What "Fun and Easy" Says About Our Expectations of Childhood

by ParentCo. September 29, 2017

Little girl solving a puzzle

A simple Google search of “activities to do with kids” returns 202 million results in under one second. That’s a lot of arts and crafts.

These ideas from the bottomless internet give me inspiration and encouragement to try new things, but there is one other trend I’ve noticed: a lot of kid-friendly activities include the words “fun” and “easy.”

At first glance it makes sense. Kids like to have fun, and busy parents or educators need easy activities to put together. Upon reflection however, and after noticing that I myself had begun searching for “fun and easy” activities, I started to reflect on what those two words say about our definition of childhood.

In some ways, “fun” means that everything we do or put in front of children must be entertaining. In fact, edutainment is a term that’s become more and more common when describing learning apps or games designed for children.

“Easy” speaks to our expectations of a child. We, subconsciously, might think that an activity needs to be easy or a child won’t be able to do it. Of course this isn’t always true, but it’s one interpretation.

The thing is, I like fun and easy activities. Children like to play and have fun and not every activity we do during the day should be an extreme challenge. That being said, perhaps we shouldn’t let “fun and easy” be the only two deciding factors for the activities we choose to do with children.

In fact, maybe we shouldn’t choose at all, but rather let children show us what they find of interest. We might be surprised to find that fun and easy aren’t really considerations.

Need some inspiration? Start here. Seven Projects to Turn Your Kids Into Real Scientists 37 Ways to Entertain Your Kid That Won't Bore You Out of Your Skull 10 Outdoor Adventures That Require Little to no Planning This post was originally published here.


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