Dwelling on Childhood

Over the past few days you may have seen my Twitter dismay at someone I know buying their 4 year old an iPad…. AN IPAD? It’s hard to explain how I feel about this. It’s not the cost that I’m concerned about, or even the fact it’s an iPad. I think they’re really great for kids to learn and they utilise gamification for eduction in a great way – in moderation. But owning one? At 4? An adults electrical item? C’mon! What happened to the magic of childhood? We should be preserving this magic for as long as possible! Especially this day in age. And I know when I was 4 it was that special little beanie toy or awesome little Bucky O’ Hare figurine over that NES games system in a heart beat! (When I was 4 that is, not so much now)…..Saying that though, I’m a massively nostalgic person and find sentimental value in everything, so do find it hard to throw anything away. (read; hoarder)

When this video for Barclaycard landed in my inbox the other day, I did wonder how I could make this relevant, but when taking my iPad rant into account it certainly isn’t hard. I think there’s a lot to be said for maintaining the spirit of just being a KID! Especially at Christmas time. So let’s take some time to just remember a few things we used to enjoy as kids and how’s about, I dunno, instead of passing them the iPad and letting them play Angry Birds for half an hour, we crack out the Enid Blyton and have a good old fashioned story time instead. I mean we ALL have our favourite childhood story don’t we? Or that character which reminds us of being a kid so much! My character of childhood reminiscing is Snoopy. And I still have the scabby little Snoopy beanie toy that I had when I was a kid, he’s been every where with me, including the hospital that time I broke my leg (tragic incident involving getting ran over…. by a push bike) and has been in every place I’ve ever lived. Yeah he’s in a box somewhere, collecting dust, but I know he’ll always be there and there’s no batteries or operating system to update! Ah, the simple things…. I know we live in a digital, materialistic age and all that, but sentimental presents are worth their weight in gold and I think presents, particularly for Christmas and birthdays should be well thought out and hold more value in their memory than their cost. (queue ‘but an iPad has a 32gb memory’ joke)….


only does this advert capture the essence of what Christmas should be about – getting lots a toys!! – but it is also in aid of a great cause. Yes the advert does promote the ease of use for Barclaycards new contactless payment system, but it also will be raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital by donating £5 for every prize won when people enter the competition by using Shazam to ‘tag’ the advert. Which from working in a viral design agency environment I can appreciate the idea of! In fact, these new interactive ads are a little stroke of genius if you ask me. Barclaycard are actually doing a really impressive job of their online and mobile marketing too, and I’m actually pleased they’re utilising their Facebook timeline properly!! But that’s just the social media geek in me talking. Barclaycard are using the little monkey character ‘Mr B’ as the face of this campaign, which shows the slightly confused looking guy some toys to help with his Christmas shopping. I do hope he chose a nice teddy instead of an iPad, and donated the little wod he saved to children less fortunate at this time of year though…..


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A Girl I Know

Completely agree!! What is wrong with parents?! What will they buy their kids next year? A car?!


I agree kids are spoilt these days. My favourite toy was My Little Pony, although I'm older than you & gaming wasn't a big things when I was younger. We didn't have a home PC until I was at 6th form….oh how times have changed. I don't even have an Ipad so I am very jealous of that 4 year old but I find it incredibly sad at the same time. Also I think the meaning of Christmas is lost. Why do people spend these huge amounts of money they probably can't afford. I'm happy with socks for Christmas in… Read more »


When I was little I had the first game boy handheld console that weighed roughly the same as a brick, and my idea if "gaming" was half an hour playing Mario, and then I was bored of that and it was time for toys! The children in my family wouldn't dream of an iPad, and mainly because Lego still seems to be the name of the game! I've seen members of my family spend an entire Christmas building a poorly constructed Lego ship, but being so pleased with it that in their eyes it's the finest Lego cruise ship that… Read more »

MirrorOnThe Wall

I'm completely with you on this one, technology will inevitably take over kids' lives sooner or later but why hasten it? I always find it sad that kids no longer seem to play outside with their friends, in favour of sitting inside playing on the computer, or talking to their mates on MSN rather than actually going to see them. How are they supposed to grow up with any social skills? I must admit, I do personally think giving a child of four an i-pad is spoiling them, too – if they are showered with all the latest technology from… Read more »