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12 Ways to Give Our Kids a Nostalgic Summer Straight Out of the 90s

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It feels blasphemous to even say that the ’90s were 30 years ago; they felt so yesterday! Many parents with younger kids were kids in the 90s, and we all remember how their days were magical, filled with unique experiences and simple pleasures. You didn’t need to dress up and go out for a party; the party came to you right in your street or home!

One of the best things you can gift your kids this summer is a time machine back to the 90s. Give your kids a taste of that nostalgic, carefree 90s summer, from outdoor adventures to timeless family traditions. A whole world of fun is waiting to be rediscovered in the land far away from smartphones and Roblox.

There’s a certain freedom that comes with unstructured play, fostering creativity, decision-making, and social skills in kids. Get the kids ready for an unforgettable summer with this checklist of 90s-inspired activities and ideas that will make them go “Whoa!”

1. Cancel the Schedule and Be Spontaneous

family picnic in the fall weather
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Some kids’ summer holidays today run on schedule like a German train these days. In the 90s, summer was a time for spontaneity and unplanned adventures. Rediscover that joy by canceling the tightly packed schedules and allowing days to unfold organically. Give room for impromptu water balloon fights or unexpected trips to the local park.

Parents can join in the spontaneity by leading surprise activities and setting the tone for the day. Not only will it give your kids a sense of freedom, but it will also provide opportunities for memorable, unstructured fun. It’s a chance for parents to reconnect with their own sense of adventure and fun.

2. Have a Movie Night

Parents and son sitting on blanket with pillows and watching movie projected on cloth in summer evening in yard
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Nothing says 90s summer like a classic movie night under the stars. Create an outdoor theater in your backyard with a simple projector and a white sheet. Choose timeless 90s family films like “Home Alone” or “Jumanji” to transport everyone back to a simpler time.

Make popcorn together and set up a cozy seating area with blankets and pillows. Teach the kids to make some nostalgic movie snacks like candy necklaces and soda floats. This will be a unique opportunity to bond over beloved stories that span generations.

3. Play Outside with Water

Cute boy with his mother playing in swimming pool during summer
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Water games were a staple of 90s summer fun. Set up a slip-and-slide or inflatable pool, or simply use the garden hose for hours of outdoor enjoyment. Activities like water balloon fights and sprinkler runs are perfect for cooling off and having a blast on hot days.

Parents can revive their inner child by joining in the water play and organizing group games. From water relay races to DIY obstacle courses, these activities entertain and promote physical fitness and team spirit.

4. Let Them Be Bored

Boring boy and girl in pajamas lying in bedroom at home watching tv feeling bored
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Today, boredom is seen as a disease that needs immediate attention. However, allowing kids to experience boredom can be a creative catalyst. When kids are left to their own devices, they invent games, build forts, and let their imaginations run wild. It’s an essential part of childhood development.

Parents can support this by resisting the urge to fill every minute with planned activities. Share stories of your own childhood summers spent exploring, inventing games, and getting lost in imaginative play. Emphasizing the value of unstructured time can help kids understand that boredom is just the beginning of an adventure.

5. Have a Block Party

Friends and neighbors toasting on garden party
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Nowadays, everybody is busy drinking water and minding their business, we barely have community gatherings. Bring back the communal spirit with a neighborhood block party. Encourage neighbors to participate in organizing games, potluck meals, and music. A block party fosters community and allows kids to make new friends while parents reconnect with their neighbors.

Set up classic 90s games like sack races, tug-of-war, and hula hoop contests. Sharing the workload and fun ensures that everyone has a great time while celebrating the joys of summer together.

6. Junk Food Festival

Child eating burger sitting in school canteen
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Healthy eating is wonderful, but a little bit of the 90s junk food indulging isn’t too bad. Let kids enjoy snacks that were popular in the 90s, like Dunkaroos, Fruit Roll-Ups, and Gushers (if you can find them). Set up a buffet of these treats and let everyone indulge in moderation.

Parents can participate by sharing stories of their favorite childhood snacks and perhaps even trying to recreate some of them at home. This activity offers a delicious trip down memory lane and provides an opportunity for family bonding over shared tastes and memories.

7. No Phones Summer

Happy family gardening together and taking care of nature
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The virtual world has taken over reality, and kids are barely living on earth; they’re all immersed in whatever the world in the screens is offering. Encourage family engagement with a ‘no-phones summer’ policy. By limiting screen time, you can ensure everyone is fully present during shared activities. This fosters deeper connections and more meaningful experiences.

Parents have to put down their own devices and focus on quality time with their children. Establish guidelines and explain the benefits of unplugging to help kids understand the importance of being present and enjoying the moment.

8. Go for Walks

Family with child walking and running holding hands along street
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A simple walk can turn into a grand adventure. It’ll help the modern couch potato kids to explore local parks, nature trails, or even the neighborhood. Walking encourages conversation, observation, and appreciation of the world around us.

Enhance the experience by planning scavenger hunts or nature walks where kids can collect leaves, rocks, and other treasures. These leisurely strolls are perfect opportunities for families to connect, share stories, and enjoy the outdoors together.

9. Get Crafting

Happy mother with her daughter making beaded jewelry at home
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Capture the DIY spirit of the 90s with fun crafting projects. Creating tie-dye T-shirts and friendship bracelets are classic, simple, and enjoyable activities. Kids will love the hands-on creativity and the chance to make something uniquely their own.

Gather supplies and guide the crafting sessions. Sharing tips and techniques from their own childhood can add a nostalgic touch. These crafts not only produce tangible keepsakes but also offer valuable bonding time.

10. Make Homemade Ice Cream

Mother with daughter in kitchen eating ice cream
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Store-bought ice cream is good, but nothing beats the taste of homemade ice cream on a hot summer day. Involve the whole family in making this delicious treat from scratch. It’s a fun and rewarding activity that ends with a sweet reward.

You can turn it into an educational experience by sharing the science behind ice cream-making. Experimenting with different flavors and toppings can make each batch unique. That’s one sweet way to create memories.

11. Camp in the Backyard

Happy family on picnic
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90s camping was epic, and you can transform your backyard into a camping haven to enjoy the feel of the great outdoors without leaving home. Pitch a tent, roll out sleeping bags, and settle in for a night under the stars. Share spooky stories around a campfire, make s’mores, and gaze at the constellations.

This is an opportune time to teach children basic camping skills like setting up a tent or cooking over an open flame. This adventure promotes a love for nature and encourages family bonding through shared activities and new experiences.

12. Visit a Local Farm

Little girl picking and eating blueberries on farm
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Do your children know where eggs come from, or do they think they’re grown like mushrooms? Do they know mushrooms are grown? Connect with the roots of your food by visiting a local farm. Many farms offer tours, fruit picking, and opportunities to interact with animals. Kids can learn about agriculture, where their food comes from, and the hard work that goes into farming.

This offers a great time to discuss the importance of supporting local farmers and sustainable practices. Participating in activities like picking berries or collecting eggs can be educational and enjoyable.


20 Strong Words Parents Should Never Say to Their Kids

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Countless adults sitting in a therapist’s office today are grappling with the lasting impact of words spoken by their parents during childhood. Regardless of how you perceive yourself, in your child’s eyes, you are nothing short of the most remarkable thing to happen to them since “skip intro.” This underscores the critical importance of being mindful of what you say to your children, as your words become the small but influential voice in their developing minds.

20 Strong Words Parents Should Never Say to Their Kids

16 Common Phrases Grandparents Should Stop Saying to Their Grandkids

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Do you still remember something your grandparents said that made you uncomfortable? As much as we adore our grandparents, their words (even with good intentions) can sometimes hurt our feelings or are plain embarrassing.

If you are a grandparent, using your words mindfully around your grandkids is as crucial as any other relationship. Words hold immense power and shape our kids’ behaviors and perceptions. 

16 Common Phrases Grandparents Should Stop Saying to Their Grandkids

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