June 17, 2014 3:42 pm

24 things every child should do before the age of 12

MONTREAL – When you were a kid, did you ever swing so high that you felt weightless or jump into water so cold it took your breath away?

Remember playing outside until the street lights came on? Well, ParticipACTION thinks it’s time to bring play back into play.

With the first day of summer just around the corner, the Canadian charity with a mission to inspire healthy living has created a bucket list for under-12-year-olds.

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Concerned that only seven per cent of kids aged five to 11 are meeting the physical activity guidelines, it’s hoping to encourage families to play together outside more often.

READ MORE: Why Canada got a D- on youth exercise report

“Active, outdoor play is an essential part of every Canadian childhood,” said Elio Antunes, the ParticipACTION president and CEO.

“All kids need regular opportunities to let loose, run around, make mistakes and make their own fun . . . an active childhood includes freedom to play.”

Antunes maintains that active play offers cognitive, emotional and social development benefits and has also been shown to improve:

● motor function
● creativity
● decision-making and problem-solving skills
● ability to control emotions
● social skills, such as taking turns and helping others

According to ParticipACTION, supporting and encouraging opportunities for active, unstructured play, especially outdoors, may be one of the most accessible and cost-effective solutions to increasing child and youth physical activity.

Check out its bucket list. Is there anything missing that you’d add? Let us know in the comments.

24 things every Canadian child should do before the age of 12

1. Experience total weightlessness at the top of a swing

ParticiPACTION child activity bucket list #1: Experience total weightlessness at the top of a swing.

FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

2. Skip stones across water

3. Play leap frog

ParticiPACTION child activity bucket list #3: Play leap frog.

RANK RUMPENHORST/AFP/GettyImages

4. Hang upside down from a tree limb

5. Jump into water cold enough that it almost takes their breath away

ParticiPACTION child activity bucket list #5: Jump into water cold enough that it almost takes their breath away.

ROBERT ATANASOVSKI/AFP/GettyImages

6. Throw rocks or snowballs at a post from a distance until they get a bulls eye

7. Ride a bike with no hands

ParticiPACTION child activity bucket list #7: Ride a bike with no hands.

Robert Vos/AFP/Getty Images

8. Paddle a canoe

9. Piggyback someone

10. Roll down a big hill

11. Try a sport that requires a helmet

ParticiPACTION child activity bucket list #11: Try a sport that requires a helmet.

Alexander Klein/AFP/Getty Images

12. Collect something in a forest

13. Make up a dance routine

ParticiPACTION child activity bucket list #13: Make up a dance routine.

Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

14. Slide down something on a piece of cardboard

15. Build a fort

16. Hike somewhere for a picnic

17. Bury someone they love in the sand

ParticiPACTION child activity bucket list #17: Bury someone they love in the sand.

Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

18. Play outside in the rain

ParticiPACTION child activity bucket list #18: Play outside in the rain.

STR/AFP/Getty Images

19. Jump in a pile of leaves

20. Make a snow angel

21. Fly a kite

22. Create an obstacle course

ParticiPACTION child activity bucket list #23: Swim in a lake or an ocean.

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

23. Swim in a lake or an ocean

ParticiPACTION child activity bucket list #24: Make up a game involving a ball.

QAIS USYAN/AFP/Getty Images

24. Make up a game involving a ball

 

© Shaw Media, 2014

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