A Bucket List for Grandchildren: 40+ Things to Experience Together

Last night I sat watching my grandson’s baseball game. Six o’clock in the evening, in Ohio, there was still lots of daylight, and the temperature was hovering around 90 degrees. So, of course, my chair was strategically placed beside a huge tree that provided tons of shade.

It wasn’t long before the young children with us (two of my other grandchildren and their cousin) noticed what seemed to be a million lightning bugs tucked tightly away in the bark of that huge old tree. What squeals of joy and delight filled the evening as these little ones worked to coax the bugs out of their hiding places and watch them fly around.

More  Wonder

This morning as reflected on the evening and the wonder on the faces of my grandchildren, I smiled as another memory popped into mind.

I was walking down the streets of New York City with my grandson who was about five years old. His family had just moved to the area from the rural Midwest. This was his very first trip into the city. As we walked, his head moved all around and his eyes took in everything. People, noise, hustle and bustle, buildings that seemed to reach to the sky – at one point he looked up at me and said, “Mimi, this doesn’t look like (name of the town they had moved from).” To which I simply replied, “Well, Sam, you don’t live in _________ anymore!”

Thinking it Through

I think it’s safe to say that the childhood being experienced by our grandchildren is markedly different from our own.

  • Where did you grow up?
  • What was your family’s lifestyle?
  • What do you remember enjoying as a child that your grandchild has never experienced?

And even among our grandchildren, it is often true that life experiences differ vastly.

  • Does each family unit live in the same region?
  • Are their lifestyles similar?
  • What “wonder-generators” has one family experienced that another hasn’t?”

As I think on this today, I want to begin a Bucket List for my grandchildren – experiences I think would evoke squeals of joy and a face aglow with wonder.

Grandchildren’s Bucket List

Catch lightning bugs

Play Kick the Can

Wade in a creek

Swim in a lake

Play underneath a waterfall

Visit the big city – walk along streets of skyscrapers

Take the subway

Travel by train

Ride in an airplane

Take a boat ride

Spend time on a beach – play in the ocean, collect seashells, build a sand castle, fly kites

Visit a National Park

Tour Washington D.C.

Hike a trail

Climb a mountain

Visit an amusement park

Go to camp

Ice skate

Roller skate

Make S’mores

Play croquet

Visit an orchard – pick fruit

Set up a lemonade stand

Ride a bike

Ride a horse

Slide down a water slide

Attend a professional baseball game

Sled down a huge snow covered hill

Roll down a big hill

Enjoy a local carnival or festival

Visit the state fair

Attend a concert or play

See a movie at a drive-in theater

Grow a garden or take care of a plant

Milk a cow

Watch for shooting stars

Cloud gaze

Explore a cave

Climb a tree

Make mud pies and daisy chains

Learn to whistle

Take lessons – dance, instrument, art, swimming, horseback riding, etc.

I’m sure I’ll add to this Bucket List for my Grandchildren as I continue to think on it and as others offer suggestions. How about you? What would you add to our Grandchildren’s Bucket List?

Connect: Passing the Faith is a resource for Christian grandparents who are seeking practical ideas for building strong relationships with their grandchildren. The book is filled with pages of ideas, tips, and more.

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3 comments on “A Bucket List for Grandchildren: 40+ Things to Experience Together

  1. Well Deborah this was a lovely post! ???? I’ve done 19 of the 40+ bucket list things with my grandchildren. I’m blessed to live near them and get to spend a good amount of time with them.

    Thanks for the great suggestions and for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

  2. Thank you for this very good list. I will use some of these when I need an activity to do with my grandchildren. I might add one of our favorites – throwing stones into a body of water! ????

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