Childhood skills you either did or didn't have

Yellow Fang

Legendary Member
Location
Reading
Vulcan nerve pinch - no
skimming stones - yes
whistling by putting fingers in your mouth and blowing - no
cycling no hands - yes
wheelies - no, not really
making fires by rubbing sticks together - no
making fires with a magnifying glass - no, but I could hunt down ants with one
making fires by banging stones together - no
using a catapult - never had one, suspect only kids in The Beano and Just William stories were allowed them
making a decent go-cart - I think I made something, but it wasn't very good
skateboarding - no
roller skating - no
making a decent sledge - no, used a tea tray

Pretty poor show, really.
 

Julia9054

Guru
Location
Knaresborough
I could’t/can’t do a handstand. This is the same sort of social death for a primary school age girl as being bad at football is for a boy.
I could, however, play a tune on a blade of grass. My classmates were less impressed with this than I thought they should be.
My best friend could whistle the Liberty Bell and sing a harmony with herself at the same time. A skill I always coveted (and still do)
 

BoldonLad

Veteran
Location
South Tyneside
I could’t/can’t do a handstand. This is the same sort of social death for a primary school age girl as being bad at football is for a boy.
I could, however, play a tune on a blade of grass. My classmates were less impressed with this than I thought they should be.
My best friend could whistle the Liberty Bell and sing a harmony with herself at the same time. A skill I always coveted (and still do)
Yes, I well remember the girls, tucking their skirt/dress into their knicker legs, before doing hand stands.

The really competent girls could do, what they called a "crab", they did a handstand, against a wall, then, "walked" away from the wall, with their hands, while, at same time, "walking" down the wall with their feet, until they were on all fours, on the ground, face up.

I was useless at football, indeed all sport ;)

Reasonably competent at making catapults, bows and arrows, go-carts (bogeys we called them), cobbling together bicycles from scrounged parts,

Very good a skimming stones.

Happy days... ;)
 
Last edited:

Dave7

Legendary Member
Location
Cheshire
I built a mean go cart.
I got segs on my hands from the monkey bars and used to pee on them to take the pain away.
I could whistle with any one, two or four fingers in my mouth.
Used to make my own catapults. Cut a branch add BIG elastic bands and leather I nicked from the local tannery.
Never mastered handstands although I really worked at it.
Never any good at farting.....I learned that skill in later life.
 

tyred

Legendary Member
Location
Ireland
I'm actually pretty pathetic at most of this stuff.

I could never do a handstand.
Cannot whistle with fingers in my mouth.
Can't ride no hands.
Not very good with wheelies.
Hopeless at skimming stones.
I was given a kite once as a present and never managed to get it to fly.:cry:
I have started fires with a magnifying glass. Never tried two sticks. Why bother when some genius had invented matches?
I never had roller skates or skateboards or never tried them so probably can't use them!
I have made catapults - cut a strong forked branch and piece of an old lorry or tractor inner tube for elastic.
I made two go carts - one from an old pram and another using wheels from a scrap lawnmower.
I made sledges. For icy road use, those sprung rod things which Ford used to use to tension the headlining in the their cars make excellent runners. Sadly there is far too much traffic on even minor roads now to go sleighing. For sliding down a steep field in deep snow, an old 1 CWT fertiliser bag opened out works very well or for max fun in the days before health and safety - the bonnet from a MKIII Cortina works very well when pulled at relatively high speed by a tractor.
I was always useless at football (but I've never been remotely interested in team sports anyway).
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
Useless at football and still hate it.
Could make a great go cart with wheels bought from the guy behind the vegetables shop in the high road, could never afford the big ones with the smooth bearings.
My mate and I were very good at making bombs. Used to buy fertiliser chemicals and mix them up in his garden shed. Old motorcycle frames were cut up filled with our gunpowder and ends folded over in his fathers large vice. Jetex fuse was inserted through pre drilled hole.
”Rescued” old bikes from peoples back gardens before repairing them and using off road.
 

slowmotion

Quite dreadful
Location
lost somewhere
Useless at football and still hate it.
Could make a great go cart with wheels bought from the guy behind the vegetables shop in the high road, could never afford the big ones with the smooth bearings.
My mate and I were very good at making bombs. Used to buy fertiliser chemicals and mix them up in his garden shed. Old motorcycle frames were cut up filled with our gunpowder and ends folded over in his fathers large vice. Jetex fuse was inserted through pre drilled hole.
”Rescued” old bikes from peoples back gardens before repairing them and using off road.
I was a passable bomber too. Our detonators used steel wool, a command wire and a motorcycle battery. I retired after a very close shave involving a two foot long steel gas cylinder that mis-fired but decided to detonate as we approached to see what the problem was. I can still hear the shrapnel fizzing past my head.
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
Its not obvious at the time the things youre good at will dictate your future. I could strip a freewheel, service and rebuild it at around 13. Same with wheel hubs.
Aeromodelling, build a glider from tabletop sized plans, trace and hand cut every balsa component. Covering it all with tissue and dope, I loved stripping and tinkering with model nitro engines (not that theres much to them).
I was never afraid to strip stuff down, always interested in mechanical things.
Years later, I'm a mechanic, no wonder with hindsight.

Poor at socialising, too introverted when I'm with more than a couple people, always was at school, still am to a degree.
 
OP
Yellow Fang

Yellow Fang

Legendary Member
Location
Reading
Other things:
  • Keepy uppy - with a balloon yes, with a ball, only three times before it went over a wall
  • Making rockets with matchsticks and tin foil - yes
  • Making wasp traps - yes
  • Lego - yes
  • Meccano - no
  • Handstands - no
  • Crouching on your hands with your feet off the ground - yes
  • Making daisy chains - shouldn't admit to it but yes
  • Making bird sounds by cupping your hands over your mouth and lifting your finger - no
  • Mending punctures - sometimes
  • Holding your breath - yes, did 2 minutes once
  • Swimming under water - could do a length
  • Lighting your farts - never succeeded
  • Recognising trees - only oaks, silver birch, copper beech, pine trees (i.e. all conifers) sycamores when they had seeds and horse chestnuts when they were dropping conkers
  • Recognising wildflowers - only dandelions, daisies, buttercups and thistles
  • Curing nettle stings with dock leaves - yes
  • Smoke rings - older boys' trick really, but never smoked
  • Hardening conkers - inconclusive
  • Piling coins on your elbow, then flicking your arm and catching them - yes
  • Solve Rubik's cube - yes, eventually
  • Play the recorder - no
  • Use a pogo stick - yes
  • Work the clackers - yes
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom