At a recent poetry event, nostalgia seemed the theme for the day. A lot of poems focused on remembering people, whether grandparents or parents...best friends from childhood days. But it seemed that even more poems were about childhood. Not necessarily major childhood events, but everyday happenings that to the majority of the audience, took us back to our own childhood.

For some of us, childhood was quite a few years ago...but in reality how much has changed? Unfortunately a lot.  Today's child appears to be twinned with technology. How far can a tween go without their phone/ playstation/ Ipad? How many toddlers know exactly how to work an Iphone? They can't speak in coherent sentences, but can show you the photo of the puppy they played with on holiday.

And of course there is that whole revolution about getting children moving, getting them into that forgotten sphere of play...outside.

How many children of today have discovered a ring of fairy toadstools? Sat down beside them and patiently waited for the fairies to appear?

My childhood was spent playing outside. And yes, a lot of today's technology was not around then, but it was also what kids did. You played outside and you used your imagination.

Mud pies decorated with daisy petals for sale at your 'shop'. Becoming cowboys as you rode tree branch horses and firing guns made from anything at hand...then transforming into Indians with a twig bow and arrow. Climbing onto the dinghy and sailing away across countless oceans, battling angry storms and unknown monsters of the deep.

Scrambling to pick blackberries in summer. Getting scratched and blooded on the journey, with fingers and lips stained from the juices. Picking mushrooms in the autumn (even if we didn't like to eat them back them)....the fun was in the discovery, the hunt for the perfect one.

I find it interesting in Storytime when we make something and I don't show them a prototype. Go wild, I say, use your imagination...what do you think the monster / alien / house / space ship would look like?

So often the kids have no idea where to start. They need a prompt...a starting point. Is this because they hardly use their imagination any more?

To me, when you read you are taken away...transported to another time and place, often another world entirely, filled with characters I have never encountered. And when I put that book down, often I'm still there...or perhaps I take a step to the left or the right.

So what would such and such do if they hadn't crawled through the fence and escaped?  I imagine all kinds of scenarios...endings, results...all beginning from that magical 'what if?'

It is school holidays and it is sad how excited I get when a child borrows something other than a towering pile of DVD's. When they add a talking book, a magazine...better yet when an actual book, or two, or more is added....can't wipe the smile off my face.

At the moment it is raining. Has been since last night...it is wet and up here in the mountains it is dark, grey and moody.

Perfect day for building Lego cities, to go penguin bowling, to start on a jigsaw, to paint a picture, create an orchestra out of pots, pans and cardboard box guitars....to build a sheet fort under the table, create confections in the kitchen, write your very own story...and illustrate it......to make a birthday card for your second best friend, find that old set of Monopoly, learn how to play checkers....play Go Fish, go fishing in the lounge room with magnetic rod and paper clip fish......you get the idea.

When little Miss comes to stay, yes we do watch a show or two (don't get me started on how I do NOT like Peppa Pig) but we go outside- we rake, we garden, we go to the park and play, we cook and bake, we build lego horse paddocks, we draw pictures, we do another section of the sticker book, we take photos (she knows all the poses), we feed the birds, we sit in the garden and count butterflies.....

Here's to more sitting in gardens and counting butterflies. And to losing yourself in a book...or two...




Popular posts from this blog