What’s it Like to be a Kid?

Being a kid is much more complicated than we may think. While there’s plenty of playing, having fun, and socialising without a care in the world, it’s these childhood years that shape our future, and make us who we are. New research is starting to show us the importance of everyday experiences during childhood in terms of development, including family time, learning, and activities for kids. The problem is that, while children on one level know what they need to thrive, they’re often unable to articulate exactly what it is.

Do they need more structure or more freedom? Do they need more play time or more educational activities? As parents, it can sometimes be difficult to know what to do for the best. If only we could see the world through a child’s eyes…

Kids Today

Surf Excel have recently launched a new project, called Kids Today, which really does let us see the world through a child’s eyes. Using bespoke state-of-the-art technology, Surf Excel have opened up a whole new world of to us parents, giving us an insight into childhood from a kids’ perspective. The insights from Surf Excel’s research into kids’ activities shows us how our children learn from their environment and the people around them, and, most importantly, directs us towards those all important factors which shape our kids’ experiences.

As you may have guessed, there is no single thing a child needs in order to be happy – it really is a blend of different aspects and activities, which work together to create experiences that kids build upon to become well-rounded adults. Based upon the findings of Surf Excel’s EyeView camera, five essential subject important to kids today have been captured:

Play Face

Play may seem like fun, but it can also be highly educational to children. Studies have found that play ‘contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children’, whether that be structured indoor play, such as building a tower out of bricks – or unstructured, messy, outdoor play, where kids are given the ultimate freedom and encouraged to use their creativity, to make mistakes, and to learn from their surroundings.

Busy Kids

As we’re starting to understand the association between childhood experiences and successful, happy adulthoods, many of us are encouraging our kids to have a wide range of experiences, such as partaking in after school activities, signing up for extra classes or courses, or taking up a hobby. It’s really no wonder that (according to research done by Surf Excel for the Kids Today project) an astonishing 74 percent of us think our kids are busier than we were at that age.

City Kids

More than half of all mums interviewed for the Kids Today project reported that they would like their kids to spend less time watching TV or playing video games, but many kids living in big cities simply don’t have much opportunity to get out and about and to play in designated safe areas. These areas are important, however – footage captured by the EyeView camera demonstrates just how hectic urban environments can seem to young kids. Fortunately, there are plenty of outdoor activities that can be enjoyed in the city; we just need to use our imaginations.

What’s it Like?

Things have changed a lot since we were kids, making it challenging for us to identify with children today, and understand their thought and action processes. As Dr Jansari, the psychologist behind the Kids Today project, states: “What might look like messing around can really be a learning experience”. Just because we don’t understand a child’s behaviour doesn’t mean that it isn’t a vital part of their development.

Learning is Messy

Learning isn’t as straightforward as we once thought. Years ago, it was thought that the most important factor in creating successful adults was a school education, but now we’re seeing that children learn everywhere, not just the classroom. The process is quite complex and messy, but new technology is helping us to understand the complex spider web of learning more than ever before.

So, what’s it like to be a kid? It’s complicated! However, with major brands such as Surf Excel making childhood development a major focus, and with the introduction of new technology, we’re finally starting to be able to make more sense of this complex yet magical time in life.

The above post is a guest article from Surf Excel Team.