Creative Child

How to Give Your Kids a 1970’s Summer

As the whirlwind of the last few weeks of school fly by, I find myself ready for the long, unscheduled days of summer. Sleeping in, spending our afternoons poolside, and playing hide and seek until the fireflies come out. Realistically, my idea of carefree summer days come from my youth and not from the summers our own kids typically experience. Camps, play dates, and ball games fill up most of our calendars while any free time is consumed by parent-planned educational activities and crafts seen on social media. While these things aren’t bad, it can be a little daunting for parents due to the pressure to plan every minute of their child’s summer.

I have declared this summer to be different. My kids will have the kind of summer I had as a child. One that is less scheduled and more free play, less video games and more outside time, and less parent planned and more child created. If, like me, you are tired of feeling pressure to entertain and educate your child every waking moment, use these tips to enjoy your summer, 1970’s style. 

Ditch the excess

Today parents often feel the need to sign their kids up for as many camps, clinics, and activities as possible to fill their days. In the 70’s, kids did not spend their days at baseball camp, they played baseball with the neighbor kids in the backyard. They didn’t attend theater and dance camps but instead made up their own show to perform for parents and siblings. Give your kids the gift of free time to play and try things on their own. If kids are away at camps all summer, they won’t have time to create their own adventures.


Today we love our electronics. It is unlikely that many of us can make it more than a few hours without checking in with social media and responding to emails and texts. Our kids are no different but limits should be set on screen time to allow kids to experience outdoor play, the joy of curling up with a good book, and allowed time to use their own imaginations. 1970’s kids didn’t have apps, educational or not, to entertain them and fill their days. Instead, they used their imagination to create inventions with recycled trash, build forts with whatever they could find, and cooperate with other kids to create games that could last for hours.

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