Share memories of summer play to win $25 gift card

Remember when summer meant endless time to play? Share your memory of how you played when you were a kid for a chance to win a $25 gift card. Sedentary games not included. (Daily Record/Sunday News -- Kate Penn)

Remember when summer meant endless time to play? Share your memory of how you played when you were a kid for a chance to win a $25 gift card. Sedentary games not included. (Daily Record/Sunday News — Kate Penn)

When you were a kid, did you spend your summer days meandering through alleyways on your bike?

Did your backyard become an imaginary forest, and did you play pick-up games of kickball with neighborhood kids?

Bet your parents had to call you in to dinner, or you knew it was time to come home when the dim street lights turned on.

Summertime likely meant nearly limitless time to play.

This generation of children plays less than previous generations. Physical inactivity among children is a major contributor to the obesity epidemic. Experts say free play is essential to the cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being of children and youth.

The American Heart Association recommends children 2 and older get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day.

To help re-instill the magic of play in today’s youth, we want you to reminisce and share your favorite playtime memories of summer. A random winner will receive a $25 Weis gift card. Post your memory in the comment section below.

About Leigh Zaleski

I'm a health features reporter for the York Daily Record/Sunday News and healthy living blogger for No Sweat, York. Contact me with story ideas at lzaleski@ydr.com, 717-771-2101 or @leighzaleski on Twitter.
This entry was posted in Kids, Obesity, Wellness and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Share memories of summer play to win $25 gift card

  1. Annette says:

    As a little girl growing up on a farmette in Manchester Township, I remember running after the butterflies during the day, splashing in the creek and looking for crayfish with my nieces and nephews and catching ligthening bugs at night. Nothing more fun than eating watermelon and seeing who could spit their seeds the farthest!

  2. Kathy Savino says:

    We would get thunder showers and the streets would fill up quickly. We would get a lid to a jar and float them and have races with siblings or friends and run along side to see who would win the race.

  3. Leigh Zaleski says:

    Example entry: My Grandpa Andy had a creek that ran through his backyard in Clarks Summit, Pa. Whenever we visited in the summer, my siblings and many cousins would spend hours in the water, searching for minnows and crayfish. We’d keep them in jars, but of course, we had to let them go. When it got dark, we’d run through his huge, field-like yard catching fireflies.

  4. Beverly Maring says:

    We lived on a dairy farm that had a creek running through it and my brother and I would run barefooted through the meadow squashing fresh cow ‘patties’ on the way to the creek where we would pull chunks of grass from the sides to dam up the creek. Mother would find our collections of box turtles, etc. in the kitchen sink which we would have to return. Television was not invented yet so we had to find our own way of passing time. Fond memories of those days.

  5. Sherrie Ilgenfritz says:

    Summertime when I was young, meant full days of playing on the swing set, making mud pies, and playing in a small wading pool. We used our imagination to go places, without ever leaving the backyard. Building forts using a sheet mom gave us, and later using it as our table for a picnic under shade tree. Playing 4 square, keep-away, and when playing alone, throwing the ball against a wall or stairs over and over.
    Frisbee and Badmitton, kickball and jump rope, playing Tag and having foot races kept us active. We hardly ever went inside, when we were thirsty we drank from the garden hose. We had an old ‘MG’ car way in the backyard that didn’t run. We would travel everywhere in that car.
    Come sundown, mom would give us a jar, and off we went to catch lightning bugs. Putting some grass in the jar, we carried them around until bedtime. Then place them beside the bed and watch them blink as we fell asleep, thinking and reliving our many adventures from the day.
    What I would give to have that care-free life again. In many ways, I still do. I drink from the garden hose, dig in the dirt, use my imagination. I’m still a child inside.

  6. Damion Krout says:

    I grew up with parents who were divorced. Fortunately, this gave me many opportunities during summer vacation. My mom lived on 10 acres with woods and a creek and later we got a pool. My sisters and I packed picnic lunches, ventured into the woods to play on the rope swing and splash in the creek. Mom worked 3rd shift so we stayed outside almost all day, every day. Dad lived in town (where most of my friends lived). I would go outside after breakfast and stay outside until dinner. We would ride bikes, go to the park or swim. We played baseball, basketball, wiffle ball and throw the football. We’d trade baseball cards… and we did it outside. Never a dull moment!

  7. Chrissy Sparks says:

    As a kid I ALWAYS wanted to be outside. I was girly but with a tomboy inside me. I loved to dress cute but loved to get dirty. I would wade in the creek catching bull frogs, crayfish, tadpoles etc…Id go fishing with my friends, ride my bike, catch lightening bugs and snakes. Id use my imagination to take me places. The trees became my watch tower, the creek would be the most beautiful waterfall. My bike took me all over the world on many adventures. I’d go tubing down the river and go on picnics with my friends. I’d be outside practically from sun up to sun down. From time to time Id o to Az to my grandpas and Id explore his property. Riding the mustangs looking for critters, scorpions and more. We’d made a game out of who could get on the ostrich’s back and make her lay an egg…lol We would have picnics by the sunflower field and listen to the coyotes at sundown. Sometimes we would camp on the property and have smores. Kids just don’t relize they need to slow down and enjoy the simpler times, they are too busy being rushed and want to grow up. Im glad my kids take after me and enjoy lifes simple pleasures.

