If someone asked you what the very best things about being a child were, what would you say? I was a child over 20 years ago and I wonder how my answers would differ from the ones my children would give today. A survey carried out by McCarthy and Stone shares what people over 60 thought were the best things about being a child 50 years ago, and I was keen to see if any of it still stands now when we compare it to childhood today. It’s easy to be dismissive and think that all children today want is a screen and junk food compared to the more resourceful and outdoorsy previous generations. In fact I’m pretty fed up of that generalisation and was pleased to see many activities on the list that my children enjoy now.
A few activities particularly stood out to me, like read Enid Blyton books. I loved her books as a child and have fond memories of lying on my bed with my head in a Famous Five story, it didn’t matter that the books were from a previous generation, they were fun and full of adventure. My girls in turn have been reading Enid Blyton books too. What’s interesting I guess is that my dad has bought sets for both my girls, and my dad fits into the over 60 category that was polled (sorry Dad!). I’ve been reading all about the Faraway Tree adventures to a rapt six year old at bed time and N has been enjoying following the Famous Fives adventures herself too.
Another set of activities that are particularly timeless are outdoor pursuits like climbing trees, building dens and collecting conkers. I may not have been brave enough to climb many trees as a child but dens were a big deal in the summer holidays with many hours, and even days spent perfecting them and playing in them. My children love climbing trees a tend opportunity and like me they do love a good den.
I think a lot of what are children do depend on us and on their environment. I love that my girls enjoy a lot of the things I enjoyed as a child but I think me introducing them to things like Enid Blyton books, baking and making dens means that these things are passed along. Spending time with older generations is something that I think is important too, so that skills and memories are passed along. My girls love baking with their grandma, especially if the recipe has a story behind it and they enjoy finding out about the ‘olden days’ from my dad. The childhood I had and my parents had may be very different to the ones my girls have but it’s comforting to see that some things haven’t changed.
What did you enjoy as a child?
Is it something that your children now do?
This is a collaborative post