Dreaming through your child’s eyes

by Brittany Gilbert

If I were to ask my kids what they want on a bucket list, it would include all things Star Wars and Thomas and Friends. Thanks to grandparents, our kids also have pretty much every toy they want. However, a bucket list is about experiences.

I grew up in a time without cell phones and internet. My mom shooed us out the door after breakfast and expected us to be back when street lights came on. While we definitely don’t live in the same times, there are still some childhood experiences that I believe our kids can benefit from.

Depending on your kids’ ages, you can make a list of things you want your child to experience before they go to kindergarten, middle school, before they are age 12 or 15, etc. You can get creative and list experiences based on your favorite memories as a child or things you wish you would’ve had the opportunity to do. Your children can definitely help, but will need guidance to think of things outside of the box. I’ve included some ideas as well as things to think about when building a bucket list for kids.

Think of simple things, too. It doesn’t have to be extravagant trips. Think of the things that you loved from your childhood. Things on your list don’t have to be expensive. In fact, the less expensive, the better.

Go on picnics
Climb a tree
Go camping
Learn how to fish
Light a fire without matches
Plant a garden
Learn a musical instrument

Traditions are also a great addition to a bucket list. By starting a new tradition, you are adding something to your family that you will enjoy for years, not just one time. Taco Tuesdays, Serve Saturdays, family game night and holiday traditions are just a few ideas. Look to your own experiences growing up and think of what you would want your children to remember about what made their family special as they get older.

There are some experiences that require a trip, and those are great for a bucket list, too. As a parent, you’ll know what’s doable for your family’s budget. Some ideas include visiting a beach, getting out of your state or country, finding a waterfall, Disney World, Lego Land, along with many other ideas based off of your family’s interests.

The fun part is that every child’s bucket list is different and unique. You can build their list based off the things you know they will enjoy and may not think of on their own. It’s so fun to see the world through a child’s eyes and get to experience the nostalgia of your own childhood.


Brittany Gilbert is a former FACS teacher at Maumelle High School. She and her husband, Levi, have two sons and a daughter and live in Conway. Brittany can be reached at [email protected].