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I found this list, 100 things to do before kindergarten, intriguing.

Joel will start kindergarten next August. The cutoff in our school district is October 1st, which he missed by a measly three weeks this year. He will be one of the oldest in his kindergarten class. I have mixed feelings about this. He will be one of the more mature boys, but I worry he will be bored with the usual kindergarten fare. He is reading well for a little guy who hasn’t had a day of school, he is a math whiz (I am not kidding), and he is socially adept.

I thought I’d compare his life experiences with the list. It’s long, but I thought it would be a nice record for him to look back upon, someday.

If you have little ones on the verge of entering kindergarten, let me know and perhaps do a comparison of your own.


1. Go to the zoo—Yes, he’s been a zillion times. We have a membership and I am the type of mom who wants to make sure it was worth the $$$. His favorite animal? Giraffes.

2. Visit a farm—We’ve been to the pumpkin patch and petting zoos with farm animals. He’s never been to an actual working Old MacDonald kind of farm.

3. Go on a hike—We live in Colorado. He’s had the pleasure of being told “don’t RUN!” down a rocky, narrow hacked-out-of-earth trail.

4. Play with kittens or puppies—Yes.

5. Catch a frog—No. We don’t have frogs in the neighborhood.

6. Make a gigantic mess—Daily.

7. Help clean up a gigantic mess—Semi-daily.

8. Master the monkey-bars—Not yet.

9. Swing high up into the sky all by themselves—When he concentrates on the physics and mechanics of swinging.

10. Try ice-skating


11. Go sledding—Yes, and it was on a hill with a no-sledding sign posted. Naughty!

12. Make a snow-man—Yes.

13. Blow bubbles—Heavens, yes.

14. Plant seeds and watch them grow—Yes. He planted flower seeds at VBS this year, and watched them sprout on our kitchen table.

15. Have a pillow fight—Yes. And a stuffed animal fight, train fight, truck fight, coat fight, kick fight, name-calling fight.

16. Jump on a big bed—Yes.

17. Jump on a trampoline or in a bounce house—Yes.

18. Hang out in a tent—A real tent? No. A play pop-up tent, or one made of blankets draped over tables? Yes.

19. Spend days at the beach—No. It’s that Colorado thing. Our “beaches” are rocky shores next to cold lakes.

20. Build sandcastles—In his Little Tykes sand and water table. Otherwise, see #19.

21. Go fishing—No. Sad, huh?

22. Go out on a boat—No. Sad, huh?

23. Play with blocks and puzzles—Yes.

24. Read the classic picture books—Yes.

25. Read a classic chapter book—Yes. He was in the room during our Narnia nights. I can’t say he was always paying attention.

26. Check out library books with their own library card—No. He uses daddy’s.

27. Get a passport—No.

28. Carve a pumpkin—Yes.

29. Hold a newborn baby (to see how much they’ve grown)


30. Love a special doll or stuffed animal—Yes, Palla the Giraffe.


31. Bake cookies and cakes—Yes.

32. Help plan their own birthday party—This birthday cake says it all:


33. Go to the circus—No. Circuses are creepy.

34. Go to a museum on a quiet weekday—Yes.

35. Play hide-and-seek—Of course. That doesn’t mean he has learned not to yell “You’ll never find me!” from his hiding place.

36. Play a board game—He adores board games.

37. Do nothing whatsoever all day—That would be today.

38. Try a sport—Nothing more organized than backyard games.

39. Watch a sporting event—We have season tickets to the Colorado Rapids, a MLS team. Joel thinks the sole reason for going to a sporting event is to eat Dippin’ Dots.

40. Learn to swim—Not yet.

41. Be tickled in hysterics—Oh, yes!

42. Paint and draw as much as desired—We have art supplies in every room of the house. Did you know toothpaste is an art medium?

43. Have the use of scissors and glue—See #42. Toothpaste is an excellent glue.

44. Display artworks and other creations around the house—Of course. What’s the use of making something if we don’t display it? Guests can attest to the toothpaste in the sink.

