Pure fun cannot be underestimated in the lives of children

AuthorJen Hogan
Publication Date09 November 2021
"Grandad will be happy," one of the littles said, as he looked out at the dark skies and slanting rain. "He loves the miserable, dark, dank days," his brother continued with the precision of a child well rehearsed in teasing his grandfather over something he'd said once. But it's true, their grandad loves the winter, and their nana too. I remain convinced it has to be about the timing of the festive season rather than anyone enjoying shorter days and bad weather, but they insist to the contrary.

Still, nothing like circumstances to remind you of your good fortune. It's coming up to the self-dubbed favourite child's birthday, the one who decided he couldn't wait for his planned C-section date, causing a middle of the night panic and an emergency section to boot. In fairness to him, it's possibly the only time in his life that this particular child has created any drama.

Supermarket

Last year, on his birthday, we were in Level 5 lockdown. So we celebrated his special day in the middle aisles of Aldi. He had it in his head that he'd like to go to the shops for his birthday - yes that is the levels of desperation children were reaching last winter. Of course, he meant a toy shop but, you know, pandemics and lockdowns and all that sort of stuff. So Aldi it was, to see what sort of Christmas goodies they had on sale.

This year, he'll be giving the middle supermarket aisles a wide berth. And though the pandemic is not over, he can look forward to a trip to the cinema with a couple of his friends. The simple things we took for granted for so long, bringing joy back into our lives again.

Children need that joy. Joy and fun for the pure heck of it. It's why I was concerned when talk turned to children curbing their activities. There are constant reminders that we are still in a pandemic. Children have not forgotten. Parents have not forgotten. Life is still not normal. But activities and playdates are important for all sorts of reasons - including fitness, co-ordination skills, life skills confidence, finding a tribe, social development...

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