Family & Kids Bucket List
Find out where your family actually came from. Finding out the stories of your ancestors gives you so much context for your life now, even if you’re generations apart. These days there are a number of websites that can help you trace back centuries or further!
Even if you can only put a little bit in for them, the earlier you do it the more interest it will gather over time. Being able to provide a lump sum to help get them started as adults is so helpful, whether it’s towards college or a down payment on a house.
Head to Boston, Massachusetts, and walk the 2.5mile path through US history. Take a self-guided tour through sixteen locations significant to the American Revolution – everyone in the family will learn something, and it’s a lovely day out.
Ski vacations are a perfect mix of activity and relaxation for your family holiday. The kids will be outside all day, either learning to ski or playing in the snow, and the bigger kids get to have fun too! Then at night there’s hot chocolates, marshmallows, and warm fires for snuggling up when everyone’s all tuckered out.
This will feel quite gradual, until suddenly your children are old enough to take themselves off on their own adventures and you’ll wonder where the time has gone. Encourage them to be curious about the world around them and respectful of different cultures, and you’ll have confident, well-rounded children into adulthood.
Creating things with your own hands is incredibly satisfying, and imbues an object with far more worth than whatever you paid for the materials. You could make a piece of jewellery, build a chest of drawers, or craft a beautiful vase – ultimately it doesn’t matter what it is, only that you cared enough to make it for them.
There are many classic stories that have entered the popular consciousness so much so that you can’t imagine not knowing them. Passing on your favourite stories is more than just telling them stories, it’s passing down your culture. Watch their faces light up as they experience them for the very first time.
If you don’t know much about your parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents, imagine how little your own children will know. Finding out all the family stories and writing them down in the one place would make the most amazing family heirloom – one that is forever being updated as your own family grows.
Dash through 5km of multi-colored chalk clouds, turning yourself into a rainbow as you and the family make your way through the dream-like course. At the end is a Finish Festival, with music, a color-bomb fight, and unicorns. They say it’s the happiest 5km on Earth!
Send it to them on their birthday, telling them all the ways they’ve grown over the past year and what a special person they’re turning into. The moment of reflection will be as good for you as reading each letter is for them.
Whether it’s an around-the-world trip or a camping ground in the next town over, taking time out to spend time with each other and experience new things together is so important. As the kids get older this will become harder to do, and the longer you wait the more you’ll wish you’d done it when they were little.
Give their parents a break for a day and take the grandkids on an adventure. Be warned, they’ll want you to get on all the rides with them, so come up with your excuses in advance. Or just get on that rollercoaster, they’ll be so impressed!
Remember how she’d have dinner ready for you, even after working all day herself? How she’d take you to your baseball/piano/sailing/Dungeons & Dragons practice each week? Do you think she wanted to sit in the cold while you feebly kicked a soccer ball around, or listen to you toot the same three notes over and over on your new sax? Probably not. Now that you’ve made it, it’s time to give her the experience of her dreams and help her see the world.
If you’ve never sat down and thought about what you and your family stand for, this could be a great exercise. What are your values as a family, and how do you want to strive to maintain those? Identifying what matters to you as a group is also effective at bringing everyone together.
Even if it turns out a little more National Lampoon than you’d prefer, going camping as a family is something you have to do at least once. Build a tent together, sit around a campfire, tell stories, and experience the quiet calm of the wilderness.
There are so many babies in the world that need the love and care of a good parent. If you have a little bit of room in your life and heart for a child, consider adopting someone who otherwise might not get the best start in life. It will be one of the hardest and most rewarding things you will ever do.
Your siblings becoming parents is a surreal experience – your baby sister shouldn’t have her own kid, that’s crazy! But watching them turn into parents will make your own relationship with them closer as they grow and mature into their new role. And your little brother having an annoying kid is perfect justice for how annoying he was when he was little.
If your parents are anything like mine, they didn’t travel much when they were young. Back then you got married, got a house, and had kids straight away. So showing them the world is the most rewarding thing you can do for them and a perfect way to give back everything they gave to you over the years. On the other hand, it does mean travelling with your parents…
It’s always surprising the weird snippets kids remember from really early on – a random holiday when they were three, playing on the school swing when they were four. Taking photos and showing them helps keep those memories alive, and as they get older it’s something they’ll show their own kids about how they grew up.
Reading to your child is a lovely way to spend quality time together before bedtime. Fill their little heads with new thoughts and stories, and watch as they look forward to your nightly ritual. Reading to them will instil an invaluable love of learning and imagination that will last a lifetime.
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