24 things every Canadian child should do before age 12

by DaniGirl on June 17, 2014 · 2 comments

in Mothering without a licence, Ottawa Family Fun

When I saw this, I knew I had to share it. What perfect timing! ParticipAction is calling on Canadian families to celebrate June 21, the first day of summer, as the Longest Day of Play by encouraging kids to get out and get active.

Here’s their list of 24 things every Canadian child should do before the age of 12:

Experience total weightlessness at the top of a swing
Skip stones across water
Play leap frog
Hang upside down from a tree limb
Jump into water cold enough that it almost takes your breath away
Throw rocks or snowballs at a post from a distance until they get a bulls eye
Ride a bike with no hands
Paddle a canoe
Piggyback someone
Roll down a big hill
Try a sport that requires a helmet
Collect something in a forest
Make up a dance routine
Slide down something on a piece of cardboard*
Build a fort
Hike somewhere for a picnic
Bury someone in the sand
Play outside in the rain
Jump in a pile of leaves
Make a snow angel
Fly a kite
Create an obstacle course
Swim in a lake or an ocean
Make up a game involving a ball

(*As long as that something is not the stairs to the basement, as I learned from my friend Paul in high school. Fun, but painful when you veer off course if you happen to be going down face first.)

Although I do see merit in simply shoving the kids out the door and letting them use their own creativity to keep them occupied, I also think this is a wonderful checklist of FUN things to do this summer. And who says you have to be less than 12? I think this reads like a bucket list for a summer full of family fun. I’m pretty sure we’ve done a lot of these things with the boys, but I’m still going to print this list out and stick it to the fridge. Or better yet, the wall of the tree house!

Family photos at Britannia Beach

What would you add to the list of active experiences Canadian kids should have by the age of 12? I’d add play hockey or baseball in the street, play hide and seek outdoors at twilight, have a watergun fight, jump through the sprinkler, and do the “Nestea Plunge” backwards into the pool.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Catherine June 17, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Love that list. I was thinking it could almost be summed up by saying: “Go to Camp” 🙂 Something every

2 Catherine June 17, 2014 at 4:50 pm

…Something every kid should have the pleasure of doing, if possible.

(Sorry, I got cut off that last comment)

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