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15 Memories from Childhood Our Children Won’t Have

By amberdoty |

Recently, my four-year-old became quite confused and irate with me when I refused to fast forward through the commercials of his favorite show. I tried to explain to him that not all television shows are recorded and that, unfortunately, in this instance he would be forced to suffer through a commercial break or two.

That’s when I realized the concept of live television was completely lost on my son. He is a child who has only known a world with DVR and instant streaming. I resisted the urge to tell him about the television of my youth: the dial you got up to turn, only a handful of channels to choose from, and a size that took up a good portion of our living room instead of hanging nicely on the wall.

This got me thinking about the differences in our childhoods, the advances in technology, and the things I learned that have since been rendered obsolete. I’ve put together a list of the top 15 things we experienced as children that our children will not.

What would you add to the list? Tell me in the comments!

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15 Things We Learned and Experienced That Our Children Will Not

Cursive Writing

When we were in elementary school, we were given workbooks to help us practice our cursive writing over and over and over again. Writing in script used to be how we communicated hand-written notes or formal letters. Now it's a font called Lucinda Handwriting and the computer does it for you. Kids will never know what it's like to wash pencil smear off their tired hands.
Photo Credit: Flickr

The nostalgia doesn’t stop here — check out these 10 tech relics we’ll have to explain to our kids!

Photo credit: Flickr



35 vintage toys we wish were still in our closet
The 26 most disturbing kids movies…EVER
10 places I don’t want to see your kids (or mine!)
14 little ways our kids drive us majorly crazy
10 movies I can’t watch now that I’m a mom

More on Babble

About amberdoty



Amber Doty is a writer, scientist, wife, and mother to two boys. On Babble, Amber wrote for both Strollerderby and KidScoop about parenting news, pop culture, raising school-age children and general parenting tips. More of her work can be found on her website, The Daily Doty.

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89 thoughts on “15 Memories from Childhood Our Children Won’t Have

  1. aquariann says:

    Schools don’t teach cursive handwriting anymore?! I had no idea.

    1. Jasmine E. says:

      I think this is incorrect, I do all of this stuff, with the exception of praying because I am not Christian or Catholic. But I have 3 different varieties to my cursive: Normal, my shorthand style writing, and Calligraphy.

  2. Audrey says:

    Very true, technology has changed everything. However, in our household (with 4 kids) sewing by hand is being taught, as well as baking from scratch and playing outside. I will do everything I can to keep my kids from being part of “obese” America. Our elementary school still teaches cursive starting in 3rd grade, although I don’t know how often they use it. And as for driving a stick shift, we have one and any luxury-type fast car should be a stick shift in my opinion. My first car was stick and I wish they made a stick shift minivan, seriously!

  3. Ordinary Sarah says:

    I did not know about the Triceratops!!

    We don’t have a Gps or DVR (yet) so hopefully we’ll hang on to those “old” traditions for awhile in our family.

  4. Meghan Gesswein says:

    Something I will miss: Planning a trip while looking at my dad’s giant road atlas.

    Something I do not miss: (So not going there, lest we start a prayer in school debate in your comment thread)

  5. nikki says:

    why i dont miss corporal punishment the rest of your list made me kinda sad

  6. goddess says:

    Weoll you taught me something today- that Triceratops i snot really Triceratops, LOL!

    As for scratch, my daughter and I are learning to bake and cook more and more from scratch- and it’s deeply satisfying and so much tastier. Perhaps her skills will make her a commodity one day~ Even my sons get in on the action.

  7. Jennifer says:

    As an interesting aside, the page with the encyclopedias has a nifty optical illusion in it: while you read the text below it, the books in your peripheral appear to be scrolling by as a video.

  8. LogicalMama says:

    My son is in 4th grade and every assignment has to be in cursive! We bake from scratch at home and we play outside.

    *You forgot the dial phone, that actually dials the numbers… where they have to wait for it to go all the way around before they can dial the next number.
    *And what about the corded phone, with the long coil cord that can reach from one of the kitchen to the other.
    *Or an answering machine? Almost all phone companies offer voicemail so the answering machine is no longer needed.
    *Who needs a dictionary, when you’ve got My son had to do an assignment where he had to find three words within his reading material that he didn’t know the meaning. He had to guess what he thought it meant, then look it up in the dictionary. Well, his student dictionary (we were at the dentist while he did this so we didn’t have our standard dictionary with us) didn’t have any of the three words so we were forced to look them up on!
    *Mowing the lawn (summer) or raking the leaves (fall) for profit at neighbors houses…. everyone has lawn services nowadays that kids can’t try to earn an honest living while helping out the neighbors!
    *a TV without a remote control! Heaven forbid they get off the couch to change the channel! Lest we forget having only a handful of channels to choose from– cartoons were on when the were scheduled, there wasn’t a set of channels strictly devoted to cartoons or kids shows!

