“Mama what was it like when you were little?”
My kids have inherited my curiosity of the past and beg me to tell them about what life was like in the olden days, which for them means the early 80s. The questions that pop up the most are always about food and play. When you think about it that makes sense because for kids, meals are something that they know you had as a child too. The other sure bet is play. What did I do for fun, what games did I play? I have always loved to run, but when I told my kids that I raced my friends all the time as a child they didn’t want to hear it. I run races as a mom so that wasn’t news to them. They wanted to know about games. Instead of just telling them about it, I’ve been including some of the throwbacks from my own childhood into my kids’ lives!
TV Tag was my favorite game to play as a child. Back then, no one was worried about how much screen time we were getting because there were only a handful of shows we wanted to watch anyway. TV Tag is a version of freeze tag, after you are tagged you must freeze and another player comes to unfreeze you by yelling out a name of a TV show. Back then we heard “Scooby Doo” and lots of “A Team! “I wanted to update it for my kids and decided to switch it up to “Sport Tag” To unfreeze they must scream out a sport. In our house this is not a tough thing to do because if we aren’t playing a sport, we are probably watching it on TV. Choose something that works for your family. The main thing is taking a childhood favorite and making it fit for your family.
I was the kitchen helper growing up. I took my first cooking class as a preschooler and my 3 year old is following in my shoes. She cracks eggs better than I do. So when I decided to share a childhood favorite, Shake and Bake Chicken, with my kids she was my shaker. I don’t remember actually eating Shake and Bake Chicken as a child but I do remember making it with my mom. The way I make the chicken is a little different than my mom made it but in the past 30 years we have learned a lot more about moderation and energy balance. We use skinless chicken, serve it with a big side salad and have dessert weekly, rather than every single night. The core of preparing food and eating together is the important part… and whether it was my mom and I in 1980 or my daughter and I in 2014, the benefits are the same.
Allison McDonald is the mom and former preschool teacher behind No Time For Flash Cards, a blog filled with learning and play for young kids. When she isn’t blogging about crafts and learning you can find her running with friends or exploring the forests around her home with her two kids. Allison lives outside of Seattle with her daughter, son and husband.
For more information on family activities, check out the following Together Counts resources: