On a recent hot summer evening, my kids were out riding their bikes and noticed a neighbour had their sprinkler on, watering their front lawn. Of course, the water was hitting the sidewalk and it didn’t take long for my kids to come up with the idea of riding through the water. Before I knew it, they were off their bikes and just running back and forth, having so much fun I didn’t even care that their clothes were soaking wet.
As I watched my son and daughter, giggling and squealing with glee, thoroughly enjoying a nice cool down after a long hot day, I was brought back to my own childhood and filled with memories of running through the sprinkler with friends. Nostalgia washed over me and I found myself thinking about how much I want my children to experience the same kind of summertime fun I had as a kid.
I was a child of the ‘80s; before there were tablets, YouTube and Netflix to occupy the minds of youth; before there were several TV stations with endless kids’ programming 24/7; heck, it was even before most gaming systems existed! The point is, I grew up in a time when if you were a bored kid during the summer you couldn’t just plug into the latest technology and be instantly entertained, like today’s kids’ can.
I’m not saying that children are in front of a screen all day long, but more often than not it’s one of the first things many of them will think of when they’re bored. As the saying goes, times have changed. Today’s youth have much more at their disposal in terms of keeping them entertained, and yet parents everywhere still hear those dreaded two words: I’m bored! That’s why this mama is making an effort to get my son and daughter doing some old-school fun summer activities.
Parents, you know what I’m talking about; you remember those carefree summer days of our childhood when we’d hang outside with friends and the street lights coming on was our sign to get back inside the house. Or those days spent together with the family, having fun with siblings and parents (although you’d probably never admit it!) Did you have any favourites? I did! Here is my Mama@Heart’s Top 5 Old-School Summertime Fun Activities:
- Sprinkler fun! During those hot summer days, nothing beats running, jumping and twirling through the sprinkler to cool down. And parents, the bonus is not only are your kids outside and entertained, but your lawn is getting watered and staying nice a green all summer long. Win, win.
- Water fight! Invite some of your kid’s friends over or gather some of the neighbour kids for a good old-fashioned water fight. Grab some water soakers or water balloons and let them loose. Parents, get in there and join the fun! Besides, somebody needs to watch the kids to make sure nobody gets hurt, right? 😉
- Backyard picnic. Who says you need to go to a park to have a picnic? Lay out some blankets and spread out some snacks and drinks. You can easily turn this picnic into hours of fun. Bring out some toys or board games and let your backyard become your playroom for an afternoon.
- Let’s roll! Whether it’s a trike, bicycle or scooter, put their helmets on and get the kids to go for a ride. So much fun and good exercise too!
- Go fly a kite! On a nice, breezy day grab some colourful kites, head out to a park and just let them soar!
So if you’re a mom or dad trying to plan a summer jam-packed with things to do so you can avoid hearing your little ones complain that they’re bored, try to remember the simple pleasures from your childhood and recreate those wonderful memories with your kids.