Rediscovering '60s Kids' Activities in a New Era

By Sophia Maddox | March 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.

Sunscreen? No Thanks

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Mark Goebel/Pixels

The 1960s was a time when kids spent as much time outside as possible. Unlike today, where kids often sit inside to watch Netflix or play video games, 60 kids wanted to roam free. Families purchased pool passes in May and expected their kids to spend nearly every nice day at the pool. It might horrify you to know that despite spending 4-8+ hours outside, no one wore sunscreen.


Who could blame them, though? The first chemical sunscreen product didn't hit the market until the 1930s. Though some soldiers wore sunscreen during World War II, it wasn't a habit they continued when they got home. For most kids growing up in the 1960s, sunburn was a part of life. They just assumed their skin would turn red after being outside, not knowing it would increase their chance of cancer later.