10 Things We Did As Kids That Give Us Major Nostalgia -- Bring Them Back!

Wendy Robinson | Apr 13, 2016 Big Kid

kids at play

It can be so easy to feel like childhood today is totally different from how it used to be. I grew up before the Internet, cell phones, social media, or even regular use of a good old bike helmet. While I think it is cool to see my kids learn to use technology, I love the moments when they play in old-school ways like I used to.

It's undeniable that fresh air and active play are good for our kids. I asked some other mom friends to share the ways they used to play that they want to see make a comeback -- consider this a warm-weather to-do list for your kids!


Image via iStock.com/SolStock

  • Obstacle Course


    "I basically spent all of my childhood playing outside. My mom was one of those 'go outside and don't come home before sunset' kind of moms. My brothers and I used to love to make obstacle courses in our backyard -- super fun. That is due for a comeback, I think." -- Posey W., Greenly, Colorado

  • Bugging Out


    "I had a small box with holes poked in the top and a magnifying glass. I was a bug scientist. I spent hours looking for creepy crawlies. Kids should do that kind of stuff more. I wish they did." -- Leslie F., Saint Paul, Minnesota

  • Kick the Can


    "Why don't kids play 'kick the can' anymore? Kick the can was awesome! Bring back the can!" -- Tina P., Pella, Iowa

    More from The Stir: The Joys of Playing With Kids (and Their Toys!)

  • Playing with Buttons


    "This may sound totally boring, but when I was a kid, my mom had this coffee can filled with buttons. I used to spend hours playing with those buttons-- sorting them into categories, pretending they were fancy jewels, playing restaurant with them, seriously playing for hours. I should totally start saving buttons for once my kid is out of the swallowing things phase." -- Lenore T., Des Moines, Iowa

  • Digging a Hole


    "I don't trust anyone who never tried to dig a hole 'to China' when they were a kid! My sister and I dug a huge hole one summer -- we worked on that sucker for days. Last spring I let my boys use my shovel and they promptly got to work digging a massive hole. Did it make a part of my backyard ugly? Yes. Did they play together, without fighting or needing me for days? YES." -- Mandy B., Lansing, Michigan

  • Making Mud Pies


    "I think so many moms I know are like way too OCD about letting their kids get dirty. Getting dirty and making mud pies was one of the highlights of being a kid. This spring, I resolve to let my kids play in the mud like I used to." -- Clara P., Overland Park, Kansas

  • Sewing


    "I was doll-obsessed as a kid, and one of my favorite things to do was to use scraps of fabric my mom, a seamstress, had leftover and hand sew new outfits for my dolls. They wore a lot of toga-style tube dresses. Now that my daughter is getting older, I got her a little sewing kit, so she can do the same!" -- Faith W., Bozeman, Montana

    More from The Stir: Sewing With Children: An Inspired Mother/Daughter Project

  • Building a Tree House


    "When I was a kid, my sister and I built a tree house in our backyard. No blueprints, no help from our parents, just access to a hammer, nails, and some extra wood. We spent all summer working on that thing and we thought it was awesome. I'm sure it was a hot mess, but it sure was fun!" -- Allison W., Tucson, Arizona

  • Free Art


    "I see my friends doing all of these elaborate craft projects with their kids. I guess that can be fun, but I can't help thinking about how when I was a kid, I just had a box of paint and random art supplies and I could do whatever I wanted with it, as long as I didn't paint the walls. I think that is way more creative for kids then always having to do some perfect themed craft." -- Laurel G., Shoreview, Minnesota

  • Catching Fireflies


    "You know what is still fun? Catching fireflies! Nothing says summer like having a glass of wine with the neighbors while the kids occupy themselves trying to catch fireflies in glass jars. Classic." -- Josie F., Saint Paul, Minnesota

kid activities independence