I recently found a very interesting article on the findings of a BBC Radio 2 competition. The competition invited children up to the age of 13 to submit short stories, and the entries were analysed by the Oxford University Press, to try and give an insight into the way children think. The article is useful to me as a children's author; the information gathered clearly indicates what appeals to modern children through the topics they chose to write about. I was pleased to read that textspeak was "not as common as you'd think", and that "fantasy still rules over technology". Many parents, myself included, fear that computer games, ipads etc. are killing off our children's imaginations, it is reassuring to read that children are still choosing to write fairytales and ghost stories. Admittedly, there were mentions of iphones and games consoles, but as the article pointed out, "Blackberries are still usually blackberries". The link to the article can be found here:
On a more personal note, I have become fascinated by the way children think, and express their views on the world around them. I worked as a playworker one summer during my student days. I remember teaching two little girls how to play badminton. The girls were sisters, and the elder decided to give her sibling some advice on how to play better. Completely straight faced, she told her that when she hit the shuttlecock "you have to make the angry face". I found it comical at the time, and it has stuck in my mind ever since. I love the way a child can interpret things in their own unique way, and their wonderful imaginations come across in what they say.
I have kept notes of certain things my own children have said over the years. Of course we all have photos and videos of our children growing up, but so often it's the things that happen off-camera that are really special. I am so glad I have done that, and my memory book is guaranteed to put a smile on my face even after a really tough day. My book is a kind of scrap book, with drawings, photos, and the all important quotes of those special moments. I would thoroughly recommend making one, those adorable things your kids say should not be forgotten. I sometimes flick through the book with my elder son, who loves hearing about the things he said when he was younger.
My dad has always been a joker with myself, and my children. My son had clearly worked that out:
"Why is grandpa at the doctor? Has he gone to get the cheek cut out of him?"
"No! Don't make mummy's car a taxi!" My husband had just attached a Magic Tree (other air fresheners are available) to the rear view mirror.
"Bill and Ben were trying to speak Romanian". My son associated the cartoon made up language with his daddy's native tongue.
"Where's the mystery button?" A 3 year old's take on the question mark key on a keyboard.
"Why is the moon still in the sky during the day? I think it's had too much Coca Cola".
Have you made a memory book? I would love to read what your little ones have said...