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15 products to help you relive your childhood summers

Unleash the nostalgia with these products.

Credit: Prism / Jenga

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For most people, classic warm-weather activities like traveling, going to the movies to escape the heat, and hitting the local pool are on hold this summer.

This can be a bummer—but it’s also an opportunity to get back to your childhood roots. The summers that many people remember most fondly are the ones from when they were kids, when rules like curfews and staying within your neighborhood parameters were commonplace. Because of this, this year may be your best opportunity to have a summer that your eight-year-old self would approve of—in spite of (or, rather, because of) limitations due to COVID-19. We’ve found a bunch of things that can help you feel like a kid again this summer, including roller skates, trampolines, sprinklers, and more.

rollerskates
Credit: Roller Derby

Take part in this summer's hottest trend with these roller skates.

Right now, roller skates are sold out almost everywhere. (You can thank TikTok for that.) But if you don’t mind waiting a few weeks, you can preorder this pair of Roller Derby skates from Urban Outfitters, which are on backorder and expected to ship on July 15. (That’s for most sizes—women's sizes 5 and 6 are still available right now.) These 80s-inspired skates are available in a few retro patterns and colors, including a mint zebra print, a bright blue checkered print, and good ol' hot pink. If you’ve been itching to skate, these will be well worth the wait.

Get the Roller Derby Hightop Skates from Urban Outfitters for $79

2. A bike to get where you need to go

bike
Credit: Cannondale

This stylish bike is a great way to zip around town.

Bicycles are another hot-ticket summer item, with sudden increased demand causing shortages all over the country. If you want to take part in the two-wheeler trend, the best place to buy a bike is at a local shop. But if you don’t mind assembling your bike at home (and possibly waiting a few weeks for it to arrive), you can order the Cannondale Quick Disk 4 from REI. This hybrid bike has nine gears to cater the intensity of the ride to your abilities, a pressure-relieving saddle to avoid post-ride aches, and a wheel sensor that tracks your ride activity via an app, including calories burned, speed, and distance. Just don’t forget to fasten your helmet before you set out to ride.

Get the Cannondale Quick Disc 4 from REI for $700

3. A big bubble wand to put on a show

bubble
Credit: Etsy / BubblePalooza

What's not to love about bubbles?

Blowing bubbles is always fun, whether it’s in a glass of milk, the bath, or with a mini wand. But you can up the ante with this aptly-named Ginormous Bubble Wand, which uses two birch handles and a large, lasso-like string that is dipped into soapy water and dragged through the air to create larger-than-life bubbles. Kids and adults alike will revel in the super-sized orbs it creates, whether it’s at an outdoor Fourth of July party or simply for a relaxed day in the park.

Get the Ginormous Bubble Wand from Etsy for $12.60

4. A sprinkler to enjoy a cooling spray

sprinkler
Credit: Sun Squad

This unicorn sprinkler looms above kids, but it's a good size for adults, too.

If you want to cool off, but don’t have a pool to dive into, you’ll love a sprinkler to splash around in. Consider this oversized, whimsical, unicorn-shaped sprinkler, which spouts water out of its horn when attached to a water hose. The mythical creature stands at a little over six feet tall, so reviewers recommend using an air pump to fill it up without getting winded, but this impressive height also ensures that it’s tall enough for most adults to stand under its spray without having to crouch.

Get the Unicorn Sprinkler from Target for $50

5. A kite to use the wind in your favor

kite
Credit: Prism

Have a high-flying adventure with this colorful kite.

If you have access to a wide, open space—like a park or beach—one of the best ways to take advantage of it is with a kite. REI reviewers love the Prism Designs Zenith kite, which has sturdy wings that hold it aloft even in strong wind, internal bungee cords that make it easy to assemble and fold down into a small package, and a colorful frame that looks great against the sky.

You also don’t need to worry about it falling prey to a Kite-Eating Tree: The Zenith kite has removable snap-on tails that make it easier to detangle from tree branches if it flies into one by mistake.

Get the Prism Designs Zenith kite from REI for $35

6. A trampoline to bounce around

trampoline
Credit: Merax

Get some air with this trampoline.

Most kids and adults can agree on at least one thing: Jumping around on a big trampoline is a ton of fun. Lock in the childhood spirit this summer with a big backyard trampoline of your own, like the Merax 12-foot tramp. It has 72 galvanized springs (all covered with a PVC foam padding so you don’t have to worry about getting your hands and feet pinched), a basketball hoop, and a net held up by padded poles to ensure secure jumping.

Get the Merax Trampoline With Safety Enclosure from Amazon for $639.99

7. A slip-n-slide to have heart-pumping fun

wahii
Credit: Wahii

A slip 'n' slide makes a backyard hangout extra special.

Sure, you can’t go to the water park this summer. But you can bring the water park to you—or at least something like it—with this backyard slip-n-slide. At 50 feet long and 12 feet wide, it has ample room for adults (and, sure, kids). Just lay it out on a grassy area—preferably a hill or slight slope—place a sprinkler or hose at the top, and get sliding. Reviewers are impressed with its thick, durable plastic that holds up against potential hazards on the ground and say it feels smooth on the skin. Whether you get a running start or cautiously hop into a pool floaty at the top of the slide (choose your own adventure), it’s an exciting diversion for kids and grown-ups alike.

