what does life look like through the eyes of a child

“You will never know what it is like being me.” The words of some famous French philosopher? In fact, the words of my daughter as we look through the animals page of our children’s encyclopaedia. How can a six year old know that? And what does life looks like through the eyes of a child?

One of my favourite books is “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”, where the number 42 is revealed as the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.

The passage where they are asking Deep Thought the question contains this exchange:

“Why do we never think of things like that? … Dunno. Think our minds must be too highly trained”. Experts have preconceptions, and these limit creativity – and can substitute knowledge for understanding.

The section where the Answer is finally provided is equally illuminating. After 7.5 million years, the Answer is ready. Deep Thought is strangely reluctant to reveal it. “I don’t think you are going to like it”, he predicts. After much persuasion, he provides the answer: Forty-two. And they don’t like it.

At last they knew the answer. The problem was that they didn’t know the question.

So this brings me to my children. They just do what is natural and right. They are not too highly trained, and they instinctively know the question.

And I have a surprising insight into the minds of my three children. You see, they all have fully functioning mobile devices. They love videos. And their long term favourite app is the camera app.

Now, you understand, no one has told them what they should be shooting, or even how the camera works. Play is about trying things out, exploration, trial and error. And doing what feels right.

My children shoot the things which interest them – my three year old has hundreds of selfies and shots of people’s legs. My six year old videos her sisters, as well as many shots of things which I just take for granted – close ups of toys on the floor from various angles, bugs in the garden, that sort of thing. My eight year old shoots beautiful things.

They film what they see and is important to them. This is truly a child’s eye view of the world.

And how do they shoot? A mixture of front and back camera. Sometimes many pictures, sometimes one. They shoot what comes naturally.

And they always shoot portrait.

Stephen B. Streater
Forbidden Technologies plc


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