Milestones: 10 things you should do before you turn 10

Posted by in Life

I don’t have children. Probably never will. Of my own anyway… But I have two nephews and one niece, all between 5 to 10 years old. I love spending time with my smurfs, and witnessing them lay around all day playing video games just makes me sad. I, certainly can’t give parenting advice to my sister, but I almost as certainly can give life advice to her children. One of them being… there are a few things you should do before you turn 10…

  1. Roll in the grass: my sister is probably going to kill me with this first one already… but there’s something incredibly simple and fulfilling in touching the ground. When rolling in the grass, you surrender your entire body, you touch, you smell, you let go, you’re in full communion with the earth.
  2. Build a sandcastle: here again, it’s about touching the sand, letting it slip through your fingers. But it’s also about letting your imagination go wild and understand from your gut what will stand still and what will fall. Architecture 101, right?
  3. Climb a tree: at least on the first branches. The younger you are, the less you experience fears issued from bad memories or stories you have heard. Climbing a tree is getting a new perspective not only on the world « down there » but also on what you’re able to do with your body.
  4. Make snow angels: here again, it’s about being in touch with the elements: to feel the snow on the tip of your tongue, to experience its welcoming fluff. And to look back and realize that, yes, you just created something here.
  5. Bake cookies: something tells me that if you ask many kids where cookies are coming from, they’d answer « the box ». Understanding the magic of cooking, of putting different elements together in order to obtain a (delicious) result is a powerful learning experience. And again, the first feeling of pride because they’ve done that. Priceless.
  6. Pick fruits or vegetables from a bush or a tree: where do fruits come from, beside the fridge? Another way of learning. And also understanding that they grow at different times of the year and that they are not all the same shape / size / color like in the supermarkets. Such a metaphor for life, right?
  7. Look at the shooting-stars: because, sometime, we need to feel very very small and marvel in front the immensity of the universe. And shooting-stars are every bit as magical as Harry Potter. Plus, they’re real.
  8. Care for an animal: learning to care for an animal, even if it’s a fish in a bowl, is learning to care for something else than ourselves. It’s understanding that however small we are, we can still be the one that is relied on.
  9. Grow lentils in a cotton pad: talk about magic. Waking up one day and seeing the green burgeons coming through the cotton pads… So much better than Harry Potter.
  10. Make candles with clementine peels: hey about we learn about recycling with something that smells good and that require a little bit of delicacy and patience. Plus, if it helps them eat a fruit instead of junk… Win-win!

This list of things to do before you turn 10 is far from being exhaustive. Please feel free to let us know what we should add…

I also want to put a disclaimer on Harry Potter… I like Harry Potter. I wish more kids were reading the books instead of playing FIFA.

Oh, and while you might be a lot more than 10, if there’s anything on this list you’ve never done… don’t wait another minute! You’ll thank me later.

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash