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The 10 Best Things About Being a Kid 50 Years Ago

Mark Gale

Mark Gale



Best things about being a kid 50 years ago

Playing outside until it got dark, attending Sunday School and knowing your neighbours have been named as some of the best things about being a child 50 years ago – according to the over 60s. A new poll by retirement housebuilder McCarthy and Stone has revealed the simple pleasures that over 60’s most treasure about their childhood. Use the dropdown list below to see the results by region and nationally.

  • Playing outside until it got dark
    Playing outside until it got dark
  • Having respect for your elders
    Having respect for your elders
  • Knowing all your neighbours
    Knowing all your neighbours
  • Sweets costing a penny
    Sweets costing a penny
  • Making dens
    Making dens
  • Climbing trees
    Climbing trees
  • Playing marbles
    Playing marbles
  • Playing conkers
    Playing conkers
  • Playing hide and seek
    Playing hide and seek
  • Trips to the sweet shop
    Trips to the sweet shop
Show more

Playing outside until it got dark, having respect for your elders, knowing all your neighbours have been named as some of the best things about being a child 50 years ago – according to the over 60s in the North East

Do you try to pass on some of your practical skills to your children and grandchildren?

What skills have you passed on to your children and grandchildren?

New research showed that simple pleasures like good table manners, jigsaw puzzles and dominos are what the over 60’s in the North East most treasure about their childhood. Good table manners, jigsaw puzzles and dominos were also listed as cherished memories, the poll found.

What Grandparents think about Grandchildren's attitude to learning practical skills?

22% of respondents in the North East think that their grandparent taught them invaluable skills and they think it’s important they are passed on to their grandchildren. 84.7% answer that young people can learn a lot from the older generation. 66,3% in the North East suppose that part of being a Grandparent is passing on their skills.

My grandchildren are not keen to learn new practical skills

Do you think being a child was more fun then than it is now?

64% of people in the North East said children were much better at making their own entertainment years ago. And 46% said they learned far more practical skills ‘back in their day’. Fortunately, 45 percent of grandparents in the North East said they passed on their wealth of knowledge to their grandchildren.

Yes, definitely
Yes, maybe
Do you try to pass on some of your practical skills to your children and grandchildren?

These findings were released to launch the search for GrandMakers as part of Royal Voluntary Service’s annual GrandFest – a one day festival taking place on June 18th in London. The event celebrates talented older people and the heritage skills they can pass on to the younger generation. Individuals aged 70 plus will be invited to volunteer to teach at a GrandFest master-class or those age 60 plus at a GrandFest event at a McCarthy & Stone development, where they will be able to share, learn, or brush up on their skills in crafts such as jam making, wood turning, weaving and more.

Help us pass on your practical skills to the next generation!

To apply to be a GrandMaker at the GrandFest events visit

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