    1. Arx says:

      We have a ROTARY phone complete with the “non”stretchy cord, it still works…up until we get a stupid machine asking us to punch in this or that number lol! BTW, Texas still has Corporal Punishment in their schools and they subbed in Silent Minute for Prayer Minute.

  9. cyndi says:

    I think it’s super sad people don’t sew and bake anymore……. do people really buy all new clothes every season?? I was totally not raised like that at all! But my mom and grandma, and eventually me, all sew. Everything…..if we need it we make it. Between my mom, myself, and some friends, I think we made everything for our baby, including food. I really feel like it’s better! It’s pretty weird eating a ready-made meal, and then to top it off, all you want to do is take a nap afterwords. Whats in that stuff?? We make all our bread products from scratch and make most everything we can from scratch. It’s time consuming but it’s fun if you like to do it, and when you are good at it it doesn’t take soooo long. I read a “recipe” the other day for turkey pot pie that involved thawing out frozen crust, and opening several cans of soup! That’s not a recipe.. lol. Yeah it’s “faster” but it’s not great, barely good. and making pie crust is like 4 ingredients. you can do it!
    I had no idea about the triceratops! that is crazy. The cursive thing is totally weird. I can’t imagine a business professional in the future not being able to have a decent signature…not sure if that’s how it will be but that’s what I picture.
    As long as they still MAKE film cameras it shouldn’t be a big sad thing, I guess. I do miss getting film developed. Don’t miss finding out how every photo was too dark or someone’s finger was in the way! I’ve easily taken 24 photos of kids and pets in a row and had to delete every one because of being blurry or moving their face at the last second.

  10. Jana from Germany says:

    My family has a game that we call the Encyclopediagame. All that we need is paper for everybody, a pencil and one volume of an encyclopedia per person. And then we search the books for things we do not know or words that sound funny. Once the first person found a word he/she announces it and everybody writes a encyclopediastyle definition. Then all definitons are gathered by the founder of the word and then he/she reads all definitions aloud. Then every player decides what he/she thinks is the right answer. (The founder wrote the right answer on his paper.) The founder of the word gets a point for all false identification and the invernter gets a point for his definition if it is chosen too.
    This is really fun and you can play it with grandmas and schoolchildren too! And it not only shows kids what na encyclopedia is, but you also need your cursive writing too!

  11. Suzie says:

    This list is ridiculous. Encyclopedias, balancing the check book, maps, and card catalogs all still exist, they’re just on the computer. The basic skills required to read a map or look up a fact will still be needed. Kids are still going to need to learn MLA format at know where countries and cities are located. People do still cook and clean and sew for themselves — if they didn’t, things like this website, which gets most of it’s traffic from the food section and it’s recipes, wouldn’t exist! It’s a shame PE is not doing so well in schools, but it will come back when the economy bounces back, because we are a country that prides itself on having great sports teams and winning the Olympics. The .001% of people who learned cursive in school and ACTUALLY USE IT will teach it to their equally artsy kids, or go into their classrooms and parent-teach for a day to make sure kids learn it because they are just that artsy. At the very least, kids will learn it to sign their names. Or do you think signatures will be replaced by retina scans in the next five years? And kids won’t play outside?? I mean, come on.

  12. amberdoty says:

    Sorry you didn’t enjoy it, Suzie!

  13. Allison Zapata says:

    Sounds like someone didn’t have their coffee this morning. *cough cough SUZIE cough cough*


  14. Scionkirk says:

    So, are dogs eating our wireless routers now instead of our homework?

  15. Liza says:

    Also a mom to a 4 year old, I agree w/most of Amber’s list.
    Here are a few I would add:
    banana bike seats: dorky or awesome??
    shoelaces (for those of us born pre-velcro era)
    roller rinks: a dying venue of social exercise-tainment
    sandboxes: as a mom, I wouldn’t want my kid playing in a pit of filth, but as a kid, they were kinda cool

  16. goddess says:

    LOL scionkirk- good one!

  17. LogicalMama says:

    @Liza– at some point, velcro becomes “baby” and the kids find their laced shoes more appealing, but they don’t know how to tie the laces. Do your child a favor and at some point get him/her laced shoes and teach the art of tying laces! Your child’s teacher will thank you! It’s not a lost art, it just happens a lot later in life!

  18. Elan says:

    don’t usually take the time to comment, but just feel like a few of these need to be addressed regarding my daughter –
    **cursive? I’m one of those teachers that thinks it builds important fine motor and hand-eye coordination stuff – she’ll learn it, even if it’s just to make cards pretty, yes that would be hand-written thank yous that she’ll learn as well.
    **maps? they are still way cool (to me!) my daughter already has one up in her bathroom as a shower curtain (6 months old is not to young to wonder at the pretty shapes and colors)
    **driving a stick? I do it everyday, it’s important to know in my book, I can borrow or rent any car, and I get better gas mileage – though they are getting harder to find new.
    **meding/sewing? Those are fun and necessary skills! Why should I throw away favorites when I can fix them – course all of her clothes are 2nd hand anyway, so it’s also necessary.
    **baking from scratch? Cake mixes have been around for over half a century and they haven’t killed nestle chocolate chip cookies yet, or my mom’s devil’s food cake, you can’t beat ‘em.

    Just because stuff is dated doesn’t mean the alternatives are better – and yes, mint balances my checkbook for me, but I still have to figure out where all the money has to go myself.

  19. LogicalMama says:

    Yeah, my list is better……..

  20. Robin | Farewell, Stranger says:

    What?! They downgraded Triceratops? I just heard they renamed Brontosaurus (or was it Brachiosaurus?) and apparently there’s no pterodactyl anymore either. This makes me feel like my elementary education is worthless.

  21. Jess says:

    Also, movie rental stores with aisles and aisles of movies and VHS tapes!

  22. Elyse says:

    Interesting. Hopefully my kids will see about half of these. I actually drive a stick shift (and I’ve only been driving for 8 years) and all three of my brothers know how to drive one too. The car I went to college with was the stick shift my parents taught my older two brothers to drive with. My oldest taught me when I got into town. My youngest brother and I both decided we wanted our first cars to be a stick shift :) I love it and am hoping it makes it to my daughter’s first driving lesson!
    I think I will also teach my kids cursive. My mom taught me otherwise I wouldn’t know it. My teachers in grade school actually required us to write in print which was tortuous for me because I never learned print as well as cursive.
    I <3 maps too. Something else they will learn. My parents had me navigate on cross country trips.
    As for cooking and sewing… even my husband knows how to do that. You bet the kids will too.

  23. Pam @writewrds says:

    Pen pals. People sent and received letters.
    Telephones were attached to walls. Once you left the house, you were pretty much out of reach and range.
    Games were played with dice and a board or a deck of cards at a table.
    And on and on and on… : )

    1. Kim says:

      There is no more regular pen pal, it’s called e -pal

  24. snakecharmer says:

    Some of these make sense…but some don’t. Cursive handwriting? Baking from scratch? If people care, then those things will always be around. I personally hate getting a note from a full grown woman that looks like a 7 year old chicken scratch and if something is made from scratch it means more time and effort went into it. It’s okay to use technology to cut corners sometimes, but the basics (like playing outside and reading a map when your GPS battery runs down) shouldn’t be pushed aside.

  25. ariela says:

    I think many of these things will certainly be a part of my (not yet born) children’s lives – maps? Not everyone has a GPS and even if you do, map reading is an important life skill!
    Sewing/mending – also an important life skill that will probably become even more important after the globalised economy finally collapses sometime in the not-too-distant future.
    Cooking/baking from scratch – Another important life skill that will most likely come in handy at some point in the future. Some of us Gen Ys are great cooks and enjoy baking from scratch, making our own sourdough, brewing beer, etc.. My mom refused to own a microwave and while it annoyed me growing up, I have now been microwave-free for more than a year and am thoroughly enjoying having to cook things from scratch!
    The Great Outdoors? This is up to the parents – if they don’t take the time or make the effort to take their kids outside and give them a sense of appreciation for playing outside, it’s their own fault. I don’t think you can blame ‘modern society’ or technology for that one.

  26. Barbara says:

    I think this list is great. It makes me nostalgic for things like the library card catalog and gym class. Although many things change over the years (my childhood was much different from my mother’s, and so on) I think the basic skills remain important. Cooking and baking, playing outdoors, and learning to repair things that break (clothing, household, toys) is just something that has become more a parent’s responsibility to teach. Readers of this site know this, but unfortunately there will be masses of people who won’t learn these skills because of this, and that is too bad. I cook from scratch, sew, get my 3 year old son outdoors every day, and repair things that break around my house; but I know these days this is my responsibility to teach. No four years of home ec for him like I had the luxury of (for which I am so grateful today).

  27. Mommyof4 says:

    I’m sorry, how far back is this author going? Corporal punishment in school? That was something my dad used to talk about and I’m in my 30s now. Thank goodness they don’t do that and they weren’t doing it when I was a kid! Never had prayer in school either. Other than the cursive and a few other things on this list, these items seem a couple of generations removed.

  28. amberdoty says:

    Mommyof4, I am 27 years old and I was paddled in school as a kindergartener and a first grader and we prayed every day before walking to the lunchroom to eat.

  29. stephanie says:

    Great list! I showed the picture of the television to my three-and-a-half year old son. He thought it was part of a chair!

  30. Lisa S. says:

    I was NEVER told to pray in school, ever. And there’s NO reason why a kid can’t follow a map. They still sell them (and we still buy them, what if you’re in the middle of a trip and the GPS goes kaput?). In fact, we have a poster sized US map hanging in the playroom.

    1. Gem says:

      Road maps used to be given (free) at the gas stations, where an attendant came out to fill your tank, check the oil and radiator levels, wash the windows and even check the tire pressure if you requested, all for no cost, other than the gasoline.

  31. rosie says:

    Enjoyed the list. I am 27 and there was corporal punishment at my school up til I graduated though I think they have banished it now (I hope!). I am pretty sure cursive is still being taught, at least here in Arkansas- unless it has been replaced by “Advanced Texting”.
    I have one more to add to the list- riding shotgun- now kids recommended to ride in back til they are what, 16? No, j/k, but really I think it’s like til they are 8 or 9. We used to climb in the passenger window to take shotgun.

  32. Linda says:

    I remember we had three television channels. If we visited our relatives in Oklahoma, they had two. And sometimes both stations showed the same programs. I was a five year old with a lit stick and a coffee can of fire crackers. We went outdoors and only came in when it was time to eat or it got too dark to see. Some stuff I did, I would not let my kids do ever, like shooting arrows in the air, straight up, and stand there waiting to see where they would land. I had an arrow land right next to my foot. Right next to it. It didn’t occur to me to be afraid. The only place my mother told me never to play was the railroad tracks. Guess where I played?

  33. coutterhill says:

    I work at a school, all the kids have to write in cursive; maybe the author is talking about rich schools where everyone has a computer. I love baking from scratch, because sometimes it’s less expensive. I do not miss balancing a checkbook, my grandmother does and it is irritating when she makes a mistake. I think we should work smarter, not harder. And buying all new clothes, what a waste of money! Sewing buttons is not that hard, even hems are not that hard! I did love playing outside when I was a kid, but I lived in a safer neighborhood than we do now, it’s an event when we trek to the park. I was never spanked in school, but I went to DoDDs schools growing up. I would never let a teacher touch my child. and I despise stickshifts, so no love lost there!

  34. Genevieve @ Turquoise Gates says:

    I homeschool, and my children have or are learning every single one of these “lost arts”. I see a big gap in public schooled children – although maybe they are more advanced in their use and understanding of technology. While my eight year old is learning cursive, she is a slow hunt-and-peck typist and will need remediation later on in middle school to catch up on computers, typing and touch screens.

  35. Dee says:

    In my youth there was no sex splattered all over the media and no celebrity culture apart from some film stars. Marriage meant something and families stuck together. There was absolutely no mention made of homosexuals.
    Too much information today brings about a loss of innocence and a loss of a lovely period of life that should be full of wonder and trust: the lovingly guided discovery of the world.

  36. Miba says:

    Wow, this was a very, very bad article. 99% of these are things that my kids are going to learn and do and I have no idea how they couldn’t. Writing in cursive? Of course they will, how else are they going to know how to sign their names? The great outdoors, wtf I don’t see how that counts at all! Reading a map? They still sell atlases you know and map reading is very enjoyable. Sewing? Really? I mean REALLY!??!? How can you possibly be remotely serious about that? Sewing is a MAJOR hobby and lifestyle and means to a living and the sewing community is growing. I sew and crochet. Baking from scratch? W.T.F. Ok, maybe YOU eat fast food all the time but some of us don’t. Triceratops as not a dinosaur? You are aware that scientists change their minds about dinosaurs every other week right? Stick shift? Maybe you’re rich enough to afford a brand new 50,000 dollar car but for the rest of the world we’re still driving cars from the 80s. Also I see no reason why encyclopedias would be gone.

  37. amberdoty says:

    Thanks so much for reading, Miba! Have a great day!

  38. MAMom says:

    One thing I must add to the balancing the checkbook is actually writing the check and a deposit slip. Right now, I am furthering my education with going to school to become a Medical Assistant. We have an Office Procedures class and our instructor REALLY had to take 3 hours to teach a class of 15 students to write ONE check and ONE deposit slip. There is no reason that kids graduating today cannot do these things. I’m not that much older (I just turned 30), but in High School, we learned that in sophomore year. Ugh.

  39. Anita says:

    This list is amatuerish. They DO still teach cursive in school, not everyone uses a GPS, and my Cub Scout son can read a map better than his father ever could! I drive a stick-shift, and unless you have so much money that you always have more than enough money, you still have to balance your checkbook. I also sew and so do my kids – maybe not every day, but all of my kids have made their own Halloween costumes since they were teenagers. What kind of computer, gadget, servant-driven life does this author lead!?!

  40. mary says:

    What about 8 track?
    Roller Skates with keys, and four metal wheels?
    Rabbit Ears for your TV?
    My grandmother’s generation would have said the outhouse, progress can be a good thing.

