So, you get 10 years (ages 2 to 12) to be a kid.
Again, your twenties get you a decade to be young and your thirties get you another 3652 days to use all the knowledge and experience you have gathered to progress, and so on.
But, you are a teen only from 13 to 19; that’s if a 19 year old can even be termed a teenager, save for in the strictest sense of the word.
This means, you only get 6 years in which you will be a teen and in those mere 72 months, you will make so many discoveries, create so many memories and make so many decisions that can and will alter the course of your life.
So, if any period of life deserves its own bucket list, well, your teen years are certainly that period!
Have You Helped Your Teen With His/Her Bucket List, Yet?
Teenage years are the best for learning what life and the world wants to teach a person. And when all is said and done, teens have all the time to put the insight derived from their experiences to good use.
So, I for one am certainly in favor of teenage bucket lists and encourage my 13 year old to create her very own list of goals, wishes, hopes and dreams.
In fact, I actively involve myself in her bucket list creation by offering ideas and advice.
No, I don’t subscribe to helicopter parenting, but there are two distinct advantages to being involved in your teen’s bucket list creation (if he/she will allow it that is):
1. Great way to show that you trust your teen:
Believe me; this is a fantastic way to win over your teen’s trust and build rapport at a very important juncture of your child’s life, when he/she is teetering on the crucial bridge that takes him/her from childhood to adulthood.
2. Policing that does not feel like it:
There is also another takeaway. Teens will be teens after all! So, no matter how great a relationship they share with their parents, they will not let you in on all their secrets or all the silly and even risky things that they do/want to do.
If you are involved in the bucket list, at the least, you will have an inkling of what they are up to these days and what they will be up to in the next few months or years.
I know I cannot stop my teen from indulging in everything that gives her dad and me sleepless nights. But at the least, I want to try to stop her from turning a “boob-hickie” and “getting drunk always” into her teenage goals.
Don’t be shocked ya’ll; those aren’t my contributions. They come courtesy of a 17 year old, whose bucket list got left behind in a changing room; made it to the internet and created a furor.
But, I know that got your attention! So, if you are wondering about good ideas for a teenage bucket list, I have a big collection of these for you right here.
Bucket List Ideas For Teenage Girls
1. Get a mani and a pedi:
Sure at one point this will turn into a routine and then it will become a luxury as you embrace other milestones in your life. But for now, you have to get your first taste of salon pampering.
2. Decorate your room:
The one thing that screams “grown-up” like no other is your living space decorated to your liking. Now, you may not be old enough to move out but you are certainly old enough to put your babysitting or lawn mowing income towards decorating your room to suit your taste.
3. Try out a grown up hairstyle or 2 or even 7:
Well, there is no better age to get experimental with your crowning glory than your teen years. After all, it does not take long for your hair to grow out of disastrous choices when you are that young. Plus, a teen can rock just about any hairdo out there!
4. Pull an all-nighter:
Sure you must have had sat up late studying with your friends but this all-nighter should be all about fun.
5. Try out your first face mask:
As the years pass, you will begin to appreciate and even be thankful for these slimy concoctions. So, why not give them a try in your teen years.
6. Start a fitness routine:
Fitness is one habit that you should cultivate as early as you can. In fact, if you start as a teen, you are likely to focus on fitness long after you have crossed your twenties and thirties.
7. Your very own chick flick marathon:
Maybe a year or two back, spit-exchange seemed gross to you, but your thoughts are likely to have undergone a transformation since then. So, enjoy a dose of the classics with your girl gang and of course tons of popcorn to go around.
8. Learn pro makeup skills:
This is one skill that will serve you for a lifetime. Plus, if you have not experimented with makeup already, it will give you the chance to do so.
9. Go on a shopping spree funded with your own money:
There is an unmatched sense of freedom about buying stuff with your own money, even if you can only afford to shop at the thrift store. So, this is one memorable experience that you should indulge in as soon as you can in your teen years.
10. A photo shoot with your gal pals:
This should not be a regular selfie sesh. In fact, pick a theme and take turns playing the model and the photographer.
Bucket List Ideas For Girls And Boys (Tween to Nineteen)
1. Learn to cook your favorites:
Start with the dish on top of your favorites list and then work your way down. In fact, ask your family or friends to rate your newly discovered and acquired cooking skills.
2. Go out camping with friends:
You may have spent a night in the tent with your family or at the summer camp but camping can be a whole new experience when done with friends. You don’t have to necessarily head out into the woods for this one. In fact, I highly recommend a location closer to civilization like your own backyard.
3. Learn to play a musical instrument:
No matter what instrument you choose and what proficiency level you wish to achieve, the creation of music offers therapeutic as well as cognitive benefits. Plus, you never know where this new skill may take you in the future.