Get the Wahii Water Slide from Amazon for $129.99

8. A skateboard to get a handle on some tricks

pennyboard
Credit: Meketec

Whether you're learning to skate for the first time or returning to the habit, this board is a great way to do it.

It’s never too late to master that wheelie, right? This compact penny board is a great way to learn (or even re-learn) how to tool around on a skateboard. All boards come with sturdy urethane wheels and a colorful frame of your choosing, including prints like red and blue flames or a starry sky. Start out slow on a smooth, flat surface, and who knows—maybe you’ll be the next Tony Hawk.

Get the Mektek Mini Cruiser from Amazon for $44

9. A projector and screen to throw the perfect at-home movie party

outdoormovie
Credit: Getty Images / M_A_Y_A

Sit back and relax with a projector and outdoor screen.

If you grew up going to drive-in movie theaters or summer movie nights in the park, you can recreate those cinematic experiences in your own backyard (well, maybe without the ambient noise of other groups’ commentary during the movie). All you need is a portable projector—our favorite is the Anker Nebula Mars, which has great picture quality and an intuitive platform—and an outdoor projector screen, like the Akia DIY movie screen, which attaches to the house using hooks and grommets. The movie you choose to watch is up to you, but as long as you don’t forget the popcorn, everyone at your “theater” should be happy.

10. A scooter to get around town in style

razorscooter
Credit: Razor

Get scootin' around your neighborhood with this deluxe Razor.

As any kid knows, a classic kick scooter is a great way to explore the neighborhood in the summer (as long as you don’t accidentally knock your heel against the white-hot metal around the back wheel). And Razor’s Lux Kick scooter, which has height-adjustable handlebars, a retractable kickstand, and a folding mechanism that makes it easy to store, is a great way for adults to get around town, too. (That’s right—this is a purely practical purchase!) The scooter’s extra-large urethane wheels and deck support riders up to 220 pounds and make for a smooth, comfortable ride.

Get the Razor A5 Scooter from Walmart for $89

11. A pogo stick to do high-powered jumping

superpogo
Credit: Flybar

Whether you're doing tricks or casual bouncing, this pogo stick will serve you well.

Get some air with the Flybar Super Pogo 2, a heavy-duty pogo stick for adults that the manufacturer says is perfect for “extreme tricks” or low-key bouncing. The Flybar Super Pogo 2’s high-strength aluminum, spring-powered pogo, and adjustable handles make it suitable for adults between 90 and 200 pounds (though some customers say they’re heavier and use it to great success).

Reviewers say the pogo stick is a great way to “rekindle your youth,” get some exercise, and have a lot of fun.

Get the Flybar Super Pogo 2 from Amazon for $173.99

12. A giant Jenga game to to upgrade a childhood classic

jenga
Credit: Jenga

This big Jenga blocks up the game's stakes.

Holding a family game night? If so, one great option is this giant Jenga game, which uses the same block-stacking rules as its regular-sized version, but with larger blocks. Reviewers say it's perfect to play inside or outside, and you can even stack the super-sized blocks on a taller surface to raise the stakes and make the tower go above your head while you're standing. The game also comes with a travel case, so it’s easy to bring along on a family vacation.

Get the Jenga Giant Hardwood Game from Wayfair for $118.50

13. A kiddie pool to get your feet wet

intex
Credit: Intex

Lower your body temp with this inflatable pool.

This colorful inflatable pool is a great vessel for kids—or you—to cool off in. Like most kiddie pools, it’s simple to use: Fill it with air (reviewers say they use a bike pump or simply puff the air in themselves), pour in some water, and you’re all set. Reviewers say it’s surprisingly wide and durable, with enough space for at least one adult—or several kids—to sit in comfortably.

Get the Intex Kiddie Pool from Amazon for $32.99

14. A jump rope to work on your double-Dutch skills

jumprope
Credit: Sportbit / Just Jump It

Whether you're jumping on your own or with a crew, a jump rope is a fun backyard item.

Whether it’s for aerobic exercise or an endorphin-inducing diversion (or both!), a jump rope is a worthy addition to this summer. Turn jumping rope into a social activity and call back memories back to your schoolyard days with the 16-foot Just Jump It rope, which reviewers say feels sturdy, but isn’t too heavy to twirl and won’t cause bruises if it whacks a jumper on the shins. For solo jumping, try the Sportbit jump rope, which has easy-grip handles and adjustable length to make it suitable for your height and reach. The jump rope also comes with an ebook that includes tips on how to get the most out of your hopping exercises.

After a long, hot day of wheeling, riding, blowing bubbles, and jumping about, you’re going to want to wind down with an icy treat. Make one that lives up to all your childhood snack dreams with a Snowie snow cone maker. This device shaves ice (using cubes from the freezer, not tough-to-acquire blocks) to make what reviewers say is akin to “fluffy snow,” which you can then top with syrup to make a sweet, colorful concoction. Reviewers say the machine is simple to use, easy to store, and always welcome among family members for a festive at-home dessert.

The Little Snowie Max Snow Cone Machine comes with six flavor powder sticks (which makes about six pints of syrup), two mixing bottles, and eight ice scoopers.

Get the Little Snowie Max Snow Cone Machine from Amazon for $209

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