  41. Xenobia4 says:

    I find most of this ridiculous. Baking, playing outisde, film, sewing, whatever. Even if my kids can’t learn it in school, I’ll teach it to them as a parent. Going outside and catching fireflies, going for walks in the woods and climbing the cliffs, swimming in the creek – my kids will know that and technology will be limited, just like it was for me when I was growing up. I’ve been around computers my entire life, but nothing compared to going out and rolling around in the dirt. Coming home muddy and your parents hadto hose you off before they’d let you come in the house.

    Baking? My family never eats fast food or frozen dinners. We cook and bake, which is what I’ll pass on to my kids. People tend to raise their kids the way they were brought up; if people would stop complaining about everything and just take the time to teach their kids and spend time with them, these problems won’t occur. But, no. Everyone wants the electronic babysitters.

  42. Diane says:

    I too have to wonder what lifestyle you have and where you get this info. My daughter is in the third grade and since Christmas break has had to write everything in cursive. They play dodge ball, do push-ups, chin-ups, curls, etc. in gym class. There are still teachers that pray before snack or lunch, or may have ie.”a moment of silence”. Their school has a ” See you at the Pole” where they meet early at the flagpole in front of school to pray together. And there is still corporal punishment in many school districts, (which is used very rarely}. but there is also a paper a parent can sign so your child is not punished this way. Oh, and they do still have card catalogs in the school and public library. As for sewing and baking we still do that too! We also use a dictionary, have a stick-shift, read maps(they also teach that in school),play outside, build forts, swim in creeks make mud pies and salad out of berries and grass, catch fireflies, go camping, (sometimes even in the backyard). We only have TV from the antenna, we go to church, my girls play sports, belong to 4H (yes, they are still around with wonderful programs, classes and clubs), ride bikes, etc. Yes, they do like the computer, but it’s monitored. As for’s sad, a dinosaur is a dinosaur, I despised encyclopedias and Please teach them to balance a checkbook. THE POINT IS: Your Children Will Know What YOU Take The Time To Teach Them, along with Values, Morals and Faith.. These are life’s riches and treasures, they make your kids who they are and who they’ll become. They merely exist without them. You get what you give. Think about it!

  43. Diane says:

    I too have to wonder what lifestyle you have and where you get this info. My daughter is in the third grade and since Christmas break has had to write everything in cursive. They play dodge ball, do push-ups, chin-ups, curls, etc. in gym class. There are still teachers that pray before snack or lunch, or may have ie.”a moment of silence”. Their school has a ” See you at the Pole” where they meet early at the flagpole in front of school to pray together. And there is still corporal punishment in many school districts, (which is used very rarely}. but there is also a paper a parent can sign so your child is not punished this way. Oh, and they do still have card catalogs in the school and public library. As for sewing and baking we still do that too! We also use a dictionary, have a stick-shift, read maps(they also teach that in school),play outside, build forts, swim in creeks make mud pies and salad out of berries and grass, catch fireflies, go camping, (sometimes even in the backyard). We only have TV from the antenna, we go to church, my girls play sports, belong to 4H (yes, they are still around with wonderful programs, classes and clubs), ride bikes, etc. Yes, they do like the computer, but it’s monitored. As for’s sad, a dinosaur is a dinosaur, I despised encyclopedias and Please teach them to balance a checkbook. THE POINT IS: Your Children Will Know What YOU Take The Time To Teach Them, along with Values, Morals and Faith.. These are life’s riches and treasures, they make your kids who they are and who they’ll become. They merely exist without them. You get what you give. Think about it!

  44. Amy Gansel says:

    I remember when I was a kid, taking walks in the woods with my friends, going miles and miles,just walking and discovering things, as long as we were home before dark. My mom would look at us like we were crazy if it was nice out and we were in the house, she would promptly tell us to get out! Nowadays with kids being snatched straight from our front yard, the days of those long walks unsupervised are over!!

  45. crystal says:

    We still do a lot of these things in my house.. we play outside (no matter the weather.. dance in the rain, splash in the puddles, enjoy the sun, etc), we cook from scratch – I dont like all the chemicals in todays foods, we don’t watch much tv, we play with maps, even create maps.. If you aren’t doing these things, that is your own decision.. not the worlds.

  46. Over Seventy says:

    One of my fond childhood memories is riding in the rumble seat. Growing up in the ’40s, all we could afford was a ’32 Ford. It was equipped with a rumble seat, and my brother and I loved riding in it in good weather. It’s a wonder we survived riding around unprotected like that — and without seat belts, no less! ;-) )

  47. Clarence Honnold says:

    My grandkids will never know safety in school. I went to the”toughest” high school in Denver CO, which is now in “the ghetto,” – if that term itself isn’t obsolete. We had a rifle range in the basement (ROTC) with live ammo, locked up, of course, but still there. There was NEVER an inkling of any trouble because of that. Liberals have totally ruined the educational system and most of the rest of the country with it.
    I appreciated Diane’s comments. You go, girl!

