But if this all feels a bit unrealistically Famous Five, here is my own 21st century version – the REAL 50 things to do before you're 12...
1. Worship a friend's older brother/sister but vehemently deny it.
2. Call your teacher 'Mum'.
3. Burp the name of your football team or favourite boy band.
4. Nick some of your dad's lager and pretend to your mates you liked the taste of it.
5. Break a window or vase or glass by playing with a ball inside.
6. Plead desperately for months to go to karate club, buy all the kit with your pocket money then as soon as your parents sign you up at vast expense, you instantly go off it.
7. Make your mum walk 10 paces behind you if she insists on taking you anywhere.
8. Tell both parents: "I hate you."
9. Get into a scrap with a sibling.
10. Have a fizzy drink and packet of crisps in the pub.
11. Google rude words.
12. Make up a rubbish dance routine (girls) or perform magic badly (boys).
13. Lie rigid on a supermarket floor while crying.
14. Be sent to your room.
15. Slam a door.
16. Secretly wish you went to Hogwarts.
17. Cry because you lost.
18. Learn to lose graciously. Or at least hide your devastation.
19. Turn a hose on a parent.
20. Mourn a pet.
21. Say "look, no hands!" while you ride your bike.
22. Do one of those skill skids on your bike.
23. Get taken to hospital after falling off your bike.
24. Discover The Truth about Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy.
25. Beat your parents on the Wii.
26. Camp in the back garden. With your parents. Because it's not safe otherwise.
27. Point out very loudly when you hear a parent surreptitiously break wind.
28. Go missing for 30 seconds, panic the hell out of your parents and then when you're found in
a tree, get covered in your mother's snot and tears.
29. Dress oneself in hideously non-matching clothes.
30. Reduce a parent to tears of joy.
31. Reduce a parent to tears of sadness.
32. Laugh at mum's dancing.
33. Roll eyes at dad's jokes.
34. Blush with hideous embarrassment (probably after numbers 32 and 33).
35. Comprehend how babies are made but wonder why anyone would want to do that with the revolting opposite sex.
36. Throw up in a swimming pool.
37. Record your mum and dad having a 'discussion' on an iPhone and show it to everyone.
38. Break a mobile phone.
39. Respond to an invitation of a walk with "no way, that's so boring".
40. Perfect The Sigh.
41. Teach a parent how to use the latest gadget.
42. Tell said parent: "I showed you how to do it the other day. Are you thick or something?"
43. Blink with disbelief at your mum's sorry childhood without an Xbox.
44. Refer to your parents' glory years as The Olden Days.
45. Make fake puking noises at the sight of broccoli.
46. Block your parents on Twitter.
47. Skype your best friend after dinner even though you spent all day with them at school.
48. Climb a climbing wall rather than a tree.
49. Moan at your £5 pocket money. Then get the "when I was your age" lecture from a parent who was lucky if they got 20p.
50. Pick a BlackBerry out of the Argos catalogue.
A bit more realistic, or can kids have both blackberry picking and texting in a happy childhood? How many of these have your children ticked off?
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