4. Try out something that calls for you to challenge your fear/dislike:
It does not have to be something drastic because the idea is not to prove how brave you are to others. The aim here is to show yourself that you are capable of taking control of your emotions as well as any situation, including one that makes you uncomfortable.
5. Draw up a vision map:
Think of this as a mind map that has all your goals, wishes, dreams and visions listed in it. Be as colorful and as detailed as you can, and list everything that you expect from both your future personal and professional life.
6. Have a bake-athon:
Learn to bake and indulge yourself and all your social media friends with a video of you baking up a storm of mouthwatering goodies.
7. Host your very own pool or BBQ party:
You cannot truly cross the threshold that stands in between childhood and youth unless you host your very own party.
8. Indulge in a random act of kindness:
This could turn into second nature as you grow older and capable of giving back more. Plus, it is going to feel amazing in the present.
9. Take up a cause:
You start developing a lot of personality traits and skills in your teenage years. Your passion for a cause can be a worthy addition to that list.
10. Get a job or earn your first paycheck:
If you have never tried your hand at babysitting, arranging wardrobes, cleaning garages, waiting tables or other odd jobs that teens go for, now is the time to do it. If you start in winter, you will manage to save up enough to have a roaring summer.
11. Invent/create something cool:
Think about products/services or even content that can help others and then set about creating it. Who knows, your invention might win a prize or even find a few takers who are willing to invest in it.
12. Start journaling:
This is another fantastic hobby-habit that will serve you well once you make it a part of your daily routine.
13. Explore your city on your own:
You may be too young to travel to foreign shores or even to the neighboring town, but you sure can go about exploring your city with your friends or even on your own.
14. Get straight A’s this semester:
Even if you’ve never gone past a B-, it is never too late to try hard and get yourself up to an A or even an A plus. In fact, take this up as a challenge and share it with your friends to create a sense of accountability.
15. Write a letter to your future self:
Write an old-fashioned letter to your 20/30 year old self explaining what you expect to have achieved a decade or two later. But, remember to keep this letter somewhere safe and only open at the “decided-upon” age.
Bucket List Ideas For Teenagers – For When You Are On A Tight Budget!
Teens seldom have enough greenbacks for extravagant indulgences. I, for one, don’t think that parents, no matter how affluent the household, should indulge their kids with that kind of money.
However, just because you are working on a shoe string budget does not mean you cannot have loads of fun.
In fact, this is the time when you teach yourself that your fun need not be contingent on your spending power. So, here are a few ideas that offer more bang for whatever bucks you have.
- Visit friends (not online friends but those you actually know) and family who live in nearby towns/cities and who would let you crash on the couch for a night or two.
- Cook a meal for your family.
- Enjoy a day out in the local farmer’s market and work with mom/dad to turn your purchases into a delicious meal.
- Start a DIY project and complete it. It could be something that uses your existing skill sets or something that requires a bit of help from friends and family.
- Learn a new indoor sport and excel at it.
- Beat everybody at your favorite video game or get a really high score if playing against virtual gamers.
- Make a collage of your favorite school moments /moments with friends.
- Win a competition.
- Start a blog.
- Start your on YouTube channel.
- Spend a day at the beach.
- Visit a neighboring city/town that you have never been to before.
- Enjoy a meal in your favorite restaurant with your friends.
- Have a tech-free day/weekend; this means no internet, television or radio/songs on your phone. In fact, you only get to use the phone if it’s an emergency.
- Revisit your favorite craft hobby or learn a new one.
- Participate in 5k themed marathon.
- Enjoy a picnic in the garden.
- Plant a flowerbed in your backyard.
- Start your very own organic veggie/fruit garden in your yard.
- Try out a food item with a weird name.
- Participate in a flash mob.
- Be a part of a parade.
- Sit up late in the night, star gazing.
- Learn to sing/dance or even paint (there are plenty of videos online, so you don’t have to spend on paid-lessons).
- Write your very first poem/song.
- Catch a movie a drive-in theater.
- Attend the party of the year.
- Take your first driving lesson or get your driver’s license.
- Read 4 of the top selling books of the year.
- Binge watch your favorite show.
- Nap away a lot for one day.
- Complete an insanely large jigsaw puzzle.
- Take a backpacking trip with your friends to the nearest forest.
- Spend the day at a carnival.
- Have fun with a roller coaster or Ferris wheel ride.
- Read the newspaper from first to last page, or at least most of it.
- Throw a surprise party for a friend or loved one.
- Host a bonfire party.
- Volunteer at the local shelter (no matter what the social cause; the fact that you are offering your service is what’s important).
