Pastimes of days gone by…fun things we used to do!

Many of us grew up in a world that looked totally different than it does today. We didn’t have cell phones, the internet, social media and in a lot of cases, we threw caution to the wind and didn’t wear bike helmets! (Pearl clutching everywhere!)  I have mixed thoughts about technology, but I know it’s here to stay, and my children are “digital natives”… growing up with a smartphone pretty much attached to their hand. I don’t try to fight it, but I do love it when I see them participating in activities that now might seem “old-school” …the way I used to enjoy them. 

There are all kinds of things that seem lost to previous generations.  Here are some that I would love to see make a comeback! 

Playing Outside:

Saturdays and Sundays used to mean a street full of kids playing outside from morning until the streetlights came on.  There would be bike riding, big wheel riding, exploring the woods, fort building, roaming the neighborhood unsupervised, grabbing drinks and snacks at whoever’s house you ended up at and going back out to explore and play some more. If our parents needed to find us, they would look for our bike or ask one of the neighbors…because everyone knew each other.  This was my experience as a kid, and I know it was the same for many of my peers. 

Roller Skating: 

Whether outside in the street or at the local skating rink, roller skating was a happening pastime back in the day. For me and my friends, we would roller skate in the street on weeknights and weekend days and then head to the skating rink on Friday and Saturday nights for some REAL exciting nightlife!  There was the thrill of learning to skate backwards, doing tricks, visiting the snack bar for a “suicide” (all the drinks mixed together).  Then the angst of wondering who might ask you to “couple skate” when those were announced and the thrill of standing under a number out on the rink floor while a giant dice was rolled to see who would win the  prize.  Roller skating was truly a lifestyle. 

Kick the Can / Sardines: 

These games would most often be played when the sun was going down.  All the better for hiding out! 

Kick the Can is a game in which one player tries to find and tag others who are hiding before each hiding player can run to and kick a can which is positioned near the center of the field of play.

Sardines is a really fun game that is played like hide and go seek — only in reverse! One person hides, and everyone else searches for the hidden person. Whenever a person finds the hidden person, they quietly join them in their hiding spot. Soon, the hidden group starts to look like a bunch of sardines! 


Who doesn’t love hopscotch?  It’s a game of skill, balance and it’s super fun. There are different varieties of hopscotch which can provide hours of active entertainment to kids who love to hop around on one leg. 


You may think marbles is an old-fashioned outdoor game, but it’s also a game that can be played indoors. There are different versions of the game. Kids can even make up their own rules! It’s also fun to collect cool marbles and trade with friends. 

House of Cards: 

Building a house of cards is something everyone should do at least once. It’s a game of focus and concentration, not to mention a steady hand.  Who will win? Will the human remain in control, or will the cards come crashing down? Trying to build a house of cards is a rite of passage, and also a feat of patience!


Jacks is a great way to build patience and discipline while having fun. It’s meant to be played with 2 players, but kids can practice on their own if they find themselves bored and without a partner.

String Games: 

I adored string games when I was a kid! There are a ton of these old-fashioned finger string games like Cat’s Cradle. Mom’s Minivan on YouTube has an entire playlist of how to make different ones.


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