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8 things I did as a child that I'm passing down to my kids this summer.

Little Tikes
Thanks to our brand partner, Little Tikes

When I close my eyes and think back to the greatest memories of my childhood, they nearly all have one thing in common: summer.

I can smell the sunscreen, taste the ripe mangoes, and hear my mother’s voice ringing through the house to “GET OUTSIDE AND PLAY”. It was, without a hint of exaggeration, the greatest time to be alive.

Then, I grew up.

Like so many boring adults before me, I lost touch with the carefree energy of summer holidays. I replaced day-long pool sessions with client presentations, and beach volleyball matches with text-message battles about school drop-off with my partner.

That rule and schedule-free summer feeling that seemed to elevate me to untouchable God-like status had sadly been lost.

But then I became a father. And with the sleepless nights and poop-filled nappies came a burning desire to take a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

As parents, we all want the same thing: to keep our kids happy. And if we can recreate special memories from our own childhoods to ensure their summers are as jam-packed and laughter-filled as our own, then it’s a win/win.

Now that summer is officially here, my desire to create those iconic moments is in full swing with my twins. Here are 8 things I did as a child that I’m passing down my kids.

1. The summer sprinkler run.

Setting up a sprinkler, which takes very little effort, is a surefire way to win over your children’s hearts and give you a few hours of freedom to get some laundry done.

We always paired the water play with music, playing “Freeze Dance” as my parents stopped and started the songs. Challenge your kids to stand like a statue as the water pelts them, it’s too fun.

2. The backyard mini-golf tournament.

My boy Cooper plays with the TotSports™ Easy Hit™ Golf Set from Little Tikes. Image" Supplied.
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When I was a kid, we had a TotSports Easy Hit Golf Set from Little Tikes. My parents would dress us up in golf vests and silly hats, having us compete in a golf tournament around the backyard. I now have the same set for my twins (how cool is that?), raising the stakes and offering a first (and second) prize of delicious ice blocks.

3. Making the beach our playground.

Me on the beach, carefree and very tough. Image supplied.

My kids see the beach as a playground, and there's plenty for them to do.

I love nothing more than collecting seashells - bring a muffin tin along and have your kids divide them into groups by colour or size. This is sure to keep them distracted when they get bored after swimming and building sandcastles, and it's something you can do together and just forget the world.

Oh, and you can then use the sorted shells for craft projects, which my twins love to do.

 

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4. The Basketball dunk competition.

When it gets too hot outside, parents have to be prepared with some indoor games to keep the kids distracted. My parents always hung a basketball hoop on our bedroom door and challenged us with a dunk competition. Little Tikes has an Attach N Play Basketball Hoop that adjusts to three different heights, making it possible for little toddlers like mine to dunk like a professional player.

Little known fact: Little Tikes has been around for so long (50 years to be exact) that not only did I play with these toys as a kid, but my parents did too. Impressive.

5. Making homemade ice blocks.

I was always a big fan of cooking with my mum, so summer-themed recipes need to be in your wheelhouse if you’re going to keep your kids distracted on a hot summer day. I like to mix lollies with fruit juice for a delicious snack that’s equally fun to look at.

6. Mastering the best T-ball swing.

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Cooper hits it out of the park with the TotSports™ T-ball Set from Little Tikes. Image Supplied.
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I grew up in America, where baseball is the national pastime. We had the TotSports T-Ball Set in our backyard year-round, so I demanded that we have the set in our yard as soon as my children could stand. The oversized bat and balls make hitting easy, so your little nuggets will enjoy early success. This, and the bright colours, are sure to make a perfect addition to your backyard this summer.

If you’re not sure if T-ball is the game for you and your children, just switch it out for another Little Tikes game like their Clearly Sports Bowling, Light 'n Go 3 in 1 Sports Zone or the Easy Score™ Soccer Set.

7. Outdoor movie night.

After a hot summer day, it’s nice to snuggle up in the backyard with a movie night. Whether you rent an outdoor movie screen or simply cuddle in front of your computer, your children will love switching up their evening routine and watching a movie under the stars.

Pro tip: Mix some popcorn with your favourite chocolate candy.

8. Hunting for insects.

Peekaboo! The garden is the perfect place for exploring. Image: Supplied.

There's no better way for kids to learn about the world, than by crawling in the dirt and searching for bugs. I like to set them up with a dirt and leaf-filled container and let their imagination run wild as they search for backyard critters.

The beauty of this nostalgic summer list is that each and every activity is as much for you as it is for your kids. Because active play that brings you and your children together is what summer is all about. The proof is in their smiles.

What other activities filled your summer holidays as a kid? Let us know in the comment section below!

Little Tikes

At Little Tikes, we understand every day is an adventure with more to discover. We make products that encourage active and imaginative play. Products that get small bodies moving spark curiosity, create wonder and let kids dream big. With 50 years of expertise in play, we're experts at doing it right! We are known for our playhouses, ride-ons, sports, sandboxes, climbers, slides, role-play, infant and preschool toys and we love what we do. Check out our range at one of our participating retailers, or online at www.littletikes.com.au

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