My kids didn’t have a World Book Day dress-up party at school this week, much to E & J’s disgust. Our local village primary school seems to enjoy bucking against national trends. Instead, they’re holding a lovely week of book celebrations starting on Monday. There’s story time in the school hall on Wednesday (where the kids get to dress-up in their PJs and drink hot chocolate), and on Friday afternoon parents are invited into the school to read to their child.
All these ideas are fantastic because they’re raising an awareness of books and reading. In a society beset with tablets, iPads and Xboxes etc, I worry that an essential part of growing up is getting pushed to one side – the development of an imagination.
Fear not, this post is not some sort of anti-technology rhetoric. Both my kids have tablets and they watch far more than the requisite hour of television a day. Kids get overtired. They need downtime, and often a few minutes in front of Paw Patrol is the only solution.
But there’s a balance.
I want my kids to experience everything that a great childhood has to offer and this includes trips to the cinema and time in front of the TV. I want them to have a favourite film or cartoon character, as much as I want them to turn their bedrooms into a salon or a pony stable or wherever their imagination takes them that day. We have days out, mixed with days in. We offer up ballet lessons as well as football and rugby classes. There’s no such thing as gender bias in our house.
Having said all that, the kids were still pretty pissed they didn’t get to dress up this week so we unearthed the HUGE dressing-up box from Emily’s cupboard and took lots of pictures instead…