25 Things To Do Before Your Child Turns 5

Sunrise, sunset...swiftly flow the toddler years. And of all the parenting maxims, this one holds truest: The days are long (SO. LONG.) but the years are short. Here, 25 things to do before your kid hits kindergarten.

22 Things to Do Before Your Child Turns 2

five year old 5

1. Teach her to tie her shoes. Puppy ears, criss cross, loop it through. Repeat.

2. And how to politely say no when she doesn’t want do something.

3. Unplug as a family as often as you can. Before social media vies for her soul.

4. Collect seashells and build sand castles. Before he’s brave enough to body surf.

5. Instill confidence however you can. Self-esteem gets locked in by 5, suggests science. So, you know, no pressure.

five year old 4

6. Kiss her as much as you want to—in front of her friends.

7. Read Dr. Seuss, watch Sesame Street and rock out to Rafi, before anyone gets too cool.

8. Dress him in overalls and her in Mary Janes and pigtails. Take pictures.

9. Let them run naked outdoors.

five year old 3

10. Give some thought to the way we talk to girls and the way boys learn to behave. Then subverts those norms, dammit.

11. Spend an afternoon at the zoo (before homework eats up those hours).

12. Ride a carousel together.

13. Go to Disney World and don’t even bother waiting on line for a roller coaster. She’ll never make that height requirement anyway.

five year old 2

14. Frame a picture she drew and signed.

15. Write down the hilarious stuff he says.

16. Have his speech, reading readiness, vision and hearing evaluated. And get him really cute glasses if he needs ‘em.

boy in glasses

17. Stop thinking about your kid for 24 hours and spend a night at a hotel with your husband. Sleep past sunrise.

18. And then plan a weekend getaway with your friends where you talk about something besides pre-school woes.

19. Get your child a real bike, with training wheels and a badass helmet that will make him king of the neighborhood.

20. Hang a growth chart on the back of a closet door.

five year old 1

21. Find some adults-only, stress-busting thing you do just for you—pilates, pickling, whatever floats your boat—and do it regularly.

22. Commit to reading (skimming counts!) a reputable book about discipline. Take from it what you will.

23. Embrace your child’s quirks, help him learn from his mistakes and immediately forgive him for commenting loudly and in public about the physical appearance of a nearby stranger.

24. Volunteer to help out in his classroom.

25. Tuck her in every chance you get.