- Catch the sunset with someone special.
- Trek up to the mountains/lake/any other area just to catch the sunrise.
- Have a garage sale of everything that you feel you have grown past.
- Visit a few college campuses or at least one to get a feel of what you can expect once it’s your time to head to college.
- Spend the afternoon with your little brother/sister (since you are all grown-up now, I bet they are missing your company).
- Go ice skating or roller blading or at least give these a shot.
- Spend a few hours trying your hand at mini golf.
- Have a Netflix marathon.
- Make your own top songs playlist.
- Go to the mall and try out a few grown up attires, just for the fun of it.
- Go on a fancy date.
Teenage Bucket List Before 20 – Making The Most Of Those Last 2 Teenage Years!
Here goes the list:
1. Get your own bank account:
A savings account is something that you will need at some point, so why not get it now? Plus, the mere idea of having your very own bank account, as well as a check book to go with it, will give you some sense of financial responsibility.
2. Ride in a limo:
After getting a savings account, you will no doubt park some cash in there. And after all the hard work you put into that, you will have earned your one memorable indulgence and that is what a limo ride will be.
3. Catch your favorite band in concert:
This one could cost you a bit because it may involve buying concert tickets and travelling to another city. So, be prepared to save up some. But, it will be an experience you will fondly look back at, all your life.
4. Attend a musical event:
It does not have to be in another part of the country. As long as the event has some of your favorite bands/artists playing outdoors and you are allowed to have a ball of a time, it will work perfectly.
5. Enjoy an art or history exhibit:
You get to dress up (usually) and hob nob with those who know more than you do. So, if nothing else, you will walk away with a few connections and a lot of knowledge.
6. Study abroad:
This may not be possible for everybody but if you can get yourself into an exchange program or a course that allows you to spend a semester in another country, it will be a learning experience like no other.
7. Learn a new language:
You don’t have to go for native level fluency but go past simple greetings to the point where you can hold a basic conversation in your chosen language.
8. Learn a new skill:
It could be anything from coding to public speaking and from leadership to basic accounting; once you are past school, your newly acquired skill will come in handy.
9. Experience a new culture:
Take your pick from Tomatina in Spain or Holi in India or any other exciting and unique cultural festival/event in some far away land and plan on attending the event as soon as you have saved up enough.
10. Be an intern in a business sector/company:
Like a new skill, an internship too will equip you with knowledge and the experience that will no doubt come in handy once you are in college and then in the job market.
Bucket List Ideas For Teens Who Enjoy Adventure
- Learn a new outdoor sport, like surfing.
- Enjoy the day canoeing or kayaking.
- Spend a few hours in a paintball fight.
- Revisit your childhood with a water balloon fight in your backyard.
- Rent a convertible and take a road trip you have never been on (Of course, that’s only after you have perfected your driving skills and have got yourself a driver’s license).
- Indulge in bike ride with your crew.
- Go parasailing.
- Have a ride on a jet ski.
- Take a flying lesson; these aren’t cheap but it will be an out-of-this-world experience.
- Enroll for snorkeling or scuba diving lessons.
- Enjoy a hot air balloon ride.
- Snowboard or ski at your favorite winter destination (or at least learn to do these things)
- Start your own business.
- Trek up a mountain.
- Go on a safari.
And In Conclusion, A Dose Of Reality!
I am sure by now you have figured out that you are only limited by your imagination and your budget. Having said that, I want to point out two things:
For teens: You may not be able to tick off everything from your bucket list. No Biggie! Your bucket list is not meant to be a race that has you going through one activity after another. The idea should be to savor and enjoy everything, whether small or big, to the maximum.
Of course, you are also allowed to carry forward as many items as you like into your next list. Having said that, remember the most important fact of it all – Fun should come with safety and responsibility.
The last thing you want to do is get into trouble and then ask your parents to get you out of it. There is nothing grown up about that!
For parents: I am sure you must have noticed that I have not included a lot of crowd pleasers in that list like (make-out with my crush, have an epic kiss, drink a lot, experiment with drugs and other such racy aspirations).
But, we all know that some of these will get included in every teen’s bucket list at some point. And you will be in no position to monitor or stop your kid. So, instead of letting your sense of alarm get the better of you, tame your panic because outright resistance is going to do no good.
Instead, invite your teen to have a conversation about it. Of course, there will those youngsters who will bristle at the thought of discussing shockers with their parents. But, there is no need to watch for the quality of response here.
Your aim is to create a bridge to your adolescent. And that is what you do when you treat your teenager as a growing individual, who is allowed to and should have his/her opinions even on scandalous matters/acts.