Old School Summer Fun

Wii… Xbox… PSP… iPhone… iTouch… iPad… iPod…. Texting… IMs…. Instagram…. Facebook

What ever happened to Barbies, Legos, Uno, and sidewalk chalk?

Seriously where did the simplicity of childhood go?  I am guilty…I admit it.  We fell to the peer pressure too.  Our boys have nearly every above mentioned piece of technology, with the exception of cell phones.  Of course we hear how “everybody has an iphone but me” on a regular basis from our boys.  I know that is an exaggeration on their part but it still shocks me the number of their peers that not only have cell phones…but actual smart phones at 10 years old!   When did our society move from the simple pleasures of “being a kid” to the current “plugged in” state in which we live?

When I start to think this way I immediately wonder when I am started to sound like my mother!  You know the whole “when I was your age….”  lectures we all grew up getting.  But the older I get the more I find myself sitting and reflecting on the trivial joys of childhood from my generation.  What happened to the days of running around the neighborhood catching lightning bugs late into the night? Or the fun playground games that we would start up in someone’s backyard?  Red Rover…Red Light, Green Light…Freeze Tag, Hopscotch, Ghost in the Grave Yard…Kickball?  Any of those ring a bell?  I remember being content for an entire afternoon with a bucket of sidewalk chalk creating “masterpieces” that would eventually be washed away by a summer rainstorm.  Of course those rainstorms were welcome because they brought a cozy day inside building the biggest fort we could with the blankets and chairs available.   The summers that were dry brought the opportunity for afternoons in the sprinkler, as the lawn got watered, the kids got entertained. As I got older I would spend the summer days riding bikes literally all over my hometown with friends.


I remember spending weeks at my grandparents house.  My grandma had the biggest garden I have ever seen.  I loved picking the raspberries and strawberries.  I had no idea how spoiled I was to have so much fresh food at my fingertips until I grew up and realized store-bought stuff doesn’t taste nearly as good as home-grown.

From a young age I had an entrepreneurial spirit.  One of my favorite summer activities was to set up a lemonade stand on our busy street.

I rarely remember having store-bought popsicles but I do remember my mom making home-made popsicles for us numerous times out of kool-aid.  Waiting for the yummy deliciousness to freeze was a true test of patience for a kid!

I can’t tell you how many weekends were spent on the shore of a river or lake with a fishing pole and a Mellow Yellow.  Of course I use the term “fishing” loosely because I was honestly just there for the Mellow Yellow.  My sisters and I kept our grandpas hopping since none of us girls would touch the worms or the fish!  We were simply there to hold the pole!

I feel so blessed to have such cherished memories from childhood.  As I have referenced in previous posts I have had a lot of life changes in in the past couple years which I think has contributed to my recent nostalgic daydreams.  When I think about those years I realize how the simplest acts can bring the biggest joy.  My generation didn’t need thousands of dollars in technology or toys to be entertained…we found ways to make our own fun!  So I have been inspired to relive my youth through the eyes of my children this summer.  The iPads, Wii, Xbox….will be getting a break and we will be creating our own fun.  Now I am inspired, but not insane, so I won’t be putting a complete ban on technology, after all that is the world in which this generation lives.   I will be offering my boys ways to earn some occasional game time.   Even I need my Facebook fix occasionally!  But you won’t find my boys hunkered down in our basement eyes on a screen every waking moment, instead we are going to be crossing off this list of summer fun!  I can’t wait for summer days filled with juicy watermelon, sticky popsicles, bare feet, and dirty faces!  Hopefully our list will inspire you to create your own summer fun list too!

summer 4summer 3

“Old-School” Summer Activities

  • Ride Bikes
  • Go Fishing
  • Visit the Farmer’s Market (Freight House Farmer’s Market)
  • Pick our own strawberries (Pride of the Wapsi)
  • Make our own popsicle creations
  • Have friends over for s’mores and root-beer floats around the fire.
  • Swim party
  • Catch lightning bugs
  • Take a Picnic
  • Camp in the backyard with friends (this will be a Daddy-designated event!)
  • Build a fort on a rainy or unbearably hot day
  • Road-trip
  • Kick-ball games in the backyard
  • Visit as many small town festivals as we can squeeze in
  • River Bandits Game
  • Drive-In Movie (61 Drive-In in Maquoketa)
  • Lemonade Stand
  • Visit the Zoo
  • Movie Marathon complete with popcorn and junk food on a rainy day
  • Water fight – water balloons, hoses, water guns….
  • Ice Cream Dinnersummer 5summer 2

What other fun and simple summer activities would you add to our list?




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4 Responses to Old School Summer Fun

  1. Lynn S May 28, 2013 at 8:29 am #

    This is a great list, micelle!!! I would add catching butterflies. That was something I did in the summers as a child. I remember running around with a butterfly net in the backyard.

  2. marieqcmb May 30, 2013 at 7:30 am #

    Great post and great list!

  3. amandastclair June 2, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

    Loved this! I remember those “good ol’ days.” I am so glad we stay pretty much unplugged a lot of the summer. We live in the backyard. I’m usually planting or fiddling in the yard and the kids are just running around being kids. We don’t always do much, but somehow we are entertained out there all day with tricycles, a swing set with no swings (really need to replace those one of these days, lol) and some shovels and dirt. I think about what is actually in our backyard, toys etc…and there isn’t tons of stuff…we just play, run, and talk to worms. But yes…momma needs her fb fix- usually late at night. 😉

  4. Emily June 4, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    Such fun! 🙂 I remember making “obstacle courses” on our large driveway….my sister, the neighbor kids & I would drag every outdoor toy out & come up with elaborate obstacle courses & time ourselves to see how quickly we could do it. We also would make up plays, dances, baton routines, or talent shows & perform them in the garage. Looking forward to lots of summer fun! 🙂

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