100 Life Experiences Before Starting School

After a popular post recently listing 100 foods for your toddler to try before they turn three, I thought I’d have a go at another list. Who doesn’t love a list? Having worked as a primary school teacher for 12 year, it never failed to shock me how few life experiences some children had. I’m not talking expensive or elaborate activities. I mean the basic day to day stuff that most toddlers are enjoying.

Having as many life experiences under their belt before starting school gives toddlers a head start. It means when they are reading a book about the beach, it is relatable. They will have built a sandcastle and felt the sea wash over their toes. Your little one will be drawing on prior knowledge and building on it rather than starting from scratch.

Get Stuck In

Many activities below also involve interaction which in turn will promote language skills. Talking about new life experiences and activities is a great way to develop vocabulary. As yet, my girls have not completed this list but have done many. They still have two more years and so I’d like to think we will be able to tick off them all and hopefully many more in that time.

Just a little disclaimer. Some of my suggestions require close adult supervision however, I believe that if done carefully, the riskier ones will be the most memorable.

So here they are in no particular order.

At Home

1) dance to music

2) dress themselves

3) listen to traditional tales

4) donate old toys

5) sing along to a song

6) act out a story

7) watch a film

8) look at a globe

9) phone a friend

10) video message someone who lives far away

11) learn to wash hands properly

12) stay up late for New Years Eve

13) wash up pots

growing tomatoes


13) splash in puddles

14) grow a flower

15) grow something edible

16) build a snowman

17) have a snowball fight

18) make a snow angel

19) make petal perfume

20) play in the mud

21) have a teddy bear’s picnic

22) camp out overnight

23) blow bubble

24) run through sprinklers

25) draw with chalk

26) spin until they’re dizzy

explore a wood


27) build a den

28) hold a spider

29) blackberry picking

30) fly a kite

31) feed birds/wildlife

32) explore a wood

33) star/moon gaze

34) use a magnifying glass

35) feed a horse

36) eat an apple straight from the tree

37) walk through leaves

38) climb a hill

39) feed the ducks

feeding ducks


40) build a sandcastle

41) paddle in the sea

42) draw in the sand

43) bury their feet

44) explore rock pools

45) listen to the waves

building sandcastles


46) play a board game

47) hide and seek

48) play dress up

49) pillow fight

50) make shadow puppets

51) play with a cardboard box

52) eye spy

53) complete a jigsaw

54) play shop

55) build a Lego house


56) write/draw in a card

57) sing happy birthday

58) blow out candles

59) hunt for Easter eggs

60) watch fireworks

61) hold a sparkler

62) toast marshmallows

63) take photographs

64) decorate a Christmas tree

65) carve a pumpkin

66) bounce on a bouncy castle


67) help to make a cake

68) chop fruits

69) ice biscuits

70) top a pizza

71) spread butter

72) make pancakes

73) make a drink

74) crack an egg

life experiences


75) train

76) boat

77) bus

78) bike/scooter

79) sledge

80) carousel

carousel ride

Places to visit

81) museums

82) farm

83) soft play

84) zoo

85) library

86) fun fair

87) cinema

88) theatre

89) play park


90) play a ball game

91) go swimming

92) play tag

93) hoola hoop

94) create an obstacle course

95) watch a sporting event


96) paint a portrait

97) create a model from recycling

98) play with dough/plastercine

99) make pasta jewellery

100) potato printing

There you have it. One hundred life experiences to have before they start school. How many can your toddler tick off? Do you have any more to add?



31 thoughts on “100 Life Experiences Before Starting School

  1. I love this! My 3 year old has done quite a lot of them so another year to do the rest before she starts school

    1. Thanks. It sounds like you’re on track to get though the list.

  2. Wow, this is a really great list. My three year old has certainly done most of them but there are still quite a few to tick off over the next year x

    1. Thanks. We’ve still got quite a few to get though but hopefully they are all achievable.

  3. I love a good list post! We do so many of these on a daily basis, it’s amazing how such simple things can be so valuable to our little ones! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx

    1. Great to hear. I think it’s the little things that have the biggest impact.

  4. Thanks for taking the time to write these down to share. As a retired educator and grandmother to two sets of twins, these “little things” are so important to teach early on in life.

    1. The little things are what make the big difference.

  5. this is an amazing idea for a list I might have to do this for my kids except travelling on a boat i’m not my stomach could take it #thelistlinky

    1. How about a row boat or pedalo?

  6. Love this list. We managed to cross quite a few of these off this summer but still have many more to go. Thanks for joining #Blogstravaganza. Hope to see you again.

    1. Great to hear. I like to have a list to work though. It motivates me to try more.

  7. I was worried before I read this that I would have somehow failed my little boy and now school has started I would have failed completely, but I’m so pleased that he has done most of these in some form or another. We spent our first NYE with him last year and it was really lovely (although we did pay for it the next day!) Thanks for linking up to #TriumphantTales, hope to see you again next week! 🙂

    1. The NYE one is one we’ve yet to try but I’ve got two more before school so still time. Did he make it to midnight?

  8. Perfect list with some great suggestions. I would add water fight – great getting out the water pistols (or old washing up liquid bottles) on a hot day!
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes 🙂

    1. Don’t know how I missed that one. Great suggestion.

  9. Ah love this list, my daughter started school this week and pleased to say we have done a lot of them – haven’t been able to take her on a plane yet though! #humpdaylinky

    1. I’m sure she’ll appreciate all the morebeing a little older when you do.

  10. I actually think we’ve done all of these which is a first! #humpdaylinky

    1. Well done you. We definitely haven’t.

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