We rounded up a bunch of talented, witty, and cool people to share the greatest moments of childhood.


Sprinklers, Tadpoles, and Space Travel

Billionaire Donald Trump

1. Learn to manage your allowance, and think of the best ways to use it.

First Lady of California Maria Shriver

2. Run in the sprinklers. And make sure at least one of your parents runs with you.

Music Man Dan Zanes

3. Take part in a march for peace. Or something else you believe in. I recommend making a colorful sign to march with.

4. Ride a roller coaster.

5. Play tag in the rain.

Wildlife Expert Jeff Corwin

6. Watch tadpoles hatch into frogs.

7. Catch and eat your own fish.

8. Learn a bit about astronomy and observe the stars.

Star of Stage, Screen, and Page John Lithgow

9. Go to one -- or more -- major-league ball games.

10. Read at least one chapter book from start to finish.

11. Suffer a major disappointment and learn to live with it.

Super Scientist Vicki Cobb

12. Experiment to find out how many different ways you can squirt water out of your mouth.

Hip Teen Oliver Saks

13. Learn how to ride a bike. I'm talking a two-wheeler without training wheels and extra points for gears.

14. Travel to the moon. Nothing is impossible before you're 8.

15. Get exactly the haircut you want -- not the one your parents want.

Critter Creator Sandra Boynton

16. Make a yarn pom-pom. It's very zen and very soothing.

17. earnLay igPay atinLay.

18. Make up a recipe, cook it, and name it. (Bad example: "Anchovy Peanut Butter Surprise.")

19. Write a song, then sing it for three people and one animal. It could be a stuffed animal. But they tend to be more critical than live ones are.

Hug, Eavesdrop, and Start a Collection

Ice Cream Creator Ben Cohen

20. Raise money for something or someone you care about.

21. Befriend a kid whom others are making fun of. Jerry and I were both fat, nerdy kids.

22. Realize your parents are just some old kids trying to act grown up.

Skateboard Superstar Tony Hawk

23. Learn how to pour a bowl of cereal and turn on the TV. (So your parents can sleep an extra 30 minutes on weekends.)

24. Realize that you should never outgrow hugging your parents.

25. Figure out how to tell a joke that doesn't involve poo, pee, or butts.

26. Discover that bleeding owies can make you look tough even though they hurt briefly.

Manners Maven Peggy Post

27. Learn to give a good handshake. No bone crushers or limp fish.

28. Hold the door for someone at the mall.

Basketball Star Allan Houston

29. Clean up your own room.

30. Learn how to make lemonade -- from real lemons.

Best-Selling Author Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket

31. Experience the strange and wonderful feeling of wandering around one's house alone, very late at night.

32. Break up a fight between two younger children.

33. Find the perfect hiding place in your bedroom for a secret object. This might not be so handy at age 8 but will be very important later, so it's best to find it now.

34. Eavesdrop and take notes. Tip: Pressing the rim of an empty glass against the wall will help you hear what is going on in the neighboring room.

Food-Network Star Guy Fieri

35. Start a collection of something. It could be anything -- model cars, baseball cards, sand from different areas.

36. Try at least five different types of food -- Chinese, Greek, Mexican -- you pick the other two.

37. Make a good paper airplane. Then fly it 20 feet or more.

Pediatrician Extraordinaire Harvey Karp

38. Read a newspaper with a parent.

39. Look through a microscope and a telescope.

40. Help serve or deliver food to the needy on Thanksgiving or Christmas.

TLC Host Karen Duffy

41. Hand-write thank-you notes for birthday and holiday gifts.

42. Open a savings account.

43. When greeting an adult, learn to look him in the eye and introduce yourself.

Cool Kid Grace Lee-Niosi

44. Make sure you've had enough piggy-back rides.


No. 16: How to Make a Pom-Pom

  • Take a square of cardboard and wrap yarn around it. (The more you wrap, the fluffier your pom-pom will be.)
  • Gently ease the yarn off the cardboard and tightly tie the middle.
  • Cut the loops on both ends and fluff!

No. 30: How to Make Lemonade from Scratch

  • You'll need: 1 large lemon, 1 cup sugar, 2 cups water, ice.
  • Make sugar syrup: Add sugar and 1 cup water to a pan and heat to boil; let cool.
  • For each serving, combine juice of half a lemon, 2 tablespoons sugar syrup, and 8 ounces cold water.
  • Add ice and serve.

No. 37: Make a Good Paper Airplane

  • Fold a sheet of paper in half, lengthwise, and crease well.
  • From top of rectangle, fold down 1/2 inch. Repeat, folding paper over itself, half a dozen times.
  • Fold down the top left corner, then the top right corner. Fold in half.
  • Form the wings by folding paper toward the crease.
  • Let 'er loose.

Parents Magazine