  48. PJ says:

    Brontosaurus is also not a dinosaur, jsyk.

  49. PJ says:

    Prayer in school? You’re how old? Because at 33, I can say unequivocally, never did that. Nor was corporal punishment around.

    Also, losing the great outdoors? That’s on you as a parent, dear. It’s still there. But if you don’t take your kid(s) out to play, and instead YOU sit in front of the tv/computer, naturally they’ll pick up that habit.

    Overall, an unimpressive, poor, list.

  50. amberdoty says:

    PJ, I am 27 and in Kindergarten through grade four I went to school in school systems in Alabama. We prayed in school every day before lunch and I was paddled several times. Not everyone had the same experience as you. I know that may be hard for you to understand. Also, many schools are doing away with recess. So, that is my motive for including outdoors.
    Have a nice day.

  51. blondie says:

    I can see how some of these things do seem like things of the past, but it seems to me that if a parent wants the child to learn something- teach it!! Don’t leave it up to the public scools- they are so lacking these days (and I have spent 18 years getting an education in the public system!) The other thing I’d like to say is that those of you getting all bent out of shape because YOU never had to pray or get swats and YOU still drive standard tranny cars and not of these items pertain to YOU… well, that’s nice. Good for YOU. It’s funny how you have such a wholesome life but still find time to gripe and complain anonomously over such trivial things on the internet. Go play outside- it will make you smile.

  52. jackie says:

    stick shift; at 16 I had to learn to drive my Dad’s stick truck before I could even touch Mom’s automatic car
    sewing, baking, cooking, encyclopedias, maps; my children learned all those things from me. So did my grand-children and now my great grandchildren are learning, both from me AND their parents
    as for outside playing; TURN OFF THE TV AND COMPUTER

  53. Katie says:

    Actually, the Torosaurus/Triceratops thing isn’t true. They thought it was for a while, but recently two scientists named Nicholas R. Longrich and Daniel J. Field came to the conclusion that it simply wasn’t true after a careful analysis of the skulls and a young adult specimen of the Torosaurus. There were far too many significant differences in the skulls.

  54. Charisma says:

    I can see the author’s point on many of these, whether or not I agree… 1st corporal punishment/prayer in schools; as someone from the west coast (California) I honestly had no idea ANY schools did that after the 50′s… my parents never had it, and as a 32 yr old, I’ve never witnessed it, so it is understandable why there is confusion -by many about this subject. Certain skills, like map-reading, cursive, and checkbook balancing are necessary and probably won’t disappear soon and many people have made valid points why. As far as sewing/baking/yardwork, etc, I measure my time in money, basically. If it’s much cheaper/less time consuming to just buy something so that I have more time to spend with family and friends (walking down a path in nature), I’ll do that. If it’s just a button I need, or a customized costume for Halloween or parties, I’ll bust out the sewing box. Much of the changes in life are a balance between what’s necessary and what’s not…

  55. Marilyn says:

    I had roller skates that went over my shoes and you had to tighten them with the key.

  56. Chris says:

    Out of this whole list the one that makes me the saddest is the film cameras. I kept mine from when I took photography in college. I have another that I still use. I’m a graphic designer and just switched to a SLR at Christmas. I will keep them to pass on, they might be worth money some day.

  57. Elise says:

    My children walked to and from school, as I did. My grandkids and every other child I know is driven so they will not be kidnapped. It is no more likely to happen now than it was 50 years ago, but, due to extensive media, we are all far more fearful. I loved the time to adjust from home to school, to wander slowly, daydreaming, or chasing and running with the other kids on those daily walks. The same is true about playing outside. An adult needs to be on watch so the children are safe. They can’t go to the park alone or ride their bikes out of sight. We drive stick shifts, make many of our own clothes, cook all our food from scratch, and the kids have their chores they are not paid to do, but do as a contribution to the good of our family.

  58. Brandy says:

    I’m 29 and encountered prayer and paddling in school. I do believe that parents can be to blame for lack of activity outdoors,

  59. Lilly's momma says:

    My daughter, and any children i may have in the future WILL know what it is to play outside, because, we as her parents will make sure her little butt GETS out there to play, just like we did! We had video games in our homes, and all the movies you could want to watch, but we still made it outside every single day!! She just turned one in August, and she LOVES to be outside! If you allow them to sit inside and do whatever they choose to do, that’s what they are going to do. People need to learn how to be parents again, and not worry so much about being their children’s friends. They’ll still love you and will RESPECT you more that way! If people took time to do things like teach them how to use a map, or let them help make dinner, they’ll know how to do those things. We’re not born knowing how to do these things, someone had to teach us, and it is or job to continue to teach the next generation. People want to work all the time to pay for those 300+ channels and GPS’s, and e-readers, and video games, not realising it is more important to spend TIME with your children. Get them the e- reader, but still buy them books to read. I have a kindle and i love it, but continue to buy and read tangible read books by my favorite author, and my daughter already has a shelf full, some of which were mine as a child. As long as people continue to buy and use these things, they will always be around. :)

  60. tray says:

    My memories from childhood that my child/grandkids won’t ever have are numerous, cause I’m 2 days older than dirt.