  8. Dana Matson says:

    My summers were spent swimming and catching crayfish in the creek, riding my bike and playing at the park until the street lights came one. Then as dusk would fall, and the lightening bugs lit the way, we would play capture the flag, hide n go seek, tag, or some other game that was made so much fun in the dark! Not to mention, walking to friends houses, catching lightening bugs, and berry picking!

    • Tom Foster says:

      Your comments sound like a description of my childhood growing up across the street from Lincoln Park.

      I don’t have much more to say except we boys always looked forward to the day when the Summer “Park Teacher” arrived with a new array of park equipment….soft balls (we called it “mush ball”), bats, volley balls, horseshoes and etc. Over the endless Summer, we would compete with the other parks in the city.

      The park teachers always seemed mysteriously pretty and mature to adolescent boys like me. I guess they were college gals home for the Summer.

      We made lanyards and little other items out of stuff called “gimp” at picnic tables in the shade along Willis Run that passes through the center of Lincoln Park.

      Back in the day, York was a wonderful town in which to grow up.

  9. Jody W. says:

    I lived in Windsor for the majority of my childhood. You wouldn’t believe the number of dinosaurs that lived in the trees off of Water Street. Hours were spent in the woods playing our version of Land of the Lost.

  10. Kelly Helsel says:

    I grew up in the country. Lewisberry, PA to be exact. I have endless summer childhood memories including helping my mother garden and landscape our property, mowing the yard with my father, swinging on a vine out back behind the pole barn, catching lightening bugs, taking hikes in the woods popping “Johnny Jump Ups” (I still don’t know the real name of those plants), blowing bubbles, dancing in the rain, husking corn, swimming, and so much more that I would need much more than this little box to finish my thoughts. Yeah, growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, in the sticks, was pretty awesome. 20 years later, the legacy of making childhood memories continues vicariously through my son…

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  12. Theresa Young says:

    I remember taking my mom’s big galvenized tub outside and filling it with water. It sat right by my kiddie pool but I would love to get into the tub and splash around. My skip it was my best friend too! I loved that thing. I lived in the city down the street from the “bad” neighborhood so I wasn’t allowed to ride a bike. I also lived in a neighborhood of older people, no kids. It was a bit lonely but I always found something to do. Now my daughter is growing up in a good neighborhood filled with kids. They come over and watch the grass grow sitting on our deck. Drives me crazy! I feel like screaming “YOUR OUTSIDE…MOVE!” My daughter does use her imagination and gets plenty of active play when she is on her own but when the other kids come over they don’t do anything. Sad really.

  13. Dan Wolfe says:

    In the early 60’s the choice was to play outside or help around the house. A balsa wood glider, a home made parachute tied to a toy soldier, or tied to my sister’s Barbie doll (yikes!) would keep us busy on a summer day. We were also quite fascinated with the number of booby traps we could invent featuring the garden hose and a rope. When the green panel truck delivering the evening paper showed up, it was time to wash up for supper. The TV stayed off on hot summer days since the tubes created heat and all we could afford was an electric fan. Fond memories.

  14. Stephanie Hartlaub says:

    When I was a young girl, I remember riding my bike around for hours each day. I’d go for miles w/my friends till the sun set. We’d find a spot somewhere that had shade like a creek & would eat a picnic lunch. Having food, drinks & a towel packed in our backpacks, we were ready to set off for the entire summer afternoon.

  15. Tracie H says:

    I grew up in central PA, just west of State College. We could not wait to go and play outside. Our neighborhood had quite a few children. We would play kickball in our backyard with about 6 to 12 others. If we were not playing kickball we rode our bikes to the community pool and stayed there until 4 to 5 PM. We did not like the 10 minutes that they made us get out and let the adults in to swim.
    After supper we would go outside ride bikes, roller skate, skate boards or whatever we could to ride down the hill. Our neighbor had a moon wagon, which was fun to ride in. At 9 pm we had to be in our backyard or a friends, which is when you would find us playing flashlight tag until the time we had to be home.
    In the winter they closed the road in front of our house and we went sled riding as long as our parents allowed us outside or curfew.
    This is just a few things that we did. Imaginations ran wild especially when we were at our grandpaps house, which had a small crick running beside it.

  16. Deb Martin says:

    I was a child in the 60’s & 70’s. My grandparents had a home along the Susquehanna River (below the Normanwood Bridge). We had friends whom we would go boating with, play games like hide & seek, or board games. Both of my Mom’s brothers & their families would also go down every weekend during the summer. We lost that house during Agnes; but, my grandparents built another house. It was so sad when my grandfather passed away & we had to sell it. We still miss the house but have WONDERFUL memories. My other summer memories involve my home & neighborhood. We would go to a neighborhood playground program in the morning (after chores were completed), for about two hours of activity. We would go home for lunch, then go to the neighborhood pool to swim for the afternoon. Then home for supper & then back to the playground for two more hours of activities. My brothers also played baseball & I played softball for Pleasureville. They had just started a league for girls when I was about 13 years old. Many nights, the kids in the neighborhood would gather to play hide & seek or kick the can, catch lightning bugs or just hang out & look at the stars. The adult neighbors would sit on the front porches & visit with one another. We had no air conditioners so we would go outside to get fresh air & chat. These are most of my WONDERFUL memories of my childhood summers.

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