TG Escapes Blog
Why Don’t You….
…..Just Switch Off Your Television Set and Go Out and Do Something Less Boring Instead? was, somewhat ironically, the highlight of my summer holidays in the 1970s. Though of course by the time it, and a handful of other classic kids shows, had finished there wasn’t much else to do except go outside and find some other kids at a loose end and do something.
Once the holiday morning kid’s slot was over, there was no daytime TV (unless you include the test card) and the most exciting gadgets to which we had access were digital watches and calculators. And once you’ve learned how to write hello on your calculator, there’s really not much more entertainment to be gleaned from it.
So, it was time to make yourself a jam sandwich and head off on your bike to goodness knows where. Well, I knew where, but I’m not entirely sure my parents were aware that I was jumping off a bridge into the River Thames. Which I am in no way advocating as a suitable suggestion for your own kids when trying to encourage them to just switch off your television set (and their laptop, tablet or phone) and go out and do something. Here are some of my favourite childhood memories from those endless summer holidays, during which the sun always shone and the cinema cost so much it was reserved as a treat for special occasions.
Have your children host a mini Olympics. Get all the neighbourhood kids to pool resources (buckets, mops, brooms, ropes, balls, tape measures and….a digital watch) and set up hurdles, high jumps, long jumps and obstacle courses (OK not an Olympian discipline but lots of fun). Find a clip board, a piece of paper and a pencil (and no, they cannot record results on a device) and get them running, jumping, throwing and cartwheeling competitively. Yes really, winning is alright, and losing is just something we should all get used to.
If it is not safe enough to let them cycle to the local pool, then take them and leave them there all day till there skin is puckered and their hair is knotted and feels like straw. Give them change for the vending machines and let them eat and drink whatever they want before they head home….once they have spent hours in the water the calories will need replacing anyway and you can do organic wholegrains tomorrow.
Let them raid the garage or shed for junk and then make things with it. Ropes are good, as are bits of wood, nails and hammers, old jam jars and broken stuff. And then enjoy the cathartic trip to the tip afterwards.
Buy in huge quantities of milk, Angel Delight and chocolate sprinkles and let them make their own tea. A word of warning here: don’t let them swim in the river beforehand. One of my aforementioned river adventures ended in an all we could eat marathon of said delicacy, just a few hours before the bug I had picked up from the river water kicked in. I still can’t eat Angel Delight or chocolate sprinkles.
And once the day is done and devices can be switched back on, send them the following links and make them really appreciate how kid’s TV has moved on since the 1970s!
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