Bucket List for Kids: 101 Things to Experience in Childhood
What should your child do, see or experience before he or she turns 18? Metro Parent assembled this essential kit, with the help of southeast Michigan parents.
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51. Go to work with mom or dad – a real day at work – so they develop a sense of what it means. Visit a college campus for the same reason.
– Kim Enders of Shelby Township
52. Get knocked around a wave pool.
53. Take an Amtrak trip – to Chicago, Texas, Washington, D.C., California (or just Royal Oak to Ann Arbor). My kids loved the freedom of moving around on the train. When they were smaller, they met many kids they could play with in the lounge car. The conductors treated the kids like royalty and put down their beds at night, made sure they had juice and joked with them.
– Peggy Miller-Zelinko, Oxford, mom of Andrew, 22, Rachel, 19, Dylan, 16 and Rebecca, 11
54. Visit a farm to milk a cow or goat, see food being pulled from the ground – or, if possible, witness an animal giving birth.
55. Create something original out of LEGOs.
– Sarah Jacobs of Franklin, owns The Robot Garage in Birmingham, daughters are 14, 12 and 9
56. Learn to listen – really listen – to others.
57. Have a picnic lunch out in nature.
58. Take a bike "tour," whether around your neighborhood, along a shoreline or through a city.
59. Go ice skating outside (Campus Martius in Detroit is choice).
60. Have a treasure hunt with, and for, your kids. It was one of my favorite memories with my own dad, and my kids still talk about how much fun they had (on theirs).
– Chantel Maloney of Ferndale (and Metro Parent), kids are 14, 12 and 8
61. See the Grand Canyon (and have dinner at Phantom Ranch, at the bottom of it!).
– Krista Orr of Plymouth, mom of William, 10 and Jacob, 8
62. Climb a tree.
63. Drive down Woodward Avenue from Pontiac to downtown Detroit to have an appreciation of the history of the city and the cultural diversity of the community.
– Jack Elder, physician, Bloomfield Township, dad of five kids ages 33-18
64. Dig through an estate sale, garage sale or antique or salvage shop. You never know what you can find, repurpose – or barter over.
65. Travel, travel, travel. Especially to the National Parks! We've been to the Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Mammoth Cave, Mesa Verde, Petrified Forest and Washington, D.C. Along with the usual beachy Florida vacations (a must). It's a beautiful country out there – go and see it.
– Paula Messner of Royal Oak, aka Almond Joy in kid-rock Candy Band, mom of Charlotte, 14 and Rebecca, 12
66. Experience the uninterrupted vista of 100,000-plus people at a U-M home game. It does give you a sense of how big human life is.
– Daniel Madaj of Ann Arbor, dad of Nat, 39 and Emily, 17
67. Learn how to tie a necktie. It's imperative for boys and can come in handy for girls, too, when they grow up.
68. Create art in a large, open area with all white walls (or big sheets of paper tacked up) with paint in all colors imaginable. Go to town!
– Andrea Eckert of Ferndale, artist, kids are 8 and 4
69. Go to an amusement park. Definitely ride a roller coaster.
70. Beat on a drum set till their heart's content. Without mom telling you it's too loud!
– Jason Gittinger, pro drummer, founder of The Detroit School of Rock and Pop Music and Royal Oak dad of two, ages 6 and 4
71. Take ballroom – or some type of "couples" – dance lessons. Super handy for formal events of all shapes and sizes.
72. Get treated like royalty in a blowout birthday party they'll never forget.
73. Craft anything (noodle art, button jewelry, newspaper hat, clothespin critters) without critique.
74. Eat a meal – or just dessert – at Coach Insignia at the top of the Renaissance Center in Detroit and enjoy the view.
– Melissa Summers, Royal Oak mom of two, ages 14 and 11