*This is a collaborative post
I look back to my childhood and it was so different to the childhood my children are currently living but can you imagine your children having the childhood that their grandparents had?
A recent study by McCarthy and Stone asked people aged 60 and over what they enjoyed as children and it’s made me think just how different childhood has become. Some of the top answers for people around London were making dens, playing hide and seek and collecting shells on the beach – things that our children still love to do today.
But other activities haven’t really passed down the generations – hitting a tennis ball against the back of the house, making things out of wood and playing marbles – they’re just not things I see children doing nowadays, although I loved playing marbles as a child. I was quite pleased to see that many of the simple childhood pleasures from over fifty years ago are still things that children enjoy today.
LP and Little Man love nothing more than making paper airplanes, playing football, having water fights and playing pooh-sticks. The only problem is that there are things they would rather do, and that are easier to do – like watching TV or playing on their tablets. But, if we make the effort to go outside and adventure then their childhood looks much the same as one over fifty years ago – although, back then, there wasn’t the distraction of TV and other electronics, these childhood activities were the only things to keep children entertained.
The study also talks about passing skills down to the next generation and I know that my love of baking and cooking from scratch comes from my mum, something that I hope I can pass down to my own children too. It also includes things like passing down good table manners, teaching your children to ride a bike or swim and how to plant seeds – all things that I can really remember learning from my parents too.
I love that this study has shown that activities loved through childhood can span generations and I hope that the things our children remember, if asked about their childhood in fifty years, are the simple things. I hope they don’t say that they loved playing computer games as a child and instead loved flying kites, playing on the beach and hunting for the Gruffalo in the forest.
Some of my favourite childhood memories revolved around reading – I loved books and would always have one with me wherever I went. I also remember long forest walks, spotting rabbits, ponies and deer. There would be blackberry picking close to home and camping under the stars with the most basic of amenities. I had a pretty amazing childhood, full of simple activities that really made me love the outdoors and family time. I hope my children grow up to look back and think that they had a great childhood too.
Are there things that your parents enjoyed as a child that you enjoyed too? How about your children – are they enjoying the same activities that you did as a child? It would be great to hear your experiences and childhood memories too.