one of the things that modern parents have to grapple with is how much screentime to allow your kids, and it’s something i think about often considering that i am absolutely unashamedly addicted to my phone. i mean, i have been kind of addicted to the internet since our first dial up modem was installed way back when i was a tweenager (even though all i did back then was search for random things on Ask Jeeves and build my Geocities page). so i have a very addictive personality when it comes to tech, but when i was a little kid that kind of stuff wasn’t around (bar television) and, like all other kids my age, we played outside ALL day. otherwise we were indoors playing all sorts of made up games. my parents also didn’t base their existence around playing with me or keeping me entertained – my mom used to give me the side-eye if i ever traipsed around proclaiming i was bored, so we always had to create our own entertainment. and it was THE BEST.
but, i think about the “screentime” issue often. how can i stop my own kid from playing on a computer or an iPad (or whatever screen will be the next big thing when he’s old enough to swipe) if my phone is the first and last thing i look at in a day? i might have to put it down and start playing outside the lines again. and having a baby is a pretty good excuse to do so.
here’s some vintage playtime inspiration. all images from the Dutch Nationaal Archief.