Family bucket list: 15 things to do before your kids get too old

When it comes to family life, we can all agree on one thing: there is never enough time to do everything you really want.

Also, kids aren’t little and willing forever, so there is actually a very small window to tick off your bucket list.

But don’t let that make you panic! Or stop you from writing your own very fun list of stuff to do before your kids grow up and decide mum and dad aren’t cool enough to hang out with anymore. (Apparently, that is a given.)

With that in mind, here are 15 pretty simple and sweet ideas to get you started:

1. Go camping

Outdoor life is not for everybody but anyone can suck it up for just a couple of nights, right? Go on! Pack your mattress if you have to. The kids will love it. Don’t forget to check out these great tips to make sure the whole family has a good time camping.

2. Take a flight somewhere

If you’re vaxxed and ready to get out of town, why not jump on a plane for an adventure? It doesn’t have to be a long flight, just book one in and jump on together. The anticipation is sometimes the best part of these kinds of adventures.

3. Eat every meal outside

Pack a picnic breakfast, lunch and dinner and take your meals outside for the day. Be it in your backyard, beside the sea, on a boat, or on top of a mountain. outdoor ‘dining’ with kids is brilliant – no need to worry about cleaning up messy spills!

4. Have a ‘yes’ day

Does saying yes to everything (within reason) for a whole day fill you with a little bit of dread? Me too! But why not throw caution to the wind for just one day. Imagine the delight.

Group of four siblings in pyjamas hugging on bed - feature

5. Give your kids a pyjama day

Otherwise known as a day without school or daycare or anything in between. Stop the alarm, make pancakes for breakfast and just do something out of the ordinary – nothing!

6. Get in the picture

At least once a year, grab those kids, sit them down and take a snap. And if you can get away with it, put them in a similar outfit and pose each time. Eventually you’ll have a lovely timeline of yearly pics to look back on fondly.

7. Get on a boat

Canoe, ferry, sailing boat, cruise liner or kayak. Just pick one, get everyone together and enjoy life on the water as a family. Don’t forget the life jackets.

8. Choose a pet

Pets come in all shapes and sizes, it doesn’t have to be a dog or cat. Turtles, birds, fish, rabbits, heck – even a worm will do. Just choose a pet together, make it a home and give it a name. It’ll be sure to feature in family lore for years to come.

Mother helping child cook with rolling pin - feature

9. Cook a whole meal from scratch

Bread, sauces, vegetables and something sweet for dessert. Head out to the market, buy all the ingredients and spend the day whipping it all up together. Delicious and fun!

10. Volunteer

A soup kitchen, animal welfare centre, a preschool, a stall at the school fete or BBQ at the soccer field. Doing something for others is guaranteed to give you a boost, just choose something and stick at it together for the day.

11. Go to the circus

If the circus is not your thing, why not a live show, or some musical theatre or a play? Whatever it is, just make it something that you’re not watching on a screen. 

Little girl watering plants

12. Plant a tree or make a vegetable garden

A tree can be a legacy. So can a vegetable garden. There is something very ritualistic and lovely about creating and tending to a living thing together. You may like to check out these awesome ways toddlers can help out and have fun in the garden. 

13. Spend a day foraging

Mushrooming, apple picking, berry picking. You name it, there is somewhere you can go and easily pick it, fresh from the trees or farm together. It’s always a fun (ad tasty!) day out.

14. Have a dress up party

It doesn’t matter how old and serious you think you are, there is so much joy to be found in dressing up as someone else. Invite some people around, make a theme and get your gear on!

15. Go on a ‘toss the coin’ adventure

Pile everyone in the car, get an old-school map (none of those electronic ones) and flip a coin. Heads you go left, tails you turn right. You never know where you’ll end up! 

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