In my last article I looked at the first 20 things to do with your kids before they grow up. Today we are following numbers 21 to 40 to see what they have in store. Have you tried any of our ideas yet? Do you have better ones of your own? Please do write them in the comments below so we can feature them in our next piece.
21. Sneak downstairs one Friday or Saturday night, wake the kids and throw a midnight feast. Pour condensed milk onto tea biscuits, chow down on sweets and glug juice by the bucket load.
22. Give them the camera for the day and let them capture every moment, no matter how weird. Now that we have digital cameras it isn’t an expensive treat at all.
23. Find those old factory movies on YouTube and watch them together. They’ll show you everything from how chocolate is made to how they make tyres and they are brilliant.
24. Grow lollipops. Sarah said it perfectly earlier this week and I cannot agree enough – plant jellybeans in soft soil, water them with your child, and then tell them that overnight lollipops will grow. What an enchanting thing to do!
25. Make a mad photo album. I take all the photographs on my mobile phone – those random snaps of random moments – and make them into a chronological photo album. It’s fun and full of memories.
26. Run. Go somewhere that’s open and run together until you collapse laughing. Just like you did when you were a kid.
27. Grow a vegetable garden. Whether it is a tiny patch of soil on your windowsill or a huge square in your garden, let your children plant, nurture and eat the veggies that they have grown.
28. Winter is coming and with it, hopefully, is the snow. I adore snow and one of the best things in the world to do with your kids is to stand outside and try to catch snowflakes on your tongue.
29. In my family we have had one enduring summer tradition, a tradition that isn’t very (cough) polite, but enormous fun. You get a watermelon, share it out, and then compete to see who can spit the seeds the furthest. This is one thing you must do WITH your kids before they grow up. Go on. Do it.
30. Dance like a crazy person. Slap on the music, lift up the windows, sing at the top of your lungs to the tunes of your choice. Unleash that side of you that used to never care about what people thought and take your kids along for the ride. You won’t regret it!
31. Get them a penpal. Whether it is through their favourite magazine or fan club, your child should find someone who lives far away and become their best friend.
32. Reward them. Your child has just tied their hair for the first time, or lost their first tooth, or just done something really well. Shower them in praise and let them know how proud you are to know them. There are few things as amazing to a young child as their parent’s pride.
33. Draw with chalk on the sidewalk. This may sound crazy, but it isn’t illegal and you can even buy special chalk crayons at Tesco for this very purpose. Just make sure the piece of sidewalk you choose is clean.
34. Write a book together. Don’t worry if you don’t get published or see yourselves on the best seller lists. This is about a creative collaboration between you and nobody else. Thanks to all the photo publishing sites, you can even make it into a finished product to give away as a pressie to grandparents.
35. Invent a mystery and solve it together. Whether you’re inspired by Scooby Doo or Indiana Jones, go out there and have some fun.
36. Go to the movies in your pyjamas. We’ve done it and she STILL remembers it as the best day ever.
37. Catch crabs and name them.
38. Get the giggles.
39. Dress up in fancy dress and go out for dinner as a family. Who cares what people think?
40. Play their favourite game with them for at least an hour. It doesn’t matter whether it is Barbie or Lego or cars, get past the feeling of boredom and use that imagination. You may end up having a lot of fun.