Our bucket list: 23 things every kid should do before turning 13


“When you are a kid you get to ride bikes, scooters, play with toys and use your imagination. You don’t have to go to work or do all the things old people do.” These are wise words from Caine, the boy who became an Internet sensation for his cardboard arcade and who recently reflected on growing older for his 10th birthday.

While we hope that adults still find time to play, Caine is right that childhood is a particularly opportune time to explore, discover, and create. The good news is that at age 10, he still has a few years before officially making the transition from “child” to “adolescent,” and we hope he makes the most of them!

To help him out, we’ve created a bucket list of things every kid should do before turning 13. Of course, we could go on and on, but here (in no particular order) are 23 things we consider essential. What would you add?

  1. Wallow in mud
  2. Run down a dune, roll down a hill
  3. Swim in an ocean, lake, or river
  4. Touch the sky with your toes
  5. Climb a tree, scale a boulder
  6. Jump off a rope swing
  7. Build a fort for a secret club
  8. Dig a hole deeper than you are tall
  9. Scrape a knee, bruise an elbow, or break an arm
  10. Hang upside down
  11. Eat dirt
  12. Throw a snowball
  13. Invent a recipe
  14. Sell homemade lemonade from a homemade lemonade stand
  15. Make something with a cardboard box
  16. Take apart a piece of machinery and put it back together again
  17. Crown yourself King or Queen of the forest
  18. Catch a bug in your hands
  19. Build a fire
  20. Plant something
  21. Jump in a pile of leaves
  22. Bury a treasure and draw a treasure map
  23. Wear a cape

Photos (top to bottom) by Rob (cc), Kerala Taylor, David (cc), and chascar (cc).

About Kerala Taylor

Kerala Taylor manages online content and outreach for KaBOOM!. She is also co-founder of Glimpse.org, author of How Things Break, and a blogger for BabyCenter.com. A proud new mama, she'll be making sure her daughter gets plenty of healthy, unstructured, outdoor play.

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