“Cherish these moments. They grow up so fast,” were words constantly uttered to me when we had a newborn baby. I’m sure you must also hear it 10 times a day. I’m not sure where the days go but each is filled with a milestone and then one day they’re no longer a little baby but a little human.
We’ve already collected hundreds of memories in only the briefest of time.
I love watching my little baby grow and develop and when we play I sometimes wonder whether his childhood will be better than mine. Perhaps thinking about it in those terms of better or worse is not helpful; as it will be different for every generation and even every family. It is in fact, already different.
I never had anyone read to me one book let alone many books, many times. Growing up I also didn’t have a trunk full of toys like motorised gadgets or puzzles or electronics that end up being entertaining to a young mind for only 10 minutes.
In fact we didn’t have many toys at all when I was growing up. Instead I had siblings and cousins and we always had to rely on our imagination to keep ourselves entertained. I still remember the games we played and the honest fun we had!
- Pretending to be shop keepers; creating our own ‘shop fronts’ and spruiking our wares to each other with trinkets we no longer wanted.
- Completing intricate semi-acrobatics with home-made elastics; showcasing flexibility we didn’t know we had but somehow trusted our bodies to perform them.
- Lying down on the grass and tumbling down slopes and running back to the top of the slope and doing it over and over again.
We would keep ourselves entertained for hours with so many activities but I have managed to narrow it down to a top 10. Below are my 10 favourite childhood moments that I think every child should have a memory of or two. Of course these moments were when we were much older and not at the toddler age but they are memories I also want for my child.
Dancing like no one’s watching (source: funlog.ru)
Flying a kite*
Playing dress ups in your parent’s clothes (source: naniithran via yourcheriamour)
Playing make believe with siblings or friends*
Playing out on the street*
Playing on the swings and going up so high you feel the wind through your hair (source: Valspring)
Playing tug of rope (source: eyesmiles photography)
Riding the merry-go-round*
Swinging on a rope or jumping from a rock into a lake*
Do you agree? Are any of these in your top 10?
Recently I came across an article by Peter Gray, a psychologist and research professor at Boston College who argues that ‘children today are suffering a severe deficit of play.’ He has a notion that ‘playing is learning. At play, children learn the most important of life’s lessons.
Now with all the technology so easily available with smart phones and tablets and with gadgets even tailored to little hands and minds I think those days of simple play are almost gone and I wonder what will be of his childhood. He’s no longer a baby and soon he won’t be a toddler either.
I don’t want to be left wondering so I’m making him a promise.
A promise to create opportunities to celebrate his childhood rather than be rushed through it. A promise to create opportunities that will encourage creativity and curiosity, self-sufficiency and resourcefulness. A promise to weave in active and imaginative play within his technological world. A promise to create moments which are priceless and don’t need to come with a hefty price tag.
They will form the basis of the sweetest of memories. I know because they have been for me.
What’s been your favourite childhood moment? What memories do you want for your child?
*unknown image source