Childhood slips by so quickly. If you’re not careful, and if you’re not purposeful, all too soon, it will be gone. All too often, these precious years that should be spent enjoying and truly experiencing every moment of life are spent hurrying and trying to “get it all done.”
When you become a parent, you have such hopes and dreams for your child. You see their childhood spread out before you like a blank canvas, just waiting to be filled, and you have a treasure of ideas planned to fill it. This is the beginning of the childhood bucket list.
The Childhood Bucket List Dream
You see your child splashing in the ocean, tasting the sweet, coolness of ice-cream, or cuddling on the sofa experiencing the wonders of a favorite book together. But as life makes demands, these more valuable endeavors take a backseat to the urgencies of the “have-to’s” and the necessities.
While there will always be sticky hands to wash and missing shoes to find, that doesn’t mean that your toddler’s bucket list has to remain a distant dream. Even in the midst of a busy life, there is always time for those special moments. You just have to be purposeful to fit them in and make them happen.
So where do start to dust off that bucket list of dreams and make fun, play, and experiencing life a priority? Start with one easy thing —just one. One will lead to more, but for today, just commit to one.
Blow bubbles with your child. Eat pancakes for dinner. Read a book together. Commit to lying on the lawn on a blanket and watching the star appear, one by one. It doesn’t have to be big and complicated. Just simple, memorable experiences. The key is to be present with your child, just living the moment.
So what comes to mind when you think about a toddler bucket list? Think back to when you first found out you were going to have a child. Remember those hopes and dreams that you had. They were so sweet and innocent. Usually, it’s the things that you enjoyed yourself as a child, the simple, everyday joys of just being a kid, that you wanted to let your child experience, as well.
The Perfect Bucket List Item To Start With
One such joy was nursery rhymes. The rhythmic language of children song and dance are one of those whimsical memories that never leave you. While you never quite understand why Humpty Dumpty sat on that wall anyway, that’s part of the magic and mystery.
Nursery rhymes are tiny, silly stories that make you laugh, teach you about life, or just whisk you off to a place of make-believe for a few minutes. In a world of seriousness and uncertainties, nursery rhymes are one of the things that ground kids. They don’t have to make sense like everything else. They just are.
The ebb and flow tones of kids’ rhymes and children songs make them irresistible to toddlers and easy to remember. Even babies love them, and very quickly, they become familiar and requested.
Luckily for parents, nursery rhymes are one of the easiest toddler bucket list items to enjoy. They can be enjoyed while you fold laundry, ride in the car, sit at the dinner table, or snuggle into bed at night. Once your child learns a couple of nursery rhymes, you can easily entertain them and distract them anytime
Timeless Tales and Enduring Simplicity
One of the things about nursery rhymes that make them such an important element of a toddler’s childhood is that they require nothing but you and your child. They have somehow spanned generation upon generation for decades. These timeless tales appeal to tiny toddlers, and yet, even adults still remember the words. In mere moments, you can create an atmosphere with your child that brings immediate connection and lasting memories for you both.
It’s not just the language of these simple kids’ rhymes that captivate. Nursery rhymes are multi-sensory. They reach kids on a basic level of hearing, seeing, and doing. Just the mention of the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” makes your fingers wiggle. When the Five Little Monkeys Jump On The Bed, who can resist a few bounces themselves?
It’s not just the song and dance of nursery rhymes that make them the ideal bucket list item for toddlers, though. Kids connect with the characters of the stories, too. They identify with Miss Muffet’s reservations about spiders and would love to figure out a way to take a lamb to school with them, just like Mary did.
The experiences of the characters offer great opportunities for parents; opportunities for conversations and connections.
“Do you really think those monkeys should be jumping on the bed?”
“If you could take a pet to school, what pet would it be?”
“How would you put Humpty Dumpty back together?”
These conversations and connections are the heart of nursery rhymes. They are the why of nursery rhymes. They are the reason that nursery rhymes make the perfect start to your toddler’s bucket list. They are what leads to countless other bucket list items and what lays the foundation for the rest of a wonderful, purposeful life. Yes, they really are all that, and more.
A Single Step Forward
So today, if you get nothing else done, make sure your child listens to just one nursery rhyme because life is waiting to be lived and…
“Every journey begins with a single step.” ~ Maya Angelou
Want a few suggestions to help get you started?
Here are some of the best nursery rhymes to get toddlers moving, talking, and enjoying the best of life. Which ones were your favorites? You’ll know the answer to that question when you realize it’s still playing on repeat in your head an hour from now.
- If you’re happy and you know it
- Little Miss Muffet
- Baa Baa Black Sheep
- Hey Diddle Diddle
- Little Boy Blue
- I’m A Little Tea Pot
- The Wheels On The Bus
- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
- Rock-A-Bye Baby
- Pat-A-Cake Baker’s Man
- Row, Row, Row Your Boat
- Three Little Kittens