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What's Your Favorite Memory of Play as a Kid?

We asked, you answered

Published on: June 30, 2017


We asked readers and ParentMap staff members: "What's your favorite memory of play as a kid?" These are their responses, slightly edited for brevity and clarity. Chime in with your own play memory in the comments below!

  1. We'd make a picnic of dandelion and burdock and snacks and go to a den in the woods by a stream and pretend we were the famous five on an adventure. I love the freedom we had just to be with friends in nature. — Rachel M., Sammamish
  2. We once spent hours digging a very substantial pile of dirt, dreaming of making it into a swimming pool. When it was time to come in the for the day, my mom stood me in the bathtub and poured a bucket or two of water over my head and let it drain. Then she filled the tub a few inches and I swished around in it a few times. Then I was finally clean enough to take an actual bath! — Greta H., Edmonds
  3. I was lucky enough to have cousins and neighbor kids all around the same age living on our block. We lived on a dead-end street so there was a lot of playing catch or riding bikes on the street without any traffic. And if a slow-moving car had to pass us, we’d all yell “Car!” and step to the side. I remember fondly that we were raised as a group of about eight families all taking care of one another’s children. — Melanie L., Bothell
  4. As a kid, I loved to roller skate. My skates were clunky but indestructible. I felt so free. — Natasha M., Seattle
  5. I remember one summer night at my cousins’ house. We could hear the croaks of frogs and decided to catch them. Pretty soon we had caught enough to fill half of a 5-gallon bucket! — Katie K., Seattle
  6. The best part of my childhood summer? No supervision. I’m not sure what our parents did with their quiet evenings but they never checked on us. I’m sure they could hear us laughing and playing as the day turned dark. — Mary M., Bothell
  7. We had some great vine maples in the backyard that were bent and springy — nature’s trampoline! We would climb and bounce and bounce on these. Falling wasn’t a problem; there were too many branches to catch you! Trees are the best, and these natives were super fun. — Michelle T., Seattle
  8. I spent endless hours in the community pool. At the end of the day, I’d have wrinkled fingers and be shivering but still not want to get out of the water! — Dawn A., Seattle
  9. Play really happened best in our family when we escaped the city to our grandparents’ summer cottage where life was one block long, from beach to dinner at the Roadhouse. — Alayne Sulkin, publisher and CEO of ParentMap
  10. One of my grandmothers had a cabin on a lake. I loved to wade in the water to get a good-sized heavy rock and then go dive off the deep end of the dock with it and let the rock carry me down to the bottom. Once I grew up I was disappointed to realize the “deep” only came up to my ears. — Elisa Taylor, ad operations manager of ParentMap
  11. My sister and I love video games where we can play at the same time. We’re particularly fans of the Lego series of games (no blood, just bricks). We’ve spent hours roaming the Millennium Falcon, Gotham and Hogwarts exploring, building and laughing. — Elisabeth Kramer, associate editor of ParentMap
  12. Riding my bike on warm summer nights and watching my shadow in the street lights. — Amy Chinn, production designer of ParentMap
  13. I loved riding bikes with the neighbor kids on the greenbelts of our suburban Houston neighborhood. No adults ever came with us. We just rode around in packs and checked back in with our parents occasionally! — Sonja Hanson, business manager of ParentMap
  14. Girl Scout camps! Cheap, free of parents and running wild with a pack of girls. I cherished those weeks of camping, canoeing and sailing, when I got to test my mettle in nature. The pranks on the counselors were fun, too. — Laura Kastner, Ph.D., member of ParentMap advisory board

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