Yet its interesting isn't it, because apart from having age in common, today's children are just as diverse a group as gen Y, gen X or the baby boomers. Children's needs, interests, wants and desires are as diverse as their age, abilities and culture. They are no more homogenous than any other group.
Perhaps it is because we were all once kids ourselves, that we think we know what they like, yet childhood trends and fads can change in the blink of an eye. In the age of rapidly changing technology, what is current in children's lives today, may not be tomorrow.
"I wonder what the next expression of children's culture will be. And I wonder if the adults around them will notice."
I have a favourite example of how wrong we can get it. A couple of years ago I worked with a bunch of kids and a graphic designer to come up with a name and logo design for the City of Subiaco's new children's advisory group. The designer took the ideas and drawings of the children involved and presented three different logos to council staff. In our office, we were pretty sure there were two designs the kids would really like, the third we were adamant wasn't going to appeal. It was too corporate and definitely not child friendly. We put it to a secret vote and when the results came in, we were astounded. It was a landslide, sixteen to one in favour of the one we were sure they were NEVER going to choose.
What was going on? It didn't have cute characters, it didn't have funky writing, it wasn't child friendly, right? Well we asked the kids, and what they revealed was eye opening. They said that they wanted the group to be taken seriously and they wanted to be associated with the council. They were a local government advisory group and they were important!!
So next time you're planning a program for kids, or a recreation service, a school holiday program or a play space, take some time to ask the kids for their opinions. You may be surprised at what you find out!