5 Things on My New Year’s Bucket List for My Kids

Night sky with stars and silhouette of a happy familyWhat’s your favorite childhood memory? Mine is probably taking turns rolling down a grassy hill with my cousins. When you’re a kid, the simplest things are often the most interesting and most joyful. Now that we’ve grown up, and we have children, it seems like that grassy hill is part of a different world. Children grow up fast, and the simple things that gave us such joy might seem boring to them. As we herald another year, I’ve created a bucket list for my children with experiences and memories that I want to share with them. Hopefully, they will cherish these moments for years to come.

1. See the Stars

It may seem like the stars are losing energy and getting dimmer each year. This is because of light pollution, i.e., usage of high-output lights all across the city that make it impossible to see the stars in the night sky. In 2016, let your kids experience the stars in all their glory. Take them to a location away from the bustling city—anywhere with a good view of the sky will do fine. It will create a sense of awe for the world around them and make them curious about the stars. As we have a lovely vantage point close to my house with an excellent view of the stars, my kids and I are regular visitors there.

2. Travel

It’s said that travel opens the mind to new ideas and influences a person’s character and ideals. When children are at an impressionable age, traveling can have a profound effect on the way they see the world. I was a young child when I traveled from the big city to a small town, and everything from the open spaces to the friendly people fascinated me. Go to a new state or another country and have your children experience something new. Let them try new food, meet new people, and get immersed in a different culture. What may seem like subtle differences to the older folks will look like a whole new world to the little ones.

3. Create Home Movies

If you’ve ever watched Americas Funniest Home Videos, you know how entertaining home videos can be. These days, since every phone has a fairly high-end camera, you don’t even need a camcorder. Depending on your kids’ ages, there are many things you can do on a home video. It will allow your children to bond with all members of the family. Record a video of your kids with extended family, a day spent with their grandparents, or a day at the zoo with their friends. These memories will stay with them for years and give them a lovely sense of nostalgia every time they see the footage.

4. Visit Museums and Art Galleries

Some of the biggest scientists and artists can point to a single moment in their youth when their interests in a particular subject began. As a child, a visit to a classic car show kick-started my love for cars, and it has grown stronger over the years. You never know where your child’s interest may lead them. As parents, it’s our responsibility to give them every possible opportunity to explore all their interests. I’ve made a resolution to take my children to visit a museum at least once a month.

5. Do Nothing

This may seem like an odd item on a bucket list, but bear with me. When was the last time you can remember spending time with your family without an interruption from the phone, internet, or television? As life becomes more complicated and our attention spans shrink, we find ourselves glued to our phones or computers without giving those around us our full attention. In my house, we have decided to try a “blackout evening:” one night the family spends together without any technology around. What will keep the kids entertained? Bring out one of the old board games, like Monopoly or Pictionary, and let the good times roll.

As your children grow up, the memories you create and the values you instill will stay with them forever. This New Year, create your bucket list and resolve to make this the greatest year yet.

Aradhana is a writer from India. She covers topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health, and lifestyle. She has more than 150 publications from reputable sites like Huffington Post, Natural News, Elephant Journal, Lifehacker, SheKnows, and MomJunction.com to her credit. Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.

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  • JoeDee

    January 5th, 2017 at 9:20 AM

    aww these are the best!

  • Brandt

    January 6th, 2017 at 12:33 PM

    For my children and really I suppose for all of us in the house it would be to put down the devices and actually talk to each other and interact every once in a while.
    The schedules have all gotten so crazy that I don’t ever feel like we have that time together that we once had and it makes me sad to think about when the kids were little and we all spent so much time together.
    I know that they are probably going to hate it but I think that there will be some new usage rules coming into play soon!

  • gabe

    January 7th, 2017 at 11:33 AM

    What I want the most is for my children to live their lives to the fullest and hopefully that will mean knowing that there is more to life than things.
    I think that we all get so obsessed with what we have and don’t have that we forget to take a look all around us and notice the love and the special things that really do make up our lives.
    All of these things, for me anyway, mean so much more than the material things in life that so many stay in the rat race to achieve.

  • cora

    January 9th, 2017 at 4:33 AM

    We don’t have a whole lot of money but I do try to take advantage of the free or less expensive things when I hear about them. I have not ever wanted my kids to have to pay for the fact that we don’t have as much money as some of their peers do.

  • Tennyson

    January 9th, 2017 at 8:41 AM

    Some things are done just for fun but with my younger kids I always tried to incorporate something that they could learn too into pretty much any activity that we would do. Even going to the bank or the grocery store can have some great learning opportunities for kids!

  • Brenna

    January 9th, 2017 at 2:21 PM

    Love the photo of the stargazers- reminds me of the things that we like to do as a family!

  • Freddy

    January 10th, 2017 at 11:13 AM

    I want my children to know that there are other things in life that are far more important than the material goods that we always seem to be chasing.
    I know that they all believe that it is those things that will make them happy but I try to remind them that those things are not what they will remember so much, but life is more about the memories that families are able to create together.
    Those are the things that are lasting and that I hope that I can give them plenty of.

  • wanda

    January 13th, 2017 at 10:50 AM

    Honestly I think that it can be a good thing to let the kids get bored every once in a while. This forces them to be creative. That’s right- take away the phones and tablets and see how quickly they can come up with something else to entertain themselves.

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