Rediscovering '60s Kids' Activities in a New Era

By Sophia Maddox | May 9, 2024

Children Often Went Through Their Day With No Parental Supervision

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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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.

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.