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On a wet and rainy holiday...
Published: 10/06/2013

Half term holidays and it is pouring with rain. Again. The girls and I hunker down to enjoy a day indoors, in the warm. The board games come out, the pens and paper, the paints, the books and we indulge in gentle, timeless activities.

One special board game is invariably selected, it is one that my husband used to play as a child and is called ‘African Star’. My old Etch-a-Sketch gets an airing too as does an old chess set, jenga blocks and ludo. These things from our childhood are enjoyed by our children not only because they are classics that have stood the test of time, but also because we had experience of them first.

One facet particularly struck me, the keenness of my daughters to understand how these games and toys fitted into our lives, how much we enjoyed them and how good we were at them. On reflection it seems obvious that knowing what we liked and perhaps even our parents and grandparents enjoyed allows us to know them better. Less obvious is the thought that it also helps us understand ourselves more. It allows us to uncover differences and similarities in terms of likes, dislikes and capabilities between the generations. One daughter was thrilled to find that she shares the same talent for chess that her father and even grandfather had...especially as it meant she won when playing with her mother!

The more we find out surely the more we can compare and these comparisons allow family traits to be celebrated and new talents to be uncovered. These discoveries help us feel special and connected. More importantly they place us, ground us, comfort us.