While chatting with friends, the conversation turned to children’s TV (Don’t ask me how we got there?!) when we were kids. Of course, in the early days we didn’t even have a TV but later on, even in black and white, Blue Peter and the various presenters from that time.

We mused for a while and started to remember a few other things. Entering a competition and winning a book! I am not sure how that would go down these days but at that time, the competition would have been well oversubscribed!

That brought us on to Christmas and getting an Annual. They were magical things then. Full of things to do, some of which you would not be able to tell kids to do now, interesting articles, things to make. Annuals were the joy of Christmas for me. I think the first one I remember was Jack and Jill but later on the Blue Peter Annual, the Eagle Annual and others were a joy to get.

There were other books too. The Dangerous Book for Boys had all sorts of things in from marbles to making a pinhole camera. Insects and reptiles. There was probably a section on making your own dynamite (I may be exaggerating there a bit). There was even one for girls (who were explained in the Dangerous Book for Boys) called the Daring Book for Girls (which probably had a section on boys).

Does anyone still do this kind of thing with their kids now? These and similar publications had me out of the house, exploring the local wood (on our bikes of course, with the mudguards removed!) and taking my imagination to the stars.

I would love to hear any comments or memories you may have on this, just leave them in the comments box at the bottom of the page.

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