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5 things you must do before your child turns five
Before your little one starts to grow up, do these things before it's too late. - photo by Jenna Koford
One day, your little one won't be so little. Right now, she loves to cuddle and pretend she knows how to read. But tomorrow, she'll be talking about boys and talking back to you. Before your son or daughter grows into a mini-adult, there are some things you just have to do with them.

Document how they grow

It'll seem like your baby girl is growing a foot every month, so make sure you document, videotape, and record everything you can. Think of a cute way to track your child's changes every month or year. You'll love to watch old home movies when your teenager is going away to college, and your child will probably think it's pretty cool to watch how they grew up.

Teach them the basics (swim, walk, read)

This will come naturally, but you still want to stay involved as your child learns to do the things you can do every day. Be there when she jumps into the pool with confidence, or better yet, be there to catch her. Let your child read to you, and if he takes forever to get through a book, offer to take turns on each page. Your child will look back and remember the crucial moments that you both shared.

See a live event

Kids are so used to tablets and touch screensthey may not remember the latest video game, but they will remember when you took them to a play or sporting event. Whether it's a basketball game or ballroom dance performance, your child will love the live-action movements, swirling colors, and sounds. Take away the technology for a night and bring them to something real.

Build something: fort, sandcastle, snowman (before theyre too old)

Take a rainy day and make it fun by building an indoor fort or castle. When the weather is warm, build something outsidea sandcastle or bird feeder. When it's cold and snowy, make snow angels and snowmen. Your kids will remember working together on something and enjoying time with you.

Take them to an amusement park or zoo

Some people don't want to bring their littles ones to an amusement park because they think their child won't remember it. But you'll save money and save more memories of your child riding his first roller coaster or eating his first cotton candy.

Make a list of the things you want to do before your child grows up, and make sure you document each step of the journey. You'll be able to talk about those memories of the zoo or the beach, and your child will know you were there the whole time.

Make traditions today that can carry on throughout their lives. You only get one day at a time, and those days will add up. What are you doing with your days?
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