If Childhood Today Is Over Too Soon, What Can We Do About It?

This is a sponsored post.

As I watch Immy dance around the dining room with the unabashed abandon of childhood I want to bottle this moment and hold it tight as I know this time in our lives called ‘childhood’ will be over all too soon. I just know that one day I will look back with longing for the days when I couldn’t walk two metres without tripping over a randomly abandoned scooter, teddy or baby doll, for the times that we laughed together as the bubbles blown erupted over the rim of a glass of milk, even for the moments when I craved a solo visit to the bathroom. The media tells us that children today are growing up faster than ever and I can’t say that I disagree. What I can say, is that I intend to do my darnedest to make the most of these moments of childhood and give my children the opportunity to enjoy a childhood filled with play, fun and innocence.

Children Don't Have to Grow Up Too Soon. 8 suggestions for making the most of childhood.

Here are 8 ways I intend to do just that….

1. Be selective with organised, out of school activities. The impulse to book my kids into multiple activities is strong, especially as I don’t want them to miss out on opportunities to discover and explore a passion or talent, but we are keeping it as simple as we can by focusing on just one activity per term, at least while they are young.

2. Manage screen time. This isn’t just about the amount of time that my children are using electronic devices or watching TV but also what they are consuming. We are very selective about what our girls watch and pre-record pretty much everything so that they sit down to watch one show rather than sitting down to just watch whatever is on – I think it can be really easy for time to pass and before you know it, they’ve watched an awful lot more than you intended.

3. Teach children to become discerning consumers of media. It is important to be informed about what your children are watching, reading and playing electronically. This provides you with opportunities to talk through what they are seeing or reading, helping them to process and critically dissect advertising and societal issues as they arise.

Children Don't Have to Grow Up Too Soon. 8 suggestions for making the most of childhood.

4. Choose toys that encourage creative thinking and open ended exploration. Even for older children. I am a huge fan of choosing toys that allow children to explore and play in lots of different ways and remember – toys aren’t just for little kids!

5. Cultivate boredom. Kids need regular, unscheduled time to just be bored and find their own fun. Don’t plan after school activities and playdates for every single afternoon, keep at least some time free for just hanging out, electronic free, of course!

6. Wherever you can, make home learning playful. For most of us with children in mainstream schools, homework is not optional. I have never however come across a teacher who isn’t open to you finding ways to engage your child with the learning that they need to do in fun and engaging ways that best suit their individual learning style. So when spelling word or sight word revision becomes a chore with Immy, I will refer to our list of playful sight word learning ideas and we try something fresh and fun. Of course, it’s always a good idea to check in with the teacher first (and for us, it’s an exception rather than a norm) but we have a great system where I just let our teacher know what we did in place of the listed work via our daily communication diary. If you are not sure how to help your child with their homework struggles or homework really is becoming a battle, please speak to your teacher about finding alternative ways to work together to solve these problems.

7. Experience life. The more time you can spend enjoying and experiencing life with your kids the better. Take time away from the chores and responsibilities that threaten to swallow up our weekends and out-of-work hours and just do something fun together.

8. Connect and engage regularly.  Make regularly spending time together a priority. Whether it be family meals or a regular family fun activity, this time together is so important for children’s developing sense of connection and honest, open communication, both of which are imperative to mental health and well being.

Encourage Creative Play with My Little Pony POP

This month sees the release of the brand new My Little Pony POP range of toys. Designed to encourage creative play and self-expression for children aged 4-8 years, My Little Pony POP gives kids the tools to build, decorate, style and customise their very own My Little Pony characters. With all of the favourite characters available in the range, children will be able to style their ponies to the max with a fun collection of manes, tails, wings and stickers. The pieces are all interchangeable so the possibilities are endless.

How does My Little Pony Pop work?

My Little Pony POP

Simply SNAP…

My Little Pony POP

… POP …

My Little Pony POP


My Little Pony POP Sweet Store

… and PLAY!

