visit at least 3 different baseball parks together (I’d love to do 10+ but I need to be realistic)
13. Build a makeshift obstacle course
14. Let them learn to ski
15. Have “mystery rides” or “mystery adventures” as much as possible
16. Have them try all kinds of sports (until they find one or two that they feel passionate about)
17. Take a family car trip (or 2 or 3 or 10)
18. Go to the zoo, a lot (we did a family pass to the Bronx Zoo last year and LOVED it)
19. Play dress up
20. Build a model car
21. Build and launch a model rocket
22. Build Legos together
23. Teach the boys how to skip rocks
24. Kayak/canoe together
25. Learn to blow soap bubbles
26. Sledding & hot chocolate together
27. Build a snowman
28. Meditate/practice quiet time together
29. Charity work together (Andrew already said he wants to help build houses for Habitat for Humanity)
30. Visit Provincetown
31. Visit Orlando
32. Visit Norway (to see our Norwegian cousins)
33. Go whale watching
34. Walk the Freedom Trail in Boston
35. Visit Washington DC
36. A weekend in Williamsburg
37. Quadding/four-wheeling with Aunt Laura
38. Visit LegoLand
39. Go trick-or-treating in a huge neighborhood
40. Make homemade ice cream
41. Go zip-lining or to an adventure park like this one
42. Do a mud run together as a family (Lois says she’ll cheer us on)
43. An overnight away at a local (or not-so-local) hotel with a pool just for fun
44. Build a fort in the living room and have a camp out in there
45. Tubing/waterskiing/Banana boating
46. Do Rockefeller Center and FAO Swartz during the holidays
47. Have a dog (even though we out-vote Lois 3-to-1, still isn’t happening anytime soon)
48. Build a shed or playhouse ourselves
49. Catch fireflies
50. Last but not least, I really do want my boys to learn chess. I just may need someone else to teach them.

50 things came pretty easy. I could come up with 50 more if I wanted to.

What’s on your list?

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