6 Games & Activities to Help Us Relive the Joy of Our Childhood Summers


Photo Courtesy of @jessechamberlinmarble

You know what I miss about being a kid? Just getting to play. When summer came around, bringing with it stormy nights and days spent visiting the library and local ice cream store, I was always excited. Summer meant a break from school, but it also meant three months of being bored in the best way. My parents made sure to limit our screen time (which, for me and my brother, just cut our TV time to an hour or two in a pre-iPad era) and we’d have to get creative with ways to pass the hours. There’s so much to be said about the value in boredom.

As an adult, the only times I really remember to play is when I babysit. It’s time to bring that pastime back though. This summer, I’m prioritizing fun, whether it be with my friends or at home by myself. Here are a few ways to play this summer that will make your next BBQ or lazy Sunday a bit more lively.

1) Do DIY projects

I went through a phase toward the end of elementary school where I wanted to cut the sleeves off all my shirts and the legs off all my jeans. While the end results weren’t so great, and while my mom was less than happy with my decision to destroy my wardrobe, I still carry the opinion that repurposing an old t-shirt—or playing with watercolors, making a moodboard, etc.—is a great way to kill a few hours, sans screen time.

2) Make a fort

What’s more fun than wine night and a movie marathon? Wine night and a movie marathon in a fort. Grab your coziest blankets and a couple of chairs, and drape away my friends. Building a living room fort would be especially great during a raging storm. Think hygge, but for the summer.

3) Run through sprinklers

Here in L.A., it feels like the next heatwave is just around the corner. And when it comes, I’ll be sure to escape to my friend’s place to run around with her pup and cool off in the sprinkler. Throw some popsicles in the freezer, grab your bathing suit, and hook up a sprinkler (you can get one for, like, $12). For those of us without pools, this is the best escape.

4) Play cards and board games

Game night is fun at any age, but we’re probably all past the age where Candy Land can keep our attention for more than a round or two. I love game nights where people bring their personal favorite picks, so there’s a good chance you’ll get to try something new and also have access to the classics. My friends and I recently played Cards Against Humanity and Exploding Kittens; we would heartily recommend both. 

5) Make the most of your time outdoors

Sometimes it can feel like you only have the sun for so long, depending on where you live, and I like to make the best of good weather when I can. Whether it’s hiking, swimming, horseback riding, or heading to the park, it’s easy to make the most of what your city has to offer. Bring along some friends and a soccer ball to connect with your inner Megan Rapinoe, or take a beach ball to the pool for a game of keep away.

6) Relive your youth with a game of MASH

As it turns out, MASH is just as fun now as it was when you were a kid. When I recently spent a week at a friend’s apartment, we grew tired of watching movies and had already worked through our dessert stash and bottle of wine. To pass the time until bed, we began playing MASH, something we hadn’t done since we were preteens. While some categories weren’t so mysterious anymore—we both know what we’re going to be when we “grow up,” for one, and we both live in apartments—it was still just as fun to guess the rest and get creative with the categories we included each round.

We have a solid month and half left to enjoy all that summer has to offer. What are you waiting for? Pull out your old favorite board game, grab a set of watercolors, or head to your nearest pool for the day. Soak up summer exactly like you did when you were a kid.

BY Virali Dave - July 20, 2019

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