45. Learn to use a camera (and keep an album of the results!)—He’s played with a camera, but has no personal album.

46. Play with clay—Yes.

47. Pick flowers—Yes, especially the bewitching and abundant small yellow flowers lining the sidewalk.

48. Climb a tree—We don’t have a good climbing tree in our yard, but I am not against the climbing of trees and the making of monkey sounds.

49. Gaze at the moon and stars—Not as much as I think he should.

50. Toast marshmallows—Not yet. This one makes me sad.

51. Learn to eat an ice-cream cone


52. Watch a sunset—Yes.

53. Learn to write their own names—Yes, he’s been able to write his name since he was three.

54. Learn their addresses and telephone numbers—Work in progress.

55. Learn their parents’ full names—Yes.

56. Set the table—Yes.

57. Clear the table—Yes.

58. Help wash the dishes—Yes. He’s my dishwasher unloading buddy in the mornings.

59. Learn to say their pleases and thank yous and excuse mes—Yes.

60. Watch fireworks—Yes, every July 4th it is the top priority.

61. Go to the ballet or theater or a puppet show—Do older sibling’s recitals/musicals count?

62. Put on a ballet or play or puppet show at home—Yes. The kids love putting on plays.

63. Face paint—NOOOOO!!! I LOATHE face paint.

64. Dress up in costumes at will—Yes, but not “at will”

65. Learn rhymes and poems and songs by heart—Yes.

66. Have a dance party—It’s a Friday night favorite around here.

67. Enjoy friends at preschool and at the park—He doesn’t go to preschool, but he goes to the park of course.

68. Invite friends over to play—Yes.

69. Get to know grandparents—Yes.

70. Play with cousins—Yes.

71. Become attached to a wonderful preschool teacher and/or babysitter—He loves his Sunday School teacher, Joy. And our babysitters are family members, luckily.

72. Learn the name of our president—A work in progress.

73. Know the name of their town, state and country—A work in progress.

74. Be familiar with a map of the world—He loves maps, but couldn’t find us at his time.

75. Listen to music from many different ages and genres—Yes.

76. Hear and learn words from a different language—Dora, Dora, Dora the Explorer! Plus, Aidan took Mandarin Chinese and liked to show off, and I took German in high school and I like to show off. Ich bin eine mude mutter.

77. Learn the difference between trash and recycling—Yes. We have separate bins in the garage and he knows the haps.

78. Grow their own vegetables—Not yet.

79. Learn to ride a bike (or try!)—He’s tried. He has a cute little bike ready to roll this spring.

80. Take a road trip—Yes.

81. Draw a self-portrait—Yes.

82. Slurp alphabet soup—Joel hates soup.

83. Learn to twirl spaghetti on a fork—Joel hates spaghetti.

84. Pick apples—No apple trees. We’ll have to find one this fall.

85. Star in a home movie—Yes.

86. Learn a magic trick—Yes. Magic tricks he invented, though…

87. Try different hair-dos—If by different hair-dos you mean “mommy let my hair grow to epic lengths because it was too hard taking a bunch of kids to the barber at once” then yes.

88. Practice writing letters—He loves to write.

89. Practice counting to 100—He could count to federal deficit levels if allowed.

90. Make up stories—Did you hear the one about Mario and Luigi meeting Bob the Tomato?

91. Send a letter—Hey. He should do that.

92. Receive a letter—Yes, from his wonderful grandparents on both sides.

93. Ride on a merry-go-round—Of course! The last merry-go-round ride was last week. He sat on a rabbit.

94. Give away toys and books to less fortunate children—Not directly. We participate in Operation Christmas Child and donate stuff to Goodwill. But I shop there, too, so it evens out.

95. Learn the value of coins and bills—He knows they are valuable. He doesn’t understand the true value or power of money, just like many adults.

96. Keep a piggy bank—It’s a cat bank, thank you.

97. Try a musical instrument—Recorders, kazoos, pots, and pans…

98. Have a heartfelt wish granted—He will on his sixth birthday (he is getting a Snuggie, his dream gift).

99. Have a heartfelt wish denied—Yes. He didn’t get a Snuggie or a Nintendo DS for Christmas.

100. Receive a million (make that a billion) heartfelt kisses and hugs from their parents—Yes. XOXOXO.

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