Tagged history

History Explained for Toddlers

native-american-391108_1920Do you ever feel like you would like to impart some historical knowledge upon your toddlers, but struggle to explain significant events in history in terms they would understand? Fret no more: I present the definitive Guide to History for Toddlers.

 
1. Native Americans

You know when someone else has something you want, so you snatch it from them? And then you break it.

 
2. William Wallace

You know when you’re running half naked through the house, with something smeared all over your face, screaming, ‘You can take Peppa Pig away, but you’ll never take me up to bed!’

 
3. French Revolution

You know when you are surrounded by chaos, panic and disorder, but you’re just talking about eating cake?*

(*Yes, I know Marie Antoinette almost certainly never actually said ‘let them eat cake’.)

 
4. War of Independence

You know when you win a surprising victory against Mummy over something you want to do, but in hindsight it seems likely she was distracted by another battle going on with your sibling, and she wasn’t that motivated to stop you anyway?

 
5. Ancient Egyptians

You know when you worship the cat; one of your major methods of communication is drawing on the wall; and you like to construct massive and impressive structures in the living room, but no one is quite sure what they are for or why they have to be so big?

 
6. Gunpowder Plot

You know when you’re doing something you shouldn’t be doing and you get caught? And actually someone else told you to do it, but they’re not there? Well, that, but the punishment was a bit more gruesome than the naughty step.

 
7. Great Fire of London

You know how you aren’t allowed to help with cooking? This is why.

 
8. Cold War

You know when you have your sister’s favourite toy and she has yours, and you are both threatening to break the respective toys if either of you makes a wrong move? Mutually assured destruction, baby.

 
9. First World War

You know when you’re engaged in a battle and you have absolutely no idea why, but nonetheless feel very strongly that you must fight and the destruction must be immense?

 
10. The Crusades

You know when you think everyone else should worship Peppa Pig as much as you do, so you start trying to force other people (who were happy worshipping Game of Thrones) to observe Peppa Pig? And you torture them with high pitched wailing if they resist.

Toddler History (Toddler Lessons: Part Four)

Queen_Victoria_18873In Part Four of the Toddler Lessons series, we are studying History.

 
Toddlers understand that there is much we can learn from studying history. Here are five historical periods that have had a great influence on toddlers.

 
1. The Roman Empire

Like the Romans, Toddlers like to take the straightest possible route, carving their roads directly through the middle of toys, furniture and other people. All Roman roads led to Rome. All toddler roads lead to trouble.

Toddlers share with Romans a talent for leaving a permanent mark on the world. Some Roman structures have impressively stood for more than 2000 years. This is approximately how long toddler handprints will remain, irremovable, on the wall of your house.

Like Caligula (allegedly), toddlers are extremely likely to appoint a horse (or the cat, Iggle Piggle, or a very important piece of Lego) as their chief adviser.

In language similarities, no one really understands how either Latin or toddler verbs are conjugated.

 
2. The Dark Ages

Much like the Dark Ages, very little is actually understood about toddlers. Most of what is believed to be known about toddlers is, in fact, wrong.

Records of the Toddler Ages are mostly limited to blurred photographs of the ever moving subject, which tell us very little, and self-taken portraits of knees. Historians have bitterly debated the significance of knees to toddlers, with no agreement yet reached. Most written records of the Toddler Ages have been eaten, shredded or dipped in porridge.

There is known to be much crying and yelling during the Toddler Ages, but the causes of this remain a mystery to scholars and parents.

 
3. Tudors and Stuarts

Toddlers typically take quite a lot of their day-to-day lives from the reign of the Tudors and Stuarts. Like fickle affections. Yesterday’s favourite person is today liable to be divorced/beheaded/prodded with a tiny but lethal finger/called a naughty wolf (delete as applicable, depending on whether you are dealing with a toddler or Henry VIII). Following the teachings of their Tudor mentors, toddler ideologies are also subject to abrupt change. Everyone will be required to follow the toddler’s firmly held beliefs (it is 9am and therefore time for lunch), or be subjected to interrogation (‘Why?’) and torture (beatings with a plastic teapot). The beliefs themselves, however, will be abandoned and replaced with different beliefs quicker than you can say ‘Reformation’. ‘No, Mummy, we hate Mr Tumble.’ But…you cried for two hours this morning because you wanted to watch him.

If you have a toddler, just like the Stuarts, they have probably brought the Great Plague home from nursery (put chamomile lotion on it).

Neither toddlers nor the people of the Stuart period can be trusted with baking. (Though, in all fairness, The Great Fire of London might have been responsible for ending the Great Plague of London (see above). Of course, toddler baking is likely to only succeed in ending the cupcake tray. And Mummy’s eyebrow.)

Punch and Judy was introduced to England during the Stuart reign. It is introduced to most toddler households on a daily basis. Let’s face it, it wouldn’t be a Tuesday with a toddler unless the baby has been mishandled, someone has been yelled at, everyone has been hit repeatedly with some kind of stick-like implement, and a toy crocodile has turned up for no apparent reason. ‘That’s the way to do it!’

 
4. The Victorian Era

Toddlers have a great deal in common with the Victorians. They like to play with trains. They are very excited by telephones. They enjoy child labour. (Toddlers would willingly march off to the workhouse or scale a chimney. As long as they thought adults were doing it and they were not allowed, of course.) Any item of clothing that it is virtually impossible to walk in, and completely impossible to sit down in, is favoured as the most practical thing to wear by toddlers, just as it was for the Victorians before them. Bonus points if it trails on the floor and trips them up.

 
5. First World War

Toddlers seem to follow the model of the First World War for most of their conflicts. As such, toddler wars appear to involve pretty much anyone who is unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity. They largely revolve around vicious, but ultimately futile, battles, which don’t actually result in any kind of movement on either side. Following great blood shed, occupation of the disputed area of sofa remains unchanged. No one has the faintest idea how the war actually started or why they are fighting in it.

 
 

(Please Note: These eras are listed in correct chronological order. That is about as far as I guarantee the historical accuracy of this post.)

 
 

You can see other posts in my Toddler Lessons series here.

 
 
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