A 1970’s Summer Fun

Top 10 Ways to Give Your Kid a 1970’s Summer

Such contrast from 1970s until  now and the humor  in this blog explains it so well !  Please let me know your memories of summer vacation! 


Thursday, May 29, 2014

It is officially the end of May. The Pinterest pages, Facebook feeds, and family magazine features are loaded up with all the activities you should do with your kids summer. AS. IF.   As if we need more activities. MORE I say!  As if I am sitting here, ok, really lying here in my end of school year coma,  thinking, “OMG! I CANNOT wait to tackle that homemade moon sand recipe  we will dye ourselves with the skin of organic vegetables, then shape our homemade sand into a perfect replica of the Millenium Falcon! ” Or, “Why yes, I am going to schlep 4 kids to that new science museum two hours away, where we will eagerly wander through the exhibits,  each completing the 10 page scavenger hunt I created last night. Then we will come home and ‘discuss’ at great length the scientific theories we learned, because, brace yourself,  what if we don’t keep our minds active ALL summer? GASP!  Wait, hold it! We must, just MUST go to the dollar store and buy 125 pool noodles to construct a backyard water park! We will invite the neighborhood kids over, serve vegan popsicles,  watermelon chunks cut out like dolphins, and a vegetable crudité platter shaped like a palm tree.  And what summer pool party would be complete without nitrate, skin, meat, additive, and taste free hot dogs on gluten free buns covered in artisanal ketchup?


I am done. Sort of like I how I was done with the school year, but I am already done with summer. And by done, I mean I am done with all the forced smile inducing, uber planned and supervised, over the top  summer life experiences  I am supposed to provide for my kids. You know what I want my kids to experience this summer? The same type of summer I would have experienced in the late 1970’s.  The exact same one.  I survived it, and they will too. As a matter of fact, it must have been pretty memorable because 30 years later I can tell you exactly what it entailed. It entailed FUN. Fun we made all on our own. What. A. Concept.


My top 10 ways to give your 2014 kids a 1970’s summer.


1 .       Let them watch TV. Plenty of it. But only the TV Land channel. I want my kids to watch The Love Boat, The Carol Burnett Show, The Jefferson’s, Charlie’s Angels, My Three Sons, The Six Million Dollar Man,  Gilligan’s Island, $100,000 Pyramid, and my personal favorite, Hart to Hart.  Seriously, what little girl in the late 70’s  didn’t want to be an amateur detective married to the CEO of Hart Industries, driving around in a yellow Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster, while sporting a matching lilac pant suit and  perfectly coiffed butterfly winged wavy brown hair?  Because I sure as hell did.


  1. Eat whatever you  want, and/or whatever can find.  There will be no more pantries full of organic vegetable chips, and non-GMO graham crackers. No more refrigerators full of anti-pesticide fruit, free range eggs, and cold pressed juice.  This will be the summer of Frito-Lay and Red Dye #5. I want to see my kid’s reaction when I tear open a tiny envelope of cherry Kool-Aid, sprinkle it into a BPA laden plastic pitcher, dump 4 cups of regular, granulated, white, and maybe even generic sugar (not raw, stevia, or agave,) then add water from the tap, and  viola! You are hydrated! I will be over here drinking a Tab. Lunch will be fried bologna and a blue can of Planter’s Cheese Balls, and for dinner we will pile in the car and go pick up a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, a styrofoam quart of mashed potatoes,  and O. M. Geee, dessert will be pineapple upside cake! Made from canned pineapples in…….wait for it……syrup!


  1. Make them play outside. Like all day. All. Damn. Day. Hot? Drink from the hose. Run through the sprinklers. Swim in the pool until your hair feels like straw, turns green, and the bottom of your feet are calloused from the bottom of the pool. Search for ladybugs, play hide ‘n seek between the houses, run down the street gutters after a rain storm. Read under a tree. I hear this lady named Judy Blume writes good stuff.


  1. Send them to the movies for the entire day. I will drop you off at around 11 and pick you up for dinner. Its’ real simple. You sneak from one theater to the next. Nobody cares.


