Issues relating to the youngest children


By Tim Lomas, published 31st May 2000

History plays an important role in the development of young children’s understanding of their world. It can broaden children’s experiences beyond the immediate present, to a time in the past, which might be only a few years ago or which might extend much further back in time. ‘Tell me about when I was little’, is a recurrent question from young children. Children are interested in their own personal histories and those of adults around them. The dramatic changes which occur in children’s early lives are not only fascinating for young children ‘Did I really use to fit into that baby-gro?’, but they also reinforce children’s sense of self and identity - ‘This is how I have changed since I was a baby - I am bigger and can do many more things.’ As children listen to stories, phrases such as ‘once upon a time’ or a ‘long time ago’ provide starting points for the exploration of different lifestyles, values and beliefs of people in the past.

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