How does Childhood now Compare to 50 Years Ago?

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I look back to my childhood and it was so different to the childhood my children are currently living. Childhood has changed over time to being completely different for each generation. But can you imagine your children having the childhood that their grandparents had? 

What was it like being a child a couple of generations ago?

A recent article asked people aged 60 and over what they enjoyed as children. It’s made me think just how different childhood has become through history. Some of the top answers for people around London were making dens, playing hide and seek and collecting shells on the beach. These are simple things in life that our children still love to do today. They’re only human after all.

How does Childhood now Compare to 50 Years Ago?
Simple childhood pleasures – collecting shells

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.

How does Childhood now Compare to 50 Years Ago?
Playing marbles as a child

How is childhood today compared to the past?

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.

Things like watching TV or playing on their tablets online. 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.

How does Childhood now Compare to 50 Years Ago?
Playing football

The study also talks about passing skills down to the next generation. I know that my love of baking and cooking from scratch comes from my mum and her parenting us when we were kids.

This is 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. These are all things that I can really remember learning from my parents too.

How does Childhood now Compare to 50 Years Ago?
Cycling as a family

Can activities really span generations?

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, classic childhood experiences. 

I hope they don’t say that they loved playing computer games or video games as a child, playing on cell phones and scrolling through social media. Instead remembering they loved playing outside, flying kites, playing on the beach and hunting for the Gruffalo in the forest.

How will childhood differ 50 years from now?

Childhood is going to be so different in fifty years, when our children are grandparents. I can’t even comprehend how different it could be. There’ll be differences due to climate change, artificial intelligence and further advances in technology. The future will be so different.

How does Childhood now Compare to 50 Years Ago?
Time on the beach

What were my favourite childhood memories?

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 live to look back and think that they had a great childhood too. I know they’re loving their childhood so far and so I hope that doesn’t change.

Now, there is much more emphasis on mental health as children grow and it’s something that we didn’t even think about in previous generations. I know a good balance, time outdoors and activities that involve exercise can really help children to enjoy a happy, and healthy childhood in both body and mind.

How does Childhood now Compare to 50 Years Ago?
Running free

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.

How does Childhood now Compare to 50 Years Ago?

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  1. When we go to the sea we skim pebbles into the water, like I did as a child. My brother was always better at this! We go and do PYO fruit in the summer at the same place I went to as a child. I love sharing stories with the girls about my childhood and Alice is fascinated by it x

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