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Can children today learn from children from

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~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~  **007 1/2**

~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~ **007 1/2** Report 17 Jul 2008 11:14

yesteryear? or have they lost their imagination?

Kids' pocket money has been rising for years, but as schools break up for the summer holidays in a climate of economic uncertainty, belts may have to be tightened. So what can children learn from previous, less affluent generations?
Six weeks is a long holiday. There are few adults, excluding heirs and lottery winners, who ever worry about having to fill so much free time with diverting activity.
Today's children have boredom-fighting devices that their ancestors could only dream of, with the mobile phone and the modern games console foremost among them.
Pocket money has risen stratospherically over the last two decades, from an average of £1.13 in 1987, according to an annual survey by Halifax, to £8.01 last year.
But this boom period may falter this summer, with holidaying children struggling to buy new games and phone credit, and forced to fill their time with pastimes that are cheap or free.

And these straitened circumstances come at a time when campaigners are repeatedly drawing attention to the restricted lives that many children are forced to live, with many traditional activities deemed dangerous.
For all the exaggerated stories of conkers-in-goggles and bans on the sack race, there are few who would disagree with the assertion that children have lost an important part of their right to roam.
Today's adults look back to a golden age of long summer holidays of "playing out". Through the hazy prism they see endless days of bike odysseys, camping in the back garden, building dens in the woods and plopping off homemade rope swings.
And the patron saint of playing out is William Brown, the hero of the Just William books. William represents an age when children were largely left to their own devices on the assumption that they would both be safe and not excessively mischievous.

Full Article:

~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~  **007 1/2**

~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~ **007 1/2** Report 17 Jul 2008 11:17

the article on the BBc is well worth a read in full. I love the ending:

But, says Ray Heard, the spirit of the childhood of yesteryear lives on.
"I'm 61 and I consider myself young. I still, if I see a tree, look at it and think I could climb that. Once I look and think I can't climb it, I will be old."

Glenys the Menace!

Glenys the Menace! Report 17 Jul 2008 11:28

Hiya; the other day, our 18-y-o daughter surprised me - and maybe hubby - by saying she sometimes wishes she'd been a child when we were kids. From what we've told her, although our childhoods had good and not-so-good in them, ours were a lot more fun than for the kids of today.

An interesting point she has made before, and reiterated the other day, is that there's so much "wrapping up in cotton wool" these days.

As I say, I was a bit gobsmacked when she said this; I didn't realise she'd noticed it so much!


AnnCardiff Report 17 Jul 2008 11:49

through TV and computer games I feel children have lost their imagination - imagination to make up games to play - when I look back on my childhood, what fun I had and it cost nothing at all. Playing in the brook, building dams, making dens in the wood, playing shop with various items purloined from the kitchen. Ball games, skipping games, hide and seek. And then books - I always had my nose in a book - usually Enid Blyton or Just William. Such happy carefree days. Don't be fooled into thinking there was no danger around - there certainly was but in those days with no TV and few scandal mongering newspapers you didn't get to hear about it so much, but child sex abuse and murders were still there as they probably were a hundred years before and back to infinity

Brenda from Wales

Brenda from Wales Report 17 Jul 2008 12:22

I agree with Ann that we had a happy childhood with very little in the way of material things and it was safe for us to play out in woods and streets with no thought of any harm.
I know my younger grandchildren and my 3 great granddaughters still play games of imagination,as I've had them all here a couple of weeks ago,and they were playing on the lawn with no toys,and pretending a twig was a magic wand,and my oldest g.granddaughter was a dog crawling about being held by the ties on her dress by my youngest granddaughter(her 1st cousin once removed,to get the relationship right,as we do on here!).There is only 18 months difference in age.
I think that some parents don't encourage this and possibly don't have as much time to spend with their children as they are so busy with both parents working to support their life style,and of course TV has changed a lot of things.
My young grandchildren in Oz don't watch TV,mainly because of all the ads,but I send DVDs,mainly free ones from newspapers that they love,and a lot are educational.My son who lives in Melbourne says that school there is more like it was in his days and not the restrictions that we have here.
As for murders,of course there were murders etc,but I don't believe on the scale we have today when every day we are hearing of the knife crime and other atrocities.The media does tend to accelerate this I think.
Remember reading reports in The News of the World of murders etc like John Haigh and the acid bath murders,but it wasn't on an everyday basis.
Prison isn't the deterrent it once was,in fact they are fed well and have decent cells and don't sew mail bags anymore.


AnninGlos Report 17 Jul 2008 12:50

It is not only the fear of abduction/attacks etc that prevent children from playing out but also of the increase in traffic. We used to play French cricket, skipping, Grandmothers footsteps etc across the road. You couldn't do that now even in our small cul de sac with the youngsters zooming in and out in their cars.

Actually, with so many children being looked after by Grandparents, most of whom look my age or 10 years younger, you would expect them to have passed on the traditional games and the encouragement of imaginative play wouldn't you?

My 6 year old granddaughter is able to amuse herself with imaginative play, although she far prefers to play football or cricket in the garden with her big brother (that, of course, may be his influence.



AnnCardiff Report 17 Jul 2008 12:54

those of us of a certain age do remember those notorious murders - John Haig, Christie in Rillington Place, Derek Bentley and Christopher Craig - but murders like that were indeed scarce and made headlines all of the UK and beyond. As you say, murders today hardly get on the front page


AnninGlos Report 17 Jul 2008 13:47

Fortunately our 2 youngest grandchildren love being outside so it i OK while they are prepared to play together, but that wont last as one is female and 6 and one is male and 11. The boy does go to the nearby park with his mates to play football.

