Friday, 12 June 2015

Go-Carts, Catapults & Midnight Feasts - A book review

101 Vintage Pastimes for modern kids

Go-Carts, Catapults & Midnight Feasts 101 Vintage Pastimes for Modern Kids
Author: Catherine Cox 
Published: June 2015 
Available from: and all good book shops
Priced: £9.99
ISBN: 978-0-7509-6429-6

If you like retro and you have children, then here is a book for you. 

If you would rather your children not resort to digital escapism, then here is a book for you.

If you have forgotten what it was like to be a child and have serious amounts of silly fun, then here is a book for you. Oh hoorah!

Whether it be making a periscope, building a camp, or simply remembering what it is to be young and roll down a hill, then here is a book, that is not actually only for you, but more importantly, for you and your children. A book full of fun ideas that will help nurture your precious relationships.

I read an article recently in The Guardian that reflected on how many children today are slipstreamed into educational paths at a very young age, that will see them headed for an elitist university, and therefore career, and I quote: 
"Play time is over, but did it ever begin? If these students have the kind of parents featured in the Financial Times last month, perhaps not. The article marked a new form of employment: the nursery consultant. These people, who charge from £290 an hour, must find a nursery that will put their clients’ toddlers on the right track to an elite university.” 
What ever happened to encouraging a child to think for themselves, to follow their dreams? What about what the child would like to do with their life? It goes onto say:
"They spoke of parents who had already decided that their six-month-old son would go to Cambridge then Deutsche Bank, or whose two-year-old daughter “had a tutor for two afternoons a week (to keep on top of maths and literacy) as well as weekly phonics and reading classes, drama, piano, beginner French and swimming. They were considering adding Mandarin and Spanish. ‘The little girl was so exhausted and on edge she was terrified of opening her mouth.’”
Through play a young child learns. Through exploration. Through experimenting. With security and love as the tools alongside. Better still, a parent to guide them, not a 'playdate coach' hired to train small children in the social skills that might help secure their admission to the most prestigious private schools.'

Way back when, I worked as a nanny, and all too often my charges had everything they could possibly ever want, aside that is, from feeling truly loved by their mums and dads. A playroom with shelves stocked from top to bottom with toys and games - yes, but a parent to share it with them for more than 30 minutes at a time - no.

Way back when, I travelled for months throughout a poverty-struck East Africa, and throughout my journey, discovered children that seemingly had nothing, and yet had everything. Love and smiles of a parent, making up for any materialistic provisions - and then some.

With the long school holidays around the corner, I can't help but feel this book comes at the perfect time, serving as a reminder to parents everywhere about what is important - to get stuck in with their children; to have fun with them.

The book is full of great ideas to do so, segmented into four inspiring sections: Outdoor & Adventurous, Art & Craft, Rainy Day and Science & Nature, each having an innocent hint of Famous Five-esque ideas, and humorous touches to boot.

Go-Carts, Catapults & Midnight Feasts is all about playing, exploring and experimenting. It is about living a happy childhood - again.

This summer holiday, Go-Carts, Catapults & Midnight Feasts let's you bring back the basics. Within this book, not one of the activities requires complex equipment, batteries, computers or access to the internet. It simply contains a mixture of frivolous fun and educational activities, including over 100 original line drawings, perfect for colouring in. I say it again... Oh hoorah! 

If interested, please read that Guardian article in full here.

Emma Oliver and the GraceFaith girls received a copy of Go-Carts, Catapults & Midnight Feasts in exchange for a review on the parenting/lifestyle blog LIFE AS IT IS.

For DISCLOSURE & DISCLAIMER, please view my page on LEGAL STUFF

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