A Kid's Bucket List? Mom Talk

Our kids are not doing enough with their childhoods.

A child's innocence is a treasure. Watching my little ones grow has been the greatest gift I have given myself. The sparkle of their eyes as they learn and explore will be forever in my memory.

The everydayness of my work-from-home schedule can be overwhelming at times. As much as I value every waking moment with my kiddos, it is also easy to pop in another Sesame Street so I can get my work done—something I never thought I'd do.

So when my friend posted this link on Facebook, I took a good look. It is a bucket list of things every child should do before turning 13. The list is posted by KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization dedicated to saving play for America's children. According to its site, not enough play spaces are being built, and existing spaces are falling in disrepair.

Kids are wasting away indoors. When kids don't play, they get fat, become anxious, depressed, violent, and developmentally stunted, according to the organization.

"Fears surrounding lawsuits and safety are trumping common sense, resulting in sterile, uninspired play environments," the site says. "Recess is being eliminated from our nation's schools. Kids are over-scheduled in their free time, many choose to stay indoors, lulled by television, computers and video games."

On KaBOOM!'s bucket list are activities like wallow in mud, run down a dune or roll down a hill, climb a tree, hang upside down, and throw a snowball. Thinking back to my childhood, I have fond memories of doing all these things. When we encourage outdoor play, let's hope our children will create their own fond memories. Will they really remember reaching the next level on "Call of Duty"?

Catch a bug, bury a treasure, wear a cape, and invent a recipe are more items from KaBOOM!'s list. As I sit here watching my kids climb on furniture as I try to earn a living, this kind of list helps. Parenting is tough business, regardless of where we work. A bucket list for children is a great reminder of what is important in childhood. It reminds me that my work is a means to an end.

Gotta go. It's time to take the kids outside.

Sheila Raddatz August 29, 2012 at 08:07 PM
My kids have their own garden and I garden with them. In fact, we have many pumpkins, gourds and a 10 foot sunflower full of seeds. My kids are in public schools and I work with them on their homework. I don't pay retailers to do my job.
Missing34 August 29, 2012 at 08:16 PM
That's awesome Sheila, however, some people don't have space for a garden and some may not want to have one, but would like to offer that opportunity to learn for their children. Other's just may not have the time or expertise that you obviously have. My wife is a teacher in public schools, we work with them with their homework as well (in fact my son is an AT student in both Math and Reading). We also give them plenty of time to play with friends and use their imagination, as well as, organized sports. You really can do both.
SoccerMom61 August 30, 2012 at 02:35 PM
I had the same reaction...the whole point of the article is to allow kids to be kids and enjoy those free flow activities that only kids come up with...not opposed to organized events to allow kids opportunities to do and experience things they might not otherwise get the opportunity to but agree this was not the approriate forum.
Paul Scheufler September 02, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Childhood is also a great time to start forming important habits and learning life skills. The things you learn early in life tend to really stick with you and form a basis for what you do with your life. Parents should guide the focus of their children and teach the things that really matter. The earlier you learn to focus on what really matters, the easier it becomes to develop a healthy, productive life.
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