10 Can’t Miss Childhood Moments

Kids blowing bubbles

April is one of my personal favorite months, and not just because I am an April baby. I happen to
L-O-V-E spring — Mother Nature putting on her pretty green dress, puddle-jumping, starting seeds for my garden and dreaming of the barefoot summer days ahead. April is also National Garden Month and just a great time to start getting outdoors again, so I can’t think of a better time to share this post I wrote awhile back as my alter ego, The Grass Stain Guru. I hope you enjoy it, and find inspiration to unplug and get outdoors!


Into each childhood, thousands of moments of wonder should fall. Moments not fueled by expensive toys or electronic screens, but simple every-day treasures that can be found in backyards, parks and communities world-wide.

In these simple, authentic moments not only will joy be found, but memories will be made. I offer you this list as a jumping off point, but I know you can think of more.

Join me! Let’s see what awe and wonder we can stir up — for kids and the kids at heart out there!

The Grass Stain Guru’s 10 Can’t Miss Childhood Moments:

  1. toasting-marshmallowToasting a marshmallow on a stick, anxiously awaiting the sweet goo that is to come. Learning to master the perfect toasty brown color — equal parts art and science, in my book.
  2. Wading in a creek  toes wriggling in the light current, knee-deep in fun. Looking under rocks for critters and sailing boats made of sticks.
  3. Climbing a tree! The world has never been as beautiful as it looks from a perch in a glorious (and sturdy!) tree.
  4. Catching fireflies on a warm summer night. Pure magic awaits! (Of course, be sure to let them go.)
  5. beach-girlBuilding a fort. Somewhere special, just for the kids. No kit houses required — just some sticks, bushes, maybe a tarp — and a lot of imagination.
  6. Walking along the beach. Sand between the toes, chasing sand pipers and soaring like a gull. Building sand castles where they will be kings and queens. Collecting shells and sea glass. Salt-scented memories tucked away for later.
  7. Planting a garden  the wonder and joy that will bloom there is without equal. No yard? Look for a community garden near you or plant a container garden. Dirt = joy.
  8. girls-playingWalking in the woods. Listening to the birds. Looking for signs of wildlife. Making bark rubbings or collecting rocks. “Getting lost” in the layers of the land — from canopy to leaf litter — and in the layers of their imaginations, as well.
  9. Sleeping out under the stars. A full camping trip or a simple night spent sleeping in the backyard. Stargazing. Telling stories — there is magic to be found under the stars on a warm night that can be found nowhere else.
  10. Whistling with a blade of grass.Trust me — hours can be spent learning and mastering this skill. Kids will love the honks and wheezes they make along the way. And, once mastered, major bragging rights are afoot!

Out of 10, how many of the items on this list do you remember from your own childhood? I bet quite a few! Take a moment and let those memories drift to the surface. Feel the warmth of them and relish that for a moment.

Now, how many of these moments have the children in your world experienced so far? Enough? 
Could there ever be enough of these types of moments? Doubtful.

I hope that you will all take the time to re-capture the Can’t-Miss Childhood Moments in your world. There are still marshmallows to be toasted and grass whistles to be mastered, my friends! Share these simple joys with the children in your world. After all, I don’t use the term “can’t-miss” lightly.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have am off to re-experience #11. What is it? Stick with me, and I will be sure to share.

See ya outside! – The Grass Stain Guru

filed under: Mental Health, Physical Health

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Bethe Almeras

Written by Bethe Almeras

Bethe Almeras is the Interim Executive Director of NEA Healthy Futures. A longtime blogger (and avid blog reader!), she loves the way blog posts can be like good conversations —sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes sad or funny, sometimes inspiring, but hopefully always interesting and informative. Bethe believes an organization's blog is the best place to meet the faces and hearts behind the work. When she’s not working and blogging, Bethe enjoys hanging out with her cats, Little Man and Tidbit, traveling, and being outdoors.

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