Rediscovering '60s Kids' Activities in a New Era

By Sophia Maddox | February 29, 2024

Junk Food Diets Were The Norm

The good old days vary from one generation to the next. For many people, though, the good old days were the 1960s. It was a simpler time when parents let their kids run loose without worrying about any possible dangers. Kids could take a few dollars and see a movie and grab some snacks while bringing home some change. As much as we love the decade, it wasn't always sunshine and roses. Check out some of the things kids did in the 1960s that would horrify us today.

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The 1960s led to a rise in junk food production and consumption. While our image shows kids enjoying a Hardee's meal, this was far from the only fast food chain spreading through the country at the top. These restaurants made it easy for parents to get food on the table when they didn't have a lot of time. As women slowly joined the workforce, they turned to junk food and fast food to feed their families. Even moms who stayed at home opted for some of these foods due to the influence TV ads had on them. Brands even sponsored popular shows.


While junk food was slightly healthier back then, it was never healthy. Ruffles and Sprite debuted during the 1960s as did Pop-Tarts and Pringles. Moms no longer needed to make food from scratch for kids' parties because they could reach for junk food and keep guests happy. Some believe there were more snack foods consumed in the 60s than today.

Children Often Went Through Their Day With No Parental Supervision

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We keep going back to the lack of parental and adult supervision because it's so different from the modern world. Shows like "Unsolved Mysteries" taught us that anything can happen and we need to protect our kids. There are even networks that show true crime series nearly every hour of the day. While kidnappers and murderers existed in the 1960s, the stories sounded more like urban legends than things that happened to real people. Whether it was teens hanging out with their friends all day or a group of kids spending hours in a playground, parents assumed they were fine.


Looking back with a modern eye, it's easy to see this wasn't a smart decision. The number of teens who engaged in premarital sex rose from the 1950s to the 1960s, leading to the free love of the 70s. It took decades before parents realized kids of all ages needed some form of supervision.