Summer Vacation When I Was A Kid

Remember summer vacation when you were a kid? It sure was different than summer vacations today! Here are some differences that I've noticed.

Waaaayyy back in the day, long before kids texted their friends if they wanted to talk to them and “playing” actually meant going outside and, well, playing, I was a kid. I remember summer vacation, and wish my kids could know the same ones,too.

Summer vacation memories are still some of my favorite memories from my childhood. I spent my days outside during the summer time (and after school when we were in school) playing – not sitting in front of the TV with a video game.

I played ‘Statue Maker’ and ‘Simon Says’ and ‘Freeze Tag’ on the front lawn with all the other neighborhood kids, not Minecraft.

I was a kid that rode my bike or walked all over the neighborhood.

I read books under the tree in our front yard.

I was never home, and definitely never inside, most days during the summertime. I don’t even think our parents knew where any of us were. There were a ton of kids on the street where I grew up, and we all just kept moving from house to house.

During summer vacation, the only rule for my sisters and I was that we all were expected home when we heard the call for dinner (or when we got hungry…whichever came first), and again when the street lights came on.

I had a pool in my backyard. In the morning, we’d get up and put on our bathing suits. We would be in the clear, cool water from morning till night. I don’t remember even using towels to dry off. We would just run around in the backyard when we were done swimming, and the water evaporated in the heat. Or we’d lay on the concrete to warm up and dry off.

If I wasn’t in the pool, I was running through the sprinklers, playing car wash with the hose and my bike, or making it rain with the hose while everybody ran around in the rain.

I used my imagination to play; we’d play house and store and drive-thru using the little window in the living room that opened up to the backyard.

I was a kid that lived in a house where TV was a reward, not a babysitter. If there was something on that we wanted to watch? We had better been sitting down at the right time to see it or we’d miss it.

I wasn’t allowed to lay around or play on a computer all day. We also didn’t expect for our parents to keep us entertained all day. I was expected to keep myself busy and “find something to do”. And most of the time, I was go-go-going from the minute I woke up in the morning until the moment I went to sleep at night.

Summer vacation sure has changed. My kids want me to provide 24/7 entertainment and are not happy unless we are doing something or going somewhere. I wish they could know those lazy summer days.

What is your favorite summer vacation childhood memory? How were your childhood summers different from your children’s?

Are you listening? A short piece of fiction inspired by the word "listen".I wrote this for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop for Prompt #4: How is Summer Vacation different for your kids than it was for you growing up?


I wrote this for Shell’s Pour Your Heart Out, too!


  1. My youngest has been having that kind of summer. He’s constantly running around with the neighbors. He’s met everyone, even the ones without kids (something I haven’t managed until recently and we’ve lived here for 2 years now- and the only reason I did it is because of him).

    I do make him come tell me if he’s going in someone’s backyard where I wouldn’t be able to look out and see him, or if he’s going to a house that’s past the bend in the road, where I couldn’t see him. Which is definitely more controlled than I was as a kid, since my mom never knew where I was, other than assuming I was somewhere in the neighborhood. I do let him run around out there without me, though, so I guess that’s a little bit of progress.

    My other two want to go to the pool or the beach or stay inside and be in front of screens. Sigh.
    Shell recently posted..How Someone Else ParentsMy Profile

  2. My childhood summers were pretty much the same as yours. My son is in daycare full time still in the summer since I work full time. But on weekends he does a fair amount of running around the neighborhood with another boy close to his age. I think there will be more of that when he’s a little older. I wish there were more kids in the neighborhood for him to pal around with.
    Kate @ Mom’s Radius recently posted..My ranking of the Pixar moviesMy Profile

  3. I had a similar childhood summer too. I don’t let my kids sit in front of the T.V. and definitely NOT video games, but we don’t have any kids their age around us. However, we have done our best to both bond with our children through fun activities as a family and having them entertain themselves. Both are under 7 so running all around without supervision (unless in the backyard) would be asking for trouble-wink!
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  4. I had our first baby (a daughter) a month ago so everything will be completely different for her when it comes to her summers. We’re hoping that we’ll be able to add elements of our past into her future though. John, my husband, wants to take her fishing, camping, to the lakes, and other things like that. We also want to make sure she frequents the zoo and aquariums too so that hopefully she won’t just wind up being another kiddo that sits in front of a computer all day. :)

    I found you through Kat’s writer’s workshop, so I just wanted to stop by and say hello. :)
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  5. That picture at the top of this post is EVERYTHING! I miss the old day childhoods, but I do like keeping tabs on my kids every move so I guess I win in both cases. 😉
    Kat recently posted..Best Summer Picnic!My Profile

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