Why Children Across the Globe Sing 'Jingle Bells, Batman Smells'

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Remember the playground chants, the jump rope songs, the weird little games you played as a kid that were part of your secret kid world? Scholars have a name for it: childlore. You might imagine, given all the differences between kids—country, culture, class, race, media consumption—that this childlore might be vastly different from place to place. But the strange thing is, many of the little things kids say and do, or draw in their notebooks, are remarkably similar across time and place. We’ll talk about the things kids do across cultures and how they spread and evolve.


Julie Beck, senior editor, The Atlantic; author of the article, “Why Did We All Have the Same Childhood?”

Rebekah Willett, professor at the Information School, University of Wisconsin at Madison