    Here’s one:

    I not only saw a herd of buffalo up close, but I was chased by several of them when I was only six years old after they broke through the fence. I guess they got annoyed at me taunting them. Scared the hell out of me. Most people don’t know it but Buffalos are mean and aggressive.

  61. Lissa says:

    I remember when I was in elementary school, we were in that transition period. In my early years of elementary school our library still had the card system, but by the time I got to 5th grade we had converted to computers.

  62. jenn says:

    actually i have to disagree, while some of those may be true, such as taking photos with film, i plan on making sure my boys are able to enjoy most if not all of these things listed. while at religious schools they still pray in the mornings, there certainly isnt cursive writing anymore, but lucky for me i saved my cursive writing books, and they can still be acessed online, i feel cursive writing to be usefull still as it is such a beautiful way of expressing yourself. as for the outdoors we spend most of our summer out in the middle of no where camping, while its in a camper, its still our camping, we still go hunting and fishing, we are also teaching them to live off the land, gardening and such.
    the mending and sewing, and baking/cooking from scratch we practice on a daily basis….so some families may loose some of these classic memories for there children, but not all….

  63. Maria says:

    My oldest daughter asked for a polaroid camera for christmas and has taken some amazing photos…she designs ,makes patterns and sews her own clothes…My youngest daughter is not happy unless she is outside playing..They both go to schools that have prayer and say their own at times..
    We have encyclopaedias that we look at for fun..
    They both play sport at school and love it..(gym class)
    The oldest one writes in cursive and the youngest one copies her..
    We have always baked from scatch…it tastes better..and takes about 3 minutes longer ..
    I would like to own that card catalogue …it looks very cool..
    oh and Pluto will always be a planet in out house…its ok to know the truth but have your own opinion isn’t it?

  64. raidramon0 says:

    One childhood memory our children won’t have is going to the video stores. Why walk halfway across town to rent a game when you can just download it directly onto your gaming system? Or have physical copies mailed directly to your door? They’ll never know the joy of going to the video store to rent the latest releases and buying a bunch of junk food while playing said game all weekend. Ah, good times.

  65. tomi says:

    My son takes pics with a film camera, we bake from scratch, he is learning cursive, he knows about pluto, can sew, knit and crochet. Lots of outside time and adventurous games. He is even building a hut. Your children’s childhood is what you make it. If you rely on electronics, then you will have an electronic kid.

  66. ken mallek says:

    you forgot the most important one, no more pledge allegiance to the flag. we are in the United States of America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  67. VRG says:

    Gone the good old days when the board of education went across the seat of knowledge.

  68. Julie says:

    Just wanted to say it is “LuCIDA Handwriting” not LuCINDA. OK, I will go crawl back in my nerd hole now! :)

  69. Tom Char says:

    Hey Dude… It seems that you are level headed and shaped by your life’s experiences. I would like to make one small observation….. Your childhood raised as a catholic should not be the standard of measurement of religion and especially of one’s belief in god (big or small “g”)…. Also lacking faith is not because one does not believe but rather a choice one makes…. With regards to morals and ethics, it’s not if your son with have morals with or without faith in god but rather “what kind” of morals he will choose to use to make decisions in life…. The bible is full of stories, but if there is good in what is written should we not view it as a way to educate ourselves to better our lives?? It seems at the least very practical for day to day living… In the end there is nothing in the bible that is harmful but only good if 1) understood in the right way and 2) followed with the right attitude….. By putting forth the effort to see value in the bible is what makes it the best seller of all time… As much of the world of mankind agrees…. Enjoy!!

  70. Roger says:

    How about swimming naked at the YMCA (boys)? We were told that fibers from bathing suits clogged the filter system so swim trunks were actually prohibited. And how about EVERY boy having to shower after PE class in a tiled multi-shower room? Instructors monitored the locker room and you had to hurry or else be late for your next class. If you felt embarrased to be naked in front of your peers you just had to get over it. We all did. After a while everyone just got used to it.

  71. fonda says:

    i think about the homemade soap from lard, sprinkling your clothes with water to be ironed later with a stopper with holes in it stuck in a soda bottle, 45 and 78 rpm records, having to get up to change the tv or radio station, not having to worry about being ridiculed for saying a prayer or the pledge to the flag. my grandfather used to take all 8 of us grandchildren down to the post office and let each one of us take turns hooking the mailbag up so the train could swoop it up as it came down the railroad tracks. the 1940 and 1950′s were wonderful times.

