In a recent article in The Daily Mail – ‘Modern children miss out on greatest childhood joys: playing outdoors‘, research has shown that our happiest memories of childhood revolve around simple pleasures, such as building sand-castles and flying kites. This probably comes as no surprise to most, but when we look at the time most children spend today indoors it makes one think what their memories will reveal.
This article has given me pause for thought and reflection on my own childhood memories and some of my most memorable do indeed relate to outdoor activities, but also to ‘family time’.
– Winter evenings huddled together on my parents bed playing board games.
– Staging performances with my cousins for our parents to watch.
– Siting together in a classic English pub playing cards.
– Laughter, tears and putting the world to rights around the Sunday dinner table.
And then the outdoor memories… so many of which fuel my life today and drive my enjoyment with my own children (thanks Mum and Dad!):
– Kicking leaves in the Autumn
– Spending hours searching for four-leafed clovers
– Making daisy chains
– Walking through bluebell forests in Spring
– Collecting blackberries and cooking up the most delicious puddings
– Horse chestnut collecting
– Playing out in the rain and the snow and getting as mucky as possible
– Burying Dad in sand (over and over) on holiday
– Rock-pooling and sandcastle building
– Making ‘mud-pies’ in the garden
– Dancing in the ‘sprinkler’ on a hot summer’s day
– Collecting flowers for my flower press and fallen rose petals to make perfume in old bottles.
– Feeding the ducks in the midst of Winter when the pond was frozen over
– Catching ‘fish’ in the streams
– Walking across the fields at harvest time
– Gazing at the rain making patterns on the window
– Staring up at snowflakes for hours on end
– Sitting beneath a Weeping Willow in our garden and day-dreaming with my cat, Heidi
– Playing ‘Cowboys and Indians’ with no need for expensive costumes, just simple sticks and tons of imagination
– Playing ‘Secret Seven’ (thanks Enid Blyton!) with the neighbour’s children in the garden shed
An endless list…..