I saw a list the other day as I was browsing around on the internet.  It was a list of things that every American child deserves to experience.

And it got me thinking.  What would my list consist of? I had a fantastic upbringing, and got to do a lot of very cool stuff, even though my dad, nor any other male figure, was around very much during my youth.  But I love kids, and I am basically still just a 'big' kid - so I figured I'd come up with my list.  So, with a little help from my 11 year old son, Isaac, here are my 8 things that every child should experience.

1) Being part of a team - It doesn't matter if it's a little league team, band, choir, Boy or Girl Scouts, whatever.  Being part of a team is important.  Learning how to work well with others is an incredibly valuable trait, not nearly as common as you might think.  Being part of a victory, winning with class - as well as learning how to accept defeat and disappointment - can all be learned by being part of a team.  Leadership, responsibility, etc.  I could go on forever.

2) Chores - Every child needs to learn about responsibility at some point, and that's where a regular agenda of daily or weekly chores, will be best suited.  When I young, I had to; do dishes EVERY night, dust & vacuum the house once a week, do all yardwork (front and back) once a week, and wash all vehicles once a week.  My allowance was $10 a week.  Needless to say, I quickly learned the value of a buck!

3) Camping/Outdoors - Every child should experience nature in it's purest form, at least once.  I am a city boy through and through - but I love camping, fishing, hiking, etc.  I didn't think I would, but I do.  My boy does, too.

4) Another Country - Growing up in southern California, I would often visit Mexico.  Not only was that a great chance to meet new and different people from a completely different culture - but a great and continuing reminder of just how lucky we are to be in THIS country, and of how good we really have it as Americans.

5) Amusement Park - It doesn't matter if it's Disneyland, Valleyfair, or your local fair in town.  Kids love amusement parks.  Rides, games, yummy food, and mom/dad's money. What could be better.  Take lots of pictures.

6) Snow - Its easy to take the snow and cold weather for granted here in Minnesota.  But if you are not used to the snow - it is a 'must' to experience.  Again, I am from a place where it DOES NOT SNOW!  So when I moved here, it took some getting used to.  But I love the snow - and kids would play in it all night and day, if you let them.  They will get frostbite, though, so don't!

7) Beach - I mean a REAL beach.  That means it's attached to an ocean, not a lake.  There is nothing like playing in the waves at the beach.  Another place, too, where your kid would never leave.  Especially if/when they learn to ride a body board, or surf.  Parties and bonfires on the beach are the best!  Don't let the current pull you out to sea, though.

8) Easter Egg Hunt - It may only happen once a year - but I always loved a good Easter Egg Hunt!  I love this time of year - but the whole Easter thing, coloring and hiding eggs - has always been a favorite of mine.  Yes, there should be a certain amount of candy and chocolate at Easter time - but the Easter Egg Hunt is always what I consider the 'Main Event' on Easter Sunday.

That's my list - feel free to chime in with yours!