  72. Sherbrooke says:

    On an international scale, 90% of the cars on the road are not automatic. I chose a manual car over an automatic because you have more control over the car and no I am not of “vintage” age!!
    The only thing I really wish would be that the 3 countries in the world that still use the Imperial measuring system would make that a distant memory.

  73. David Bowman says:

    I was my Dads remote. He wouldn’t get up out of “his” chair, I would hear, boy get up and change the channel. Thankfully there were only about 5 channels. and yes, If he got home from work and walked in the living room, you got up if in “His Chair” He didn’t have to say a word, you knew. I miss my Father more than anything these days. When I was 16, I never thought I would say that. I love you, Dad.

  74. Lynn Rogers says:

    My kids and grandkids will still know and experience many of these things….prayer, cursive, the outdoors, punishment of many kinds with the love, cooking from scratch….sewing will be more basic than my grandmothers (she was a professional tailor), I still have encyclopedias and they are worth looking through occasionally. The card file is definitely gone though we use some of the number and alphebatizing skills in other ways…This article made me feel very old.

  75. Beverly says:

    We had “a moment of silence” during announcement time, after lunch, at my school. No one knew or cared if you prayed or daydreamed or practiced multiplication tables in your head — the only required thing was silence. So there was no controversy.
    I am a children’s librarian, and am appalled when I talk to some of the kids, who have no idea what else there is to do for fun besides technological amusements. (Why are they at the library? Because they or their parents are using the computers.) When a couple of kids who had no back yard and no TV limit asked me with horror what I did when I was a kid, and I reeled off a list, I discovered that they did not know what sidewalk chalk, roller skates, checkers, hopscotch, or jump ropes were!

  76. dinoguy says:

    Triceratops was named before Torosaurus, so in the unlikely event they are the same dinosaur, it will be named Triceratops. There is no Brontosaurus. Apatosaurus is the same dinosaur, and named first. This was resolved in 1903, but the general public just hasn’t caught on yet.

  77. Kitty says:

    My parents would get us all in the car and we would go on a “Sunday drive”. It was great family time, we sometimes had great adventures and even learned a thing or two about places to visit in the state.

  78. angela says:

    Just because there’s a cursive font out there doesn’t mean children wont learn how to write in cursive. There were cursive fonts available in the 1990s.

  79. Michele says:

    Yeah, but then when you get old again, you h ave to go back to velco, because of diseases, like arthritis. Lol.

  80. Russell Moore says:

    What I wish is kids could grow up watching Looney Tunes on tv every Saturday morning! (Before they were politically incorrect) Then every kid in the neighborhood would be out playing football,baseball or even army out in the woods. Our parents didn,t worry. They knew we would come home when we got hungry!

  81. MEL says:

    There’s a good reason kids no longer play dodge-ball: It was nothing but school-sanctioned bullying. It taught kids aggression, and that it was OK to attack the weak. And before any of you says, “Well, if you couldn’t handle it, you shouldn’t have played,” I don’t know about the rest of you, but in my school system you had no choice. I usually did my best to get taken out early, so I could sit out the cruelty-fest. We have enough problems with aggressive people in our gun culture without teaching our young to beat up on their peers in the name of fitness. Let them play basketball, or baseball, or soccer, or do calethenics, or run a few laps. But lose the “Let’s See If We Can Hurt Tommy” game.

  82. Natalie says:

    Rolling down a window by hand!
    It never dawned on me that kids today not only have not had to rolled down a window with a handle, but also have no idea what the universal sign “to roll down a window” by moving your fist in a circle means, until we got a car without the electric package. All the kids in the neighborhood love to come over and roll down the windows “when the car is not on!” It is so amazing to them! Ha!

  83. Scott says:

    How far back is this list going?

    Because in the 80s and 90s, I never had prayer in school.
    You want prayer in school, send your kids to a church that has a school.

  84. Paula says:

    Kids today won’t remember a home phone where your “private” conversations could be heard by the family and you answered the phone by saying “Jones residence, Billy speaking” and then had to go look for the person the call was for.
    Our home phone had a very long curly cord on the receiver so we could go around the corner into a bedroom and shut the door. (:

  85. Craig Miller says:

    Our kids can experience many of the things on this list at a Waldorf School. My children made homemade bread and soup every week in Kindergarten, right down to grinding their own wheat. They do handwork weekly, including sewing, knitting, clay work, and woodworking. They have to write all their work in cursive and are not allowed to use a computer. They must do their own artwork for their main lessons, not import images from the web. They have games time and PE and each year they participate in their own greek Games, with races, javelin throwing etc. While there is no corporal punishment, they are taught from Kindergarten on to clean up their class each day. They sweep and organize and leave the room ready for the next day before they leave and thus learn about responsibility. They spend time at the local farm learning to respect where their food comes from and raise heir own chickens and sheep during 4th grade. There are still schools for our children to experience nature, art and learn at the same time.

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