There are definitely a lot of things a person can, and should do, before becoming an adult. This list is a partial look at some of those things. Not all are serious, but all take into account that there are some things a child can do, and some things a child cannot do without parent assistance. While traveling is certainly something a person should do, it can be done at any point during a person’s life, and as a child, this would be a decision made for you by your parents, as such visiting a foreign country is not on this list. Although, I’m obviously a big proponent of traveling with kids. 10 Things Kids Should do Before They Grow Up


1. Keep a Journal

Children should keep a special journal, an account of their wishes and dreams, hopes, and goals. This can be something that they write daily, weekly, monthly, or only on their birthdays. This will prove to be a valued possession as a person gets older, and can even make a keepsake for a grandchild. As an adult, our memories of what we think we wanted as children often change and sometimes we forget our true dreams.

Journaling during a trip can be fun too. Free Printable Travel Journal for Kids

2. Babysit

There has never been a better way of teaching children just how much work children are. Babysitting not only teaches responsibility, but it also offers kids a way of earning some of their own money. They practice cleaning skills, cooking skills, and learn how to be somewhat independent. Babysitting for anyone other than one’s own siblings is a very important step everyone should take before becoming an adult.

3. Learn to Swim

Not everyone learns how to swim, but it is a skill everyone should have. Many opportunities in life are missed because a person did not learn how to swim. Like most skills, swimming is far easier to learn as a child.

4. Ride a Horse

For many people, this is not an obstacle to overcome, but for others, it is very much a trial. Horses are large animals who have minds of their own. Getting up into the saddle of a horse is a very empowering feeling. Pony Rides do not count.

Horseback riding at Vail Stables in Vail, Colorado

Horseback riding with Vail Stables in Vail, Colorado

5. Cook a Proper Supper for Their Parents

Not many children learn how to cook until out on their own. The process of planning and cooking an entire dinner is harder than they might think. It is easy for kids to take it for granted what their parents do until they have done it for themselves. Plus, when kids cook it will make your child more aware of what is in the food they eat. A proper supper does not mean taking a frozen pizza out of a box and heating it.

I have some incredibly simple meals that a child can easily make.

6. Volunteer

When we become adults, we have to watch our money, much of our time is controlled by our efforts to make a buck or two. Children have no expenses and are best able to donate their time to others. There are many volunteer opportunities for children, from dog walking at a local shelter to mowing a neighbor’s lawn, ideally without them knowing who did it. Good deeds can be done purely for the purpose of making somebody’s life better and not for financial gain. Some places have minimum age requirements for volunteers.

7. Clean Your Room

Without being asked. A clean room shows respect for the parents who have most likely paid for, and purchased, the majority of items a kid owns that are usually sitting on the floor. Cleaning one’s room on a regular basis helps them prepare for the day they are out on their own and do not have somebody to nag them or help them.

Children can start doing chores at an early age. Tasks for toddlers.

8. Learn a Second Language

This is one of those things far easier to learn as a child than as an adult, and one thing many adults regret not doing sooner. Many schools offer classes for second languages. While it may mean a student has to sacrifice taking another, possibly more fun, class, it will pay off later in life. Here are some apps they can use. 

9. Save Money

Children have the opportunity to make money either with a part-time job, allowance, or from gifts. Most kids are in a hurry to spend this money with few plans for the future. Kids are not going to be looked after financially by their parents forever. If a person wants to one day own a home, go to college, buy a horse, or go to Greece, they have to start saving when they are young. Certainly, some money should be spent and enjoyed at the time, but a portion should be set aside for later, small amounts do add up. It sounds boring, and saving is something many people have a hard time with, a person would be wise to remind themselves of their wishes, dreams, and goals.

There are lots of clever toys that teach a child to save, spend, or share their money.

10. Thank Your Parents

Parenting is one of the hardest, most thankless jobs there is. Most children do not thank their parents until they appreciate this for themselves when they have their own children. Maturity shows best when a child stops thinking that everything is about, and for, them, and takes the time to thank their mom and dad for making sacrifices along the way.

This list could go on, but we will end it here. Did you do any of these as a child? What do you think should be on the list of things kids should do before they grow up?

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