Bringing an Old Fashioned Summer to Modern Kids


You often hear parents reminiscing about summers of their childhood in a less-complicated time when free-range children were the norm. Unencumbered by screens and stranger danger, they played outside from dawn to dusk, made their own fun and were rarely bored. Is it even possible for modern kids to have this kind of old-fashioned summer? If that’s what you want for your kids, there are certainly some things you can do to make it happen.

  • Help them make a lemonade stand. What says “childhood summer” more than paper cups of lemonade sold on a card table? You’ll have to make a small investment in supplies, but making signs, mixing lemonade and keeping track of money are all educational as well as fun.

  • Encourage outdoor play. Fresh air and sunshine are beneficial and so is physical activity. It doesn’t have to be a trip to a park or an organized adventure: hunting bugs and playing in the backyard are healthy activities that create lasting memories. Are the temperatures soaring? No need to keep kids in the air conditioner when sprinklers and popsicles are fun and easy ways to cool down.

  • Turn off the screens. Even if you’re stuck indoors, don’t let screens become babysitters. Use them sparingly, instead encouraging imaginative play, arts and crafts and board games or puzzles.

  • Let them get messy. Whether they’re finger painting or making mud pies in the backyard, kids who are playing hard will get dirty. Embrace the mess, because it means they’re exploring their world. Fortunately, kids are pretty easy to clean. Your house may be a disaster, but that’s ok too: summer is pretty brief.

  • Go to the park. Parks are great places to play on playground equipment, run free and learn about nature. Want to up your park game? Opt for a National Park, and let the kids earn a Junior Ranger badge.

  • Build a box and blanket fort. Again, a messy house is a sign of a summer well-spent. Give the kids boxes, blankets and permission to disassemble your living room, and they’ll keep themselves creatively occupied for hours.

  • Foster imaginative play. Dolls and action figures, Legos and blocks, toy animals and tea sets are all toys without an assigned narrative. Engage with your children in pretend play, and encourage them to pretend by themselves, as well. If the stuffed animals end up in the tree house and the dollhouse is taken over by dinosaurs, it just means all is right with the world.

  • Have a water balloon fight. Don’t be afraid to get silly, messy and wet! A water balloon fight is good, raucous fun and has the added benefit of cooling things down on a hot summer day.

  • Catch fireflies. Give the children jars and release them into the backyard. Chasing fireflies sparks the imagination, creates memories and teaches science all at the same time.

  • Camp out in the backyard. A pup tent, flashlights and some sleeping bags are all you need for good old-fashioned summer fun. If you’re feeling really adventurous, make a fire in the fire pit for toasting marshmallows.

Now that you’ve seen our suggestions, we’re sure you’re bubbling over with plenty of ideas of your own. Share them with us so we can pass them along! Then explore our website or give us a call to learn about all that MSOD Shipra has to offer.

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