old technology I want my kids to know about

I got my first smart phone a couple months before my oldest was born, which means he has never known life without this multifunctional tool. My children take for granted that this little rectangle their mom loves so much is home to a camera, a photo album, a map, their grandparents, a messaging center, a gaming system, a flashlight, a music player, a toy catalogue, and much more all in one.

This irks me, so I’ve started collecting and compiling a list of things I want to collect to teach my kids about all the single-function gadgets I thought were so cool when I was a kid. For them but also for me because I still happen to think these things are pretty fun :).

So without further ado, here is Part 1 of Old Tech I Want My Kids to Know About:

1. Non-digital Photography


One day I think it would be really cool to develop film in an actual dark room, to show my little techies that photography has not always been so instant but since I’ve never actually done that myself, this old school Polaroid camera shall do. Now I realize this is still “instant photography”, but there is no screen to look at the pics right away, AND the photos actually take around 10 minutes to fully develop, AND (and this is the big ones) the film costs around $3-4 per photo- there will be no taking 300 selfies of your nostril with this bad boy.

Addison hunted this camera down for me for Christmas and it seems to be in working order but I’m just waiting until I have an awesome photo shoot idea to test it out becauseย given the cost of the film each picture kind of feels like an investment! I can’t wait to share the results though ๐Ÿ™‚ Not sure how I’ll do that though- I guess scan the photos into the computer? ORRRR I could snap a pic of the photos with my iPhone. Oh the irony. (I think. Is that irony? Or is it meta? I can never be quite sure).

2. A Clock-Radio


It’s a clock, it’s a radio. Two functions, that’s it. (incidentally, it’s actually very difficult to find JUST a radio). I love listening to the radio, the CBC in particular. I like that you just turn it on and you get what you get. There’s something sweet about tuning into the same live programming as people across the country, it’s like the original social media. I had not been able to tune into my favorite radio show for a while because the streaming feature on my phone app isn’t streaming properly, so RADIO was on my Christmas list this year. Addison hunted down not one but two old-school clock radios for me so we tuned in many a day over the holidays. I find that radio buzz quite comforting actually, and I hope my kids will come to think so too.

3. Calculator


Single function AND solar powered. I used to love playing with these when I was little. I would type in all sorts of imaginary calculations. The buttons are so much more satisfying to press than a touch screen. And what I really love about them is that besides spelling a couple cheeky words, you really can’t get into much trouble. No phone calls to China, no accidental purchases, etc.

4. Acoustic Piano



I will always prefer an acoustic piano over an electric- no matter howย weighted the keys or authentic the sound. There is something about a real piano that makes a house feel more like a home.

When I teach piano lessons I love opening up the piano at some point to show my student how it works. It looks intricate and complicated but what it comes down to is just a hammer hitting a string. It’s simple and it makes sense to me, which is probably the same reason I gravitate to all low tech stuff.



That ends part 1. I will add more to the list as I build my collection ๐Ÿ™‚

What would you add to the list? What low-techย or old tech gadget would you love to share with your kids?

9 thoughts on “old technology I want my kids to know about

  1. …. books ! I love real paper books ! the smell… turning the pages…. holding it and seeing how much of the thickness I still have to read! I loved sharing books with my children !


    1. Although my kid has grown up, I would like my grandkids to experience the process of playing a record or otherwise known as vinyls. The whole process of taking the 78 or 45 out of its sleeve and placing it carefully over the record player and moving the arm to place the needle on the record was exacting and made the listener anticipate the sound from the player. I wish I had kept my vinyls but gave them away in my last move. Rats! Beautiful writing Bethi,


      1. Thankyou!! A record player is definitely on my list – we had one when I was a kid and it was always really special listening to music on it because we only had a few records. It is SUCh a different experience from the way we listen to music now. Although I’d be worried my kids would break a record player pretty quickly- maybe when they’re a little older ๐Ÿ˜‰


  2. I love this SO much! I can’t wait to see what photo ideas you come up with. You have a beautiful eye for taking the perfect shot. As well as setting up for hit. “300 selfies of your nostril” ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ Hilarious!

    Aw. I love reading proper books to my kids as well. Although the epic books app (although costly) has been AMAZING for my 10 year old that seriously flies through books faster than I can get them to her.
    She just started a huge book study on The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and B and I are, of course, biting our tongues trying not to give away the story as she reads. She needs to write her thoughts and predictions sonwe cant give anything away.

    I have a radio that I love to listen to. I do cds sometimes. But that’s one new thing I haven’t done. I haven’t gotten past radio/cds yet. Im sure that will change as my oldest is dangerously near becoming a teen!

    I loved this post an am looking forward to reading more. You have such a gift for writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank-you, Michelle!! That’s awesome that your daughter reads so much. That app sounds great- is it mainly for kids books? I mostly prefer paper books, but we have a Kindle which has been awesome for when we’re traveling.

      My husband has not read Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe yet- he loves reading but never reads fiction- it kills me because I know he would love it so much! I can’t WAIT for the day that the kids are old enough for him to read it aloud to them because I think it’s the only way I’ll ever get him to read it. Then they’ll all get to experience it for the first time together and I’m reallly going to have to bite my tongue :p

      Addison is the music guy in our family- he loves finding new music so he has kept us pretty high-tech ๐Ÿ™‚ If it were just me I would probably just be listening to the same 5 artists on constant repeat, but I always love the music he finds -it’s like having my own personal dj ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you again for the encouragement, Michelle. I appreciate it so much! Technology really is pretty awesome that we can interact this way ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. I love listening to the radio too these days and it’s rare to find me making dinner without CBC Radio 3 on. I hadn’t really thought about introducing Pearl to old tech, more just keeping her from too much tech at all. It’s crazy to me how she assumes every screen is a touch screen and as soon as I take her picture she expects to be able to look at it right away. It’s so, so different from how we grew up!


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