The Secret Life of 4, 5 and 6 Year Olds

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The Secret Life of 4, 5 & 6 Year Olds is a multi-award winning C4 hit series. It explores what happens when ten 4 year olds meet for the very first time following a week in their lives as they take their first tentative steps towards independence, and it captures every whisper, every tussle and all the raw emotion of this encounter. It's dramatic, moving and at times, very funny. 16 episodes have broadcast to date and about 120 children have been featured.

The book of The Secret Life of 4, 5 and 6 Year Olds asks how we became the people we are today through the up-close observation of over 100 children. It explores the universal themes of our daily lives – how we make friends, how we fall in and out of love, how we get our own way, how we respond to temptation, or to other people’s pain, to winning and losing, to caring and sharing. It gives us a window onto our past lives. And it celebrates the extraordinary sophistication of children of this age.

These 4, 5 and 6 year olds are on the cusp between two worlds - the familiar security of their family lives and the more adult, social world of school. And they don’t yet know the rules - they are literally learning on their feet. The lesson of the TV series was that they learn as much from each other as they are from their parents and teachers. Surrounded by 10 new playmates they behave no differently to you or I. But they do so with the gloves off, unmediated by manners or the conventions of social interaction.

Most of the time they are making it up as they go along. And this why it makes us laugh. But more often than not it’s a laugh of recognition because we see the beginnings of ourselves.