Have you seen the meme comparing childhood of the past to childhood now?
This type of meme has been shared across social media. The first meme I saw like this was on Facebook.
The meme is usually depicted by kids outside playing as childhood then and kids on some form of technology for childhood now. (Similar to the image below.)
I don’t know about you but these memes really bug me!
Yes, our kids have more technology than we did growing up, but if we feel like their whole childhood is phones, tv, and computers then why aren’t we doing something about it?
Instead of saying our childhood was “so much better” and we had “real experiences”. Why don’t we work on making sure our kids have a childhood similar to the one we enjoyed?
Let’s stop comparing the differences on social media and start helping our kids create real memories. So their childhood looks more like the ones we enjoyed, maybe with a little more technology in a good way.
Creating a “Then” Childhood
Here are a few things I’m trying to help create a magical unplugged childhood for my kids.
This does not mean they don’t use technology, we are just trying to keep it in moderation. (Some days are better than others!)
Also, we need to appreciate the fact that photographs from childhoods now are much better than the photos of our past. And it’s much easier for our kids to have relationships with family members that live far away than when we were kids.
I have very fond memories of reading outside laying on a blanket in the middle of the yard or grabbing a pillow and taking over the trampoline and reading in the sun.
During the winter I remember listening to my mom read the Chronicles of Narnia aloud to us and I remember cozy days by the fireplace ready my favorite novel.
I want my kids to be able to create similar memories so we have a variety of different books for our kids, with a continuously growing library.
Related: Free Summer Reading Rewards Programs
2. Get out in Nature
Getting kids outside does amazing things for both the kids and parents. The park is a fun easy way to get outside. My little guy absolutely loves the slides and swings.
The playground is great, but I think it’s good to take kids outside without any toys. Try exploring a nature trail or visiting a state park. Take the kids out on hiking trails where they can explore and imagine with rocks, sticks, and leaves.
3. Get dirty
One of my favorite memories is of having a mud fight with my siblings and cousins. We would spend hours outside playing in the dirt and mud. I don’t know how my mom did it. Just the thought of cleaning up the mess we tracked in makes me tired.
Even though cleaning up the mess isn’t fun I try to let me kids get dirty. (Not all the time!) We jump in puddles, play with sticks, roll in the grass and get all dusty digging for rocks.
4. Let them help in the Kitchen
It’s so much easier to cook without kids helping but it’s so much more fun to let them climb up on a chair and help.
I love the little laughs and giggles my 2 year old makes when he helps me in the Kitchen. It might take twice as long to make anything but we are making memories so it’s totally worth It!
5. Listen to Music
No not with headphones. Use that technology and turn on the speakers to your family’s favorite songs and dance around the house, do chores, make cookies, create memories.
6. Encourage Imagination
Kids really don’t need a lot of stuff. They typically have a few favorite toys and the others only get played with once in awhile.
The toys that are favorites at our house are trains, blocks, cars, and similar simple toys. These toys are very different but they all encourage imaginative play.
Growing up I had many of these same toys and I remember making my mom pretend food and calling my grandma on the “phone”. Now I love watching my kids do the same thing.
Another favorite “toy” that costs nothing is a box. We color them, decorate them with stickers, build forts with them and destroy them.
Be it a big trip or a day trip travel with your kids. Take them exploring and let them experience new places.
Related: Free Printable Travel Journal
There are a ton of things I could add to this list. But since this post is getting long I think we will stop there.
Today I’m challenging myself to create a magical childhood for my kids, filled with imagination, dirt, books, exploring and just the right amount of technology.
Stop comparing childhood then vs childhood now.
Instead, let’s create a childhood for our kids so 20 years from now they look back on their childhood and remember moments similar to the special moments we had as kids.
What are your favorite childhood memories you want to make sure your kids have too?