  1. Spend three nights in a row at your best friend’s house. No, you don’t have to call to check in every hour. And yes,  it’s totally ok their parents will be at work and nobody will be home all day. It will give you plenty of time for #1, 2, and 3.


  1. Make stuff, like from stuff you find. No trips to Hobby Lobby for pre-cut, pre-stuck, pre-fabricated crafts.   Find crap in the garage and assemble it into something you can play with. No, you can’t Google how to do it. Ropes are fun.


  1. Have them put on a talent show. A  real, genuine, sing and dance and entertain the hell out of me talent show.  I promise I won’t upload it to Youtube or share it on Facebook. I pinky swear. No, there is no theme, no requirements, no directions, no anything. No, there is no right way to do it. You have an imagination. Please use it.


  1. Play this until you want to throw it against the wall, or smash into 1,000 pieces.  It’s the original train your brain app.


  1. Build a fort in the backyard. No, I am not gonna help. Yes, you can use the $125 Pottery Barn Kids duvet cover from your bed. I don’t care anymore. Making a memory trumps 400 thread count cotton.


  1. Finally, learn to find the amazing in the ordinary. Trust me. You will need this skill in your 40’s. I pinky swear.


What are you going to do with your children this summer?  Do any of you remember doing any of the 1970’s summer “play” ?  Tell me what you think! 

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in Uncategorized, USA and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to A 1970’s Summer Fun

  1. When we got bored in the middle of the night while our parents slept we switched bedrooms with our siblings–I mean EVERYTHING–furniture, bedding, posters etc. Anything that wasn’t too heavy and we enlisted all of our friends who were sleeping over at the same time. Next morning we made our own breakfast, left for the day and never looked back till we were hungry for ice cream on sticks.


  2. Teela Hart says:

    I love this!!!!
    Flashing back the whole time.
    My Dad and step-mother headed to work in the morning, my sister and I made our beds watched Three’s Company ’til noon.
    Then we made a sandwich for lunch and headed for the pool where we stayed and came home wrinkled like prunes, sunburned and starving. Grabbed a quick bite from the local drive-in and then headed out to watch my Dad play softball. Ran around the park with our friends (on swings, monkey bars, and see saws). Chewed super-bubble gum and ate hot dogs and drank water.


  3. annetbell says:

    That is a great story of an idyllic summer vacation. Thanks for taking time to share this great memory !


  4. Pingback: A 1970's Summer Fun

  5. chr1 says:

    Tube socks as well. With those stripes on top.


  6. Cteavin says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading that. Brought back lots of memories. I especially loved staying at the movies all day as a kid.


    • annetbell says:

      My husband remembers doing that as a kid when the films were only 25 cents a movie! We are ancient. I don’t remember doing that , maybe because I was a girl. But I remember playing all over the neighborhood all day long. Kids today are scheduled and watched every minute and they never learn the social skills and problem solving that kids learned on the streets.


      • Cteavin says:

        I live in Tokyo. No green areas for kids to play and movies are 12USD a pop. For summer fun the kids get a stamp book and travel the train line, getting off at each station to collect the stamps — they really enjoy it. Most amazing, they go out by themselves or in little five year old packs to get them. No adult supervision. (Yes, Japan is that safe.) It makes me wonder, each generation has something to wax nostalgia over and feel the next generation is missing out on. I wonder what this new generation, on both sides of the ocean, will be.

        Oh, I also remember the 25 cent movies. 😉


      • annetbell says:

        That is so interesting. I love the idea of collecting the stamps in their little notebook. Amazing that kids are safe with so much freedom. That is changed so in the US. You never see kids out riding bikes or even playing in yards or playgrounds on their own these days. There are too many horrible crimes against children these days. It is interesting to wonder about the next generation. . . I have no idea.what it will be like for the next generation. And you are right, one generation thinks things were best for them and anything different is not as good. Must be universal! Thanks for the sharing ! Smiles. . . .


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