For me, a child of the 60’s, growing up in Papua New Guinea, there was a sense of freedom, long days outside playing with frogs (the green tree variety) and exploring our local community with all the neighbourhood children. Our cousins came for Christmas, we made cities out of mud under the house (it was on stilts as many tropical homes are) and we climbed all over the hillside that was behind our house, tried to catch tiny fish from waterways using a stick and a bit of string, and ate fresh peanuts from the local market garden We always came home covered in a days’ worth of adventure.
Food, family, fun, freedom……. and very few photos. I’m the little blonde one, bare footed, helping the others excavate under our house.
Childhood is changing. We know that around 90% of children spend at least some of their final year before school is an education and care program (2019), decades ago, this would be unusual. When we talk with educators about the environments we create for children, we remind them of the significant role they play in creating childhood memories for these new generations of children.
How? Well, start by sharing a photo or memory within your team. Discuss what is common about these memories (your list might include play in nature, freedom, community….) and then think about how you can replicate this in the spaces you create for children.
We’d love to hear your memories and see some photos of the environments you create that are making memories for children.
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Early Learning: Everyone Benefits. (2019). State of early learning in Australia 2019. Canberra, ACT: Early Childhood Australia.