Rediscovering '60s Kids' Activities in a New Era

By Sophia Maddox | April 5, 2024

Kids Were Free To Play With Fireworks Unsupervised

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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Many states have strict rules and regulations on purchasing fireworks now because they want to keep residents safe. In the 1960s, kids could walk into almost any neighborhood store and use their allowance money to buy fireworks. These weren't the black snakes and sparklers you see today either; they were real fireworks that had a real impact. Around the 4th of July, the sound of firecrackers was a common sound in most neighborhoods.


If you don't think this sounds too bad, keep in mind that the fireworks didn't have modern safety regulations and that they usually didn't have adult supervision. Not only was there a risk of one going off in their hand, but they could also damage property when they played with or threw them. This photo shows another potential danger as kids shook fireworks that produced a lot of sparks around others.

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.