You might have figured out we're quite big fans of summer around here. From frozen treats and cocktails to must-have beach accessories, we can't get enough of this sweltering season! And we've got a soft spot in our hearts for things that just scream summer in the mind of any kid. There will always be generational items that just bring you back to that moment at the end of the school year where the whole world was your oyster...summer break and all it's wonder awaited! With that in mind, here are several of those iconic items that will forever remind us of summer. So, turn on the air conditioner and grab a tissue to dab your eyes, we're headed down memory lane!
Slip 'N SlideR: This one is a summer fun no-brainer. Mix some water, the grass of the backyard and some adrenaline and you're in for some memories (ok, maybe a couple bumps and bruises as well - careful!) This was a regular part of any summer day's activities. Grab your bathing suit, some friends and watch summer hours d-i-s-a-p-p-e-a-r! (A refreshing alternative without the cost is a simple sprinkler run. Just as refreshing and exhilarating!)
Homemade popsicles: These are classic. Sure the packaged variety from the grocery store are pretty cool, but homemade are so much better! Why? Because YOU get to choose. Want to make Kool-Aid or lemonade popsicles? Go for it! How about something a bit more challenging like mango juice popsicles with pineapple chunks? No prob. If you've got it and can freeze it - throw it in! This was definitely a fun perk of summer that I remember: pick your flavor in the morning, crank the freezer settings and come back late in the afternoon to reap the tasty rewards. Mmm, summer never tasted so good!
Water guns: Super soakers were the name of the game in neighborhood water-based summer self-defense. While the water guns of today have turned into something arguably fearsome, things were pretty simple when I was growing up. You never knew who might be hiding around a corner or lying in wait...even your most trusted friend could - on a whim -suddenly dish-out a cold dose of water. Water gun battles were a raucous, fun and no doubt messy daily occurrence that was typically met with a "you're all wet AGAIN?!" refrain. But, alas, it was summer and fun was the name of the game, and more often than not that meant getting soaked.
Cul-de-sacs: Maybe it's just me, but when I think back to summers as a kid, I remember that cul-de-sacs always seemed to be the neighborhood gathering place for kids. For parents, it's definitely safer knowing your kids aren't running around a busy street. For kids, it seemed like cul-de-sacs were their domain and on hot summer days, the asphalt became our kingdom. Hope you didn't want to get your car out of the garage because we'd have a huge game of street hockey going, water balloon battles or were simply riding around on our bikes and acting like we owned the place. I didn't live on a cul-de-sac, but I certainly remember them being the hot destination where anything could happen on a summer's day!
Learning to swim: I have so many memories of summer. From Sundays at the beach with the whole family making drizzle castles in the sand, to catching fireflies in a jar on the front lawn, but - and perhaps it's because she just passed away - I have distinct memories of my Grandmother taking my brother and I to the community pool to teach us to swim...and dive.
I would not know how to dive if it weren't for my Grandma. I can still see her in her floral swim cap, all 5-feet nothing and 95 pounds of her, as she demonstrated the most elegant dive. She also had the most graceful strokes, gliding through the pool as she did endless laps every day. She swam well into her 90s until her body betrayed her, as it has a habit of doing. But that can't diminish my love for the water and my memories of long days water-logged, reeking of chlorine and of course, ice cream sandwiches and Italian ices.
Drizzle castles: I was a beach kid. Every weekend we'd head to the local town beach and spend endless hours in the sand and surf. But when we tired of riding the waves or jumping the waves, we hunkered down with a bucket and made drizzle castles in the wet sand. This involves sitting relatively close to the shoreline, filling a bucket with equal portions of sea and sand and then drizzling the sand through your fingers to make castle-like structures. It's not fancy or balanced but we'd sit there for hours and keep piling our castle spires higher and higher, until, of course, the ocean came and knocked it down.
What summer activities do you sentimentally remember from childhood?