The ponies are available in a range of character packs starting at just $6.99 for one pony and accessories set. The My Little Pony POP Multi Character Pack is great as a gift or as an introduction to the range as it allows you to mix and match two ponies and their accessories straight away. The accompanying playsets, such as the My Little Pony POP Sweet Shoppe, takes the play potential one step further as children build and customize their very own My Little Pony POP world of fun.

My Little Pony Pop is available in Australia via all major retailers from September.


My Little Pony POP

One lucky Childhood 101 reader will win a My Little Pony Pop Prize Pack complete with;

  • 1 x My Little Pony Multi Character Pack (RRP $24.99)
  • 1 x My Little Pony POP Sweet Shoppe playset (RRP $39.99)

Entry is simple. This is a game of skill and entries will be judged based on creativity and originality. To enter, leave a comment on this post in response to this question:

Tell me one way you are making the most of childhood with your kids.

Australian entrants only. Entries close 5PM AEST, Sunday 21st September, 2014.


  1. Mary Preston says:

    I’m in my third childhood, at least. It’s a matter of embracing opportunities. I enthusiastically sing “Wheels on the Bus” when out on the bus. I dance in a sun shower. I take great pleasure when reading a picture book – with voices I might add. Etc Etc I believe I am paving the way, basically giving the children permission, to participate, experiment, experience and enjoy.

  2. In our house, we’ve chosen to make sacrifices in order to gain more family time. I’m a stay at home mum, and my husband is about to take his second 6 month stint off work, so that we can have time together as a family while the kids are so young. Sure it means that we must be extremely frugal, and miss out on some of the luxuries that a single (or double) income would afford us, but having the time to take the kids to the park is both free and priceless.

  3. What a beautiful post. It makes me so sad to realise how quickly our children grow and I find myself constantly looking for the pause button. One way that we make the most of our little girls precious childhood is to have a list of all the things we hope to do with her, much like a bucket list, and check them off as we do them as a family. It’s a great idea because it can also give us ideas for things to do when we have a spare afternoon on the weekend etc.

  4. We dance and we sing,
    we prance and we spin,
    we love to laugh and play,
    making memories everyday,
    We talk, listen and learn,
    Opportunities are everywhere!
    Knowing we only get one chance,
    take hold, live, love and dance,
    for it’s the small things that matter,
    and the pitter patter,
    of our children’s little feet!

  5. I meet her where she IS. Although she’s 8 she has delays and so I allow her to wear Thomas to be herself and experiment.

  6. Shawna Behlke says:

    I preserve my children’s childhood by monitoring what they watch, keeping them off social media, and just spending time with them doing age appropriate activities! I am blessed to be a stay at home mom so I get housework out of the way while they are at school which allows me to give them my undivided attention whilethey are home!

  7. ZSUZSI LAM says:

    We brought new couches and they came in large cardboard boxes. I got my husband to cut out widows and doors. This way we turned it into a giant cubby house. We took paints and brushes outside to decorate it. My little girl loved painting it and once it was dry played inside too.

  8. Bek @Just For Daisy says:

    Oh wow! My two girls are pony mad!
    We’re making the most of childhood with our 3 by moving to a big bush block, getting rid of our mortgage and keeping me home with them in these early years!

  9. We have races to places on bikes or our feet, Somersault on the trampoline, corner Mr Whippy on the street. Grow tadpoles into frogs, roast marshmallows on a fire, I’d say I’m making the best of it, if I didn’t I’m a liar!

  10. We have chosen that I will stay home with our kids while they are little so we can spend as much of this precious time with them as possible. Even though the financially it is difficult. We love to spend time out doors, do crafts, make up games, dress up, you name it.

  11. I enjoy their company the kids minds are like sponges they absorb everything and the kids imagination is amazing

  12. I’m trying to stay in the moment more with my children as they pretend their way through the day. I love the look in my daughter’s eyes when she is pretending to be a certain character and I go along with her, building the story, even while undertaking everyday tasks.

