Working in pairs, investigate the changes that have occurred in our ideas of what childhood means. You should find two people over the age of sixty-five (older, if possible) who are willing to be interviewed. Explain why you wish to interview them. You will probably find that your interviewees are quite happy to give you detailed information if you approach the interview in a sensitive manner.

Design a list of questions to ask. These should include information about the size of their families; how they spent their leisure time, such as the games they played at different ages; their education; the age at which they had their first job; what they wore and toys they owned. You will probably be able to suggest other questions to ask.

Once you have your notes of these interviews, you should make a list of the differences you have found between your own experience of childhood and that of your interviewees. How did their view of what ‘childhood’ means differ from your own?