10 Simple Ways to Have an Old-School Summer for Kids

This is what happens when Florida kids meet real mud for the first time

Remember–in the times before iPads and smart phones–when summer was dedicated to swimming pools, idle time, dripping ice cream cones and juicy slices of watermelon?

Remember catching lightning bugs and putting them in jars? Staying out so late that your sunburn already melted into a perfect golden brown tan by the time you actually headed inside for the night? Entire days spent at the local pool with your friends?

Growing up, we didn’t do summer camps, at least not regularly. We did Outside. Did it involve fresh air and being out of the house for as long as possible, preferably away from our parents? Sign us up.

I grew up in a house that was situated near woods, so when we had the time, my sister and I were outside. And not to sound too “When I was a kid…” but we didn’t have to rely on anything other than ourselves and a block of unsupervised time to have a blast.

I want my kids to have those kind of summers.

So in the spirit of some old-school, simple summer fun, I’ve put together a bucket list of sorts—just some old fashioned ways we used to enjoy summers, no screens or plugs required.

My own kids may be a touch young for some of the things on the list, and we also have a newborn this summer, so that’s an added challenge, so we’ll tweak this list a bit. But the goal? To get them out and playing with as much unstructured time as possible.

Hope you can steal a few ideas, and let me know below what your family is hoping to do this summer, old-school style!


10 Old-School Ways to Enjoy Summer with Your Kids!

1 – Open a lemonade stand in the neighborhood.

Funny story: We lived on a very busy main road but still sat at the bottom of the driveway and literally screamed at cars going past to sell our lemonade. Needless to say, our only customers were our across-the-street neighbors who came out when my parents called them and begged them to stop by. 😂

2 – Sidewalk chalk + driveway

3 – Catch lightning bugs

4 – Cannonball contest in the pool

5 – Three words: Slip ‘n slide

6 – Pillow forts, popcorn and late movie nights

7 – Wandering in the woods.

Oh, how I wish we had the same amount of wooded space here in Florida that I had at home! We had a backyard with enough trees to carve out our own trails and build two treehouses. Here, we will have to drive to a state park to make this one happen. Open to suggestions from any Central Floridians out there!

8 – S’mores by the fire. Or on the grill.

9 – Sprinkler… or, sprinkler + dirt, which = mud battle

10 – It Tag/Freeze Tag/Hide and Seek/Capture the Flag

How do you plan on slowing things down this summer? I’d love to hear your favorite ways to spend those lazy summer days. Let me know in Comments below!

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One thought on “10 Simple Ways to Have an Old-School Summer for Kids

  1. Hello! Take your two older children down to the Montour Creek & let them throw rocks into the water & how to make a rock skip. Tadpole season might be over but you might get lucky and see ducks and grey herons. Of course, the follow up is ice cream or popsicles.

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