Who remembers their mom yelling this as a kid?

I sure do!

It would always prompt me to ride my bike for hours and play with my neighbors until the street lights came on.

Times have changed a bit since then but I think it’s high time we bring back that “get out and play” mentality. Call it old-fashioned, if you will, but I’m all for it.

So, who’s with me!? YOU?! GREAT!


1. Pitch a tent

Set it up in your backyard and let your kids use it as a fort, a reading nook, a “hide and go seek” hiding spot. Let imaginations run wild (while you sit back and read a book).

2. Box up the fun

Big boxes offer endless opportunities for kids’ creativity to blossom. Let them have fun dreaming up ways to transform the box into a spaceship, a grocery store, a house and anything in between.

3. Make butter

Taking it back to the Little House on the Prairie days with this one, but stick with me. Pour heavy cream into a mason jar and screw on the lid. Then, tell your kids to take turns shaking the jar until butter forms! It’ll take about 20 minutes. Pour into a mesh strainer leaving the solid butter and enjoy with homemade muffins.

4. Read somewhere fun

Reading ability loss over summer break is real. Studies show that students who aren’t actively reading over the summer can see a stagnation or loss of learning. Make reading fun by making a “beach towel tent” in the backyard that they can read under.

Carry the “tent theme” into the books your child reads to add another layer of fun to the experience. Maria shares an awesome list of camping themed books to read here. (And speaking of camping – a perfect summer adventure to take as a family! This site is great for finding local camp sites near you.)

5. Combat boredom with board games

Rainy day in the forecast? Make it a Board Game Day! Set out fun games and invite the kids’ friends over to play. Light candles or set out twinkle lights to make the experience fun and a little magical.

Take a break from the games and have the kids fill out these FREE 10 Things I Love About You printables for someone they love.

6. Go to a baseball game

Hint: Minor league games are cheaper and sometimes more fun for kids due to their more manageable size and crowd.

7. Go to a drive-in movie

They’re still out there! You just have to search a little bit. Bring blankets and snacks and lay on the hood of your car for an unforgettable experience.

8. Roast marshmallows

This one is so simple yet SO much fun for kids. Here’s a video that explains how to roast the perfect marshmallow. Do you agree with their technique?

9. Paint the house

Ok, not REALLY. But you’ll be amazed at the amount of fun a bucket of water and paint brush can bring the kids on a hot day. A cement wall or sidewalk is perfect. A garage door works great, too.

10. Play Twister

Remember the game Twister? (I swear, I can remember exactly how the plastic still smells!) Get the game and have the kids play it in the yard on a sunny day. They’ll think it’s hilarious. Make up fun rules, like whoever falls first has to go jump in the lake or pool or run through the sprinkler!

Have a great “old fashioned” summer fun activity? Share in the comments below!


Meg Keys is theauthor of The Waiting Line – What to Do (and Not Do) When Someone You Love is Struggling with Infertility. She’s award-winning advertising and marketing writer with nearly 20-years professional writing experience. She is fueled by her love of food, art and fluffy pets and lives in Metro Detroit with her husband and son. Find her at megkeys.com.