We all know of the National Trust’s 50 things to do before they’re 11 ¾. It’s a great way to get children outdoors and understanding nature. But what about experiences. Childhood experiences and memories are what we can enjoy at the time, but also learn from and remember in years gone by.

Even if the child hasn’t enjoyed the experience, there’s certain things that really make childhood and are almost rites of passage that I think by the teenage years, they should have been through. And let’s face it, most things you do as children are great fun anyway. Especially if they’re done with friends. Most of my list give children the chance to be outside, to learn to respect what they or others do, and to have a bit of freedom. Because so many children nowadays, don’t get the chance to do things for themselves.

30 things kids should experience - Bubbablue and me

30 experiences for children before they are teenagers

Go to a live sports match – professional not a school match
Learn to swim
Try body boarding or surfing
Go rockpooling
Go ice skating or roller skating
Learn to ride a bike
Cook outdoors
Sleep in a tent
Learn to bake a cake and cook a meal
Go sledging
Build a snowman (easier said than done for some areas)
Go on a plane
Learn a musical instrument
Go on a nature trail
Take photos
Learn to use a computer
Leave their own county
Take part in a stage performance (school or elsewhere)
Dance – however bad they are, everyone should do some dancing
Have a favourite band or singer
Watch a film at the cinema
Go out somewhere without an adult – if only to walk to the shop down the road or walk to school
Learn some foreign language skills
Look after an animal
Represent a team, club or school for something
Go on holiday
Have dreams or ambitions
Have or go on a sleepover
Be in print – whether it’s a letter, story, poem or blog
Fundraise

What would you add to the list of childhood experiences?

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20 Comments

  1. Great post! My little one is under a year, but it’s good to keep these things in the back of my mind as she gets older. Time sure does fly and she will be all grown up before we know it! Thanks 🙂

  2. My youngest will be a teen soon, and my oldest will no longer be a teen at the next birthday. It looks like I need to get busy on a couple of these. We’ve checked off most of them though.

  3. This is a great list! I have 3 adult children and I am proud to say they have done all but 3 on your list 🙂

  4. Great List! We have been lucky enough to cross some of those activities off our list. I will have to look into the Rockpooling. what is it?

  5. Laura: Adventures with J

    A great list. A bucket list for the pre-teen years. My son is only 3 but I hope he is able to achieve many of these before he turns 13. Thanks.

  6. This is a fabulous list of experiences! My little girl is only 1, so we haven’t checked many off of this list yet, but I sure hope to!
    #sharingthebloglove

  7. What a fab list. Agree 100% with the learn a foreign language.

    Wish I had started earlier, my (in the distant future) kids will be learning from the word go!

    #SharetheBloglove

  8. Great list. Pleased to see we’ve ticked most of them off as the Tubblet is now a teenager. I’d maybe add “stay somewhere without your parents for few days” but not everyone’s circumstances allows that.

  9. Some great points here! and yes the sleeping in a tent is probably up there with one of the childhood rights of passage (I let my husband do this one with them though!!) #sharingthebloglove

  10. There’s some great suggestions here – my boys have done a few already, but they’re only little still so we’ve got plenty of time yet 🙂 #SharingTheBlogLove

    • It’s nice to have something to aim for. Kids who love the outside are always going to have an advantage for these kind of lists

  11. Great list! I think so many of these are quintessential childhood, but sleeping in a tent is one that I really do think is special as a child, and why I will sacrifice my own loathing of camping to make sure that my boys get to do this. I think I’d add riding a horse – I loved horse riding when I was younger, there’s nothing like it. But I’m not sure I have a hope of getting Max on a horse! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  12. Oh I love this list and pleased to see we’ve ticked quite a few off already. We still have many years to go and I think we could manage this! Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Thanks Kim. There’s so many things to do, but I’m amazed some children haven’t

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