With the younger ones it depends on there being friends who live close as that is where the problem lies, allowing them to get to their friends or having to take them and fetch them so they can play. so really it is down to the parents i think.

And it is o much less trouble to let them play pc games or watch TV.



Star Report 17 Jul 2008 14:06

I know my children are in the minority my triplets are 11 yrs old and just about to leave primary school and we have only just given them a mobile phone as they go out more with friends. They do have a very basic computer in there room , no internet access and a tv that only plays video,s or dvds.again only this year. "2 of them have a very active imagination, they still act out things eg schools just using coins or a pack of cards, they are considered a little weird but i dont care the teachers have said its refreshing have a child or 2 with a good imagination. They even on wet days all play schools, shops etc.
My youngest is 8 and desperately wants a mobile also but will are going to try and hold out again until she is a t least 10yrs. She says most of the children her age or younger have phones. She is though growing up quicker than her siblings a sign of the changing times i suppose.
Mine tend to watch more tv in the winter or when it is really wet for a few days but when its nice or dry they want to be out, we are fortunate that we live on an estate where there are plenty of children and they all play together, we also have a small park for the younger ones near by then the playing fields and park at the end of the road but my only worry is that it is by a river so only let my older ones go there but they have to tell thats where they are going.



Brenda from Wales

Brenda from Wales Report 17 Jul 2008 14:53

You are right,Ann in glos,the traffic is another consideration.
I was brought up in an avenue cul-de-sac with 16 houses and there was only one car in the whole lot,so we were free to play with our skipping ropes,whips and tops,hop scotch,hide and seek etc.most folk these days have more than one car,so it would be impossible,but for those with gardens it is lovely to see the children playing old fashioned make believe games and not play stations and the like.
my two little granddaughters were also writing stories,and the only time they disagreed was on the way each of them wrote a "B",as they had been taught differently.The ones from Oz had to write a journal every day to say what they had done and seen.Thought that was a jolly good thing to teach them.

(¯`*•.¸*Karen on the Coast*(¯`*•.¸

(¯`*•.¸*Karen on the Coast*(¯`*•.¸ Report 17 Jul 2008 15:00

we are very lucky to live near the sea.....our eldest(13) loves going to the beach and since april has been going in the sea swimming....not every day after school but for quite a few.........youngest(11) goes to the park after school. both of them have got Chopper bikes and along with their friends love to be out on them.....we have a playstation but we've had it for about 3 yrs and i think its been used 10 times(if that).

Karen x


AnninGlos Report 17 Jul 2008 15:06

got to have hardy feet to go swimming there Karen. I remember swimming there (well paddling and trying to swim) as a child but oh those pebbles!!


(¯`*•.¸*Karen on the Coast*(¯`*•.¸

(¯`*•.¸*Karen on the Coast*(¯`*•.¸ Report 17 Jul 2008 15:10

tell me about it

I sometimes think my eldest is slightly mad....some days its been so blinky cold but she goes down there and gets straight in.....i think she must run so fast that the pebbles don't hurt,

Karen x

Purple **^*Sparkly*^** Diamond

Purple **^*Sparkly*^** Diamond Report 18 Jul 2008 01:58

My son was lucky really, we lived in a cul de sac from 1987 and across the road from the house was the entrance to a large grassed play area and a wooded area further down, which I managed to get kept as a dog walk area. When we first moved there when he was 5, dogs were allowed on the park too, so when ours was a puppy she was safe within the fences and several of the kids could take their dogs there. Anyway, when there was a ban, I petitioned for the wooded area to stay as dogs allowed so the kids could take their dogs and go and play there, away from roads, and they had dens and rope swings, etc etc If they wanted to play on the equipment on the park they tied the dogs up on the outside for a little while or brought them home. When it snowed they all built snowmen there and had a great time and I knew he was safe.
I also used to take my son,the dog and several of his friends and we would walk to the local university where there was a lake where they could feed ducks and coots etc, and the dogs could run free, they would all dash about and play football and climb the trees and paddle, we would eat our picnic and then straggle home dusty and tired. It was brilliant, and they had such good fun - it always took a lot longer to get home but it didn't matter, we could walk various routes and we talked about the things we saw on the way so educational too.
Compared to my nephew, whose parents worked and who was farmed out to anyone who would have him or left home with his older sister, my son was lucky. My nephew had all the material things but didn't have the freedom and fun my boy had. There were holiday clubs too that he would attend for the two weeks they were in the area and they all went on outings etc for a small amount of money, I used to help out sometimes so sometimes went along to help. The local Police used to run a playscheme too and for a minimal amount, kids between the ages of about 10 and 14 I think, could go on activity days out so my son was able to try horseriding and sailing and such.
He didn't have a computer or things like that but he had freedom and independence and made lovely memories and friends he is still in contact with today.
Much more like my childhood altho I never got the chance to try sailing and riding etc.


martocktodevilland Report 18 Jul 2008 02:11

one good idea is pick a day in the month,where you show the kids the kind of thing you did as a child,can be great fun,.things are different now,.
i remember bread before it came in a bag,takeways in newspaper,ladies wore hats and gloves and petticoats. men wore hats and suits even the poor..trips to the museum can show kids the pass,but find a fun way to show the pass good and bad,talk about what chorse and schooling you had,and jobs and family gatherings,and funny family charactors,as we most had we went and how we got there.

good luck