  13. Kandy Pople-Gill says:

    We have family music/ dance sessions with our preschooler. He will hand out Instruments and play ‘music’ and sometimes he dances sometimes we all do. Then we usualky are handed different instruments and it continues. Its fun for all of us and I knownhes having a blast!

  14. Huda Alshamari says:

    The best thing you can do with your children is to see the world through their eyes. There is always amazement and joy. Things look dull from adults perspective but for children life is so colourful. I try my best to embrace every moment of it and when they point at something and say “Mum look!” my response will always be “WOW!”
    My kids are 6 & 5 yrs old.

  15. We try to spend every weekend exploring nature as a family. I feel that nature brings out the kid in us adults and we can all experience something new together! We also try to explore a new playground once or twice a month which is creating a lot of memories together.

  16. Katrina Shaw says:

    We are a small family of three. Each week Miss 4’s father goes to State Emergency Service Training and we have a Mum and Miss 4 evening. At the moment she loves picnic so the choosen dinner is had as a picnic on the floor (with favourite toys of course) and although she is offered a movie, quite often we just play a board game or lego or something she wants to do. So instead of missing her father she looks forward to these special evening where she gets to decide things.

  17. Enjoying our trampoline. I love getting out there with the girls and having some fun. We play chasing games, and who can jump the highest. I write Miss 6’s sight words in chalk on there and make a game of it jumping on the right words and reading them out. She then writes her spelling words on there as I test her on them, all the while Miss 4 is happily drawing pictures in her little space on the trampoline. It keeps us all fit, is fun, something we can all do together plus we get most of the homework taken care of at the same time!

  18. We make the most of childhood by always making time for cuddles and laughs, no matter what.
    My daughter is going to love these Pony Pops, she’s already a big MLP fan 🙂

  19. We spend A LOT of time together with just our little family at home and doing “adventures” as our kids call them. We hike, we camp (in a tent) and we do walks up the creek and down the river. Even out little one (age 2!) family meals and doing our best to stick to a form of a routine. Soaking up each and every moment we can with them. 🙂

  20. Sure the childhood is definitely getting shorter and shorter. Yet is shouldn’t as we all know. However, the fact the we send our children to kindy’s , preschool and schools so young has a major blame on this matter. Our 3 year old do not really socializing they need their parents to be there for them, to help them with everyday life, they do not need another child/children to help them grow! They need us parents who decided to bring them into this world so we should stay responsible for showing them around. Socializing is one of the major misconception the society put son parents these days. Socializing yes is important but a normal, natural one! Our society doesn’t comply of only people of our age but we are mixture of ages. Anyway, going a bit off from missing childhood though it is all connected. Let the children be children by letting them explore the world with our help not the one of our children of their age. I come from Europe where we do no send children to school until thei are at least 6 though lots of parents keep their young home till 7 + years of age. We grew perfectly fine with no fancy kindy’s, or early start at school. We were allowed to play in the dirt, brooks, climb the trees to pick the fruits, just explore the world around us, not locked in kindy’s at such a young age as is popular in the “west”. Look at Finland educational system and you will understand more about childhood.sorry for the long post but I have kept it In For too long. Happy parenting

  21. With my two children I make sure that we go outside and play, we play games, hopscotch, whats the time MR wolf?? painting, make mud pies, set up picnic’s and shops, build cubby houses with chairs and old sheets. I know we have had a good time when I bath them at night and the water is dirty from all the play outside!!!

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  23. Todd Call says:

    We homeschool our kids, read to them daily, and involve them in outdoor and indoor projects. Right now I am building a wood shed and my two boys and oldest two girls are helping. They are also raising animals (chickens, geese, and they want horses and sheep) and gardening. I am self employed so my time is flexible and my stays at home with our 7 kids.

    Not only is it easy to forget about the importance of spending time with them, but we also inadvertently hurry them into adulthood when we expect them to act or think like us adults. David Elkhind talks about how easily that happens and what to do about it in his book The Hurried Child. Good book that I recommend to many people.

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