When I was a kid, I remember that over the summer, we went to a public pool that had a separate diving pool, with all different levels of diving boards. The highest board seemed obscenely high and few people would ever attempt it. My dad was one of those people. We’d beg him to jump and usually by the end of our pool day, he’d make the trek up all those stairs and ladders, people looking up from their lounge chairs as they saw him ascending to the top. He was pretty heavy back then, but he had great diving form! His jump off the high board was always a proud “that’s my dad!” moment. He taught Mazzy to dive last year.

If you asked my kids what their favorite summer memory is, they’d probably say the time the ice cream truck man bought lemonade from their lemonade stand. That was an EPIC summer moment.

When you think back on your own childhood, what’s your favorite summer memory or family tradition? I asked this question in the Remarkably Average Parents facebook group and I have to say— not one mention of cruises, Disney World or exotic vacations. All the answers involved simple, easily attainable things.

Ready to feel nostalgic? These sweet summer moments are a good reminder that we don’t need to do anything elaborate to create lasting memories for our kids.

1) “Occasionally, after a super hot, sweaty, dirty day, my mum would give us a bath and then pack us into a wagon and go for a walk around the block. The clean feeling combined with the fresh air and my still wet hair is my most favorite feeling. I do it with my kids now. As an adult, I’ll have a shower, put on clean PJs and have a tea on our porch. It’s the best.” – Meagan

2) “We played wiffleball and badminton in the front yard all day long. We even made a permanent badminton court by marking the lines with powered laundry detergent. It killed the grass and lasted most of the summer.” – Jon

3) “If it was too hot, I was allowed to watch Days of Our Lives with my Mom while helping her fold laundry.” – Amanda

4) “One of my favorite memories was when we went camping and stayed in a screened shelter type bunkhouse. We went boating, fishing and hydro sliding. I remember my dad caught a few bass, while my mom, sisters and I caught an ice chest FULL of perch. But the most vivid memory from that trip was waking up in the middle of the night to my youngest sister SCREAMING because raccoons had gotten inside and were playing with her hair. Good times.” – Jessica

5) “I loved going for long bike rides with my family and stopping at DQ for ice cream. Looking back, my funniest memory is the bike shorts and fanny pack my dad would wear while we went on them!” – Caryssa

6) “My brothers and I would set up a tent all summer and sleep in it most nights. We lived on seven acres, so setting it up way out back felt like a real adventure. We did it until my brother and I were juniors in high school too. It was fantastic and I miss it.” – Sarah

7) “We had a short fence around our house, inside the property line to keep us away from the county roads when we were small. Years later, my mom got all the neighborhood kids at our house and challenged us to walk along the top of the fence from one post to the next. Then it became who could make it the farthest, and then all the way around! Coolest thing ever, and walking the fence became our favorite thing to do. I made it around all the way first BTW!” – LJ

8) “Every summer, my dad would take my sister and I camping and fishing for a week. One time my sister lost her flip flop in the river. It fell off her foot and floated down stream. We thought it was gone forever. We ended up finding it as we were walking back to the car. It was stuck in some tree branches in the water. We laughed so hard.” – Cheryl

9) “We grew up going to Wildwood, NJ for beach vacations and that is hands down my favorite thing about our childhood summers. I specifically loved doing early AM bike rides and getting breakfast on the boardwalk.” – Kari

10) “I have a lot of great summer memories, but the first one that came to mind was my dad grilling in the rain in Cape Cod with a spatula in one hand and an umbrella in the other.” – Shannon

11) “We always had a lot of people over on the 4th. One year, an impromptu water fight broke out between the food and the fireworks. The next year, people showed up prepared with water balloons and super soakers. After that, the annual summer water fight was a tradition.” – Nikki

12) “We’d always drive down to Gettysburg for Canada day, to watch the reenactments. My dad loved going there. He loves history in general. It wasn’t always fun as a kid, but looking back it made for some fond memories of hanging out with him and getting to join in on his hobby. My undergrad is in history, so something rubbed off!” – Rachel

13) “My mom made paper boats with me once during a heavy rainstorm once. We raced them by the curb. It was awesome.” – Brighid

14) “We owned a sailboat and spent every weekend at the lake. My parents had a group of friends we’d hang with, all kid-less, so my sister and I were the mascots of the group. We swam, built sand castles, chased minnows, sailed and kayaked all day, then the whole gang would go to dinner where I’d eat as much of the salad bar as possible. We drove a VW camper van and the pop up roof was my private penthouse. I’d read in there for hours.” – Brenda

15) “I’d be in bed at a normal bedtime and it would just be soooo hot. My mum would be outside playing badminton on the grass and she’d let me get out of bed to sit and watch her while eating an ice lolly. That was amazing!” – Joanie

16) “On long car trips, we would have ‘Red Light Alerts.’ My dad had all four kids believing that the car on its own would start to jerk and the only way it would stop is if we went to McDonald’s to get ice cream cones.” – Meghan

17) “My fave summer memories are with my Dad. He grew up a woodsy-man’s man type and ended up in the ‘burbs with three little girls who loved princesses. When we were little, he commuted for work and was gone every week, so we made the most out of our weekends. Dad would take all three of us (sporting our matching little white LA Gear backpacks loaded with snacks & waters) hiking for hours. We’d talk and talk and come home to camp out in our side yard. It wasn’t ‘till I was older and had a career of my own that I realized just how tired he must have been after working and his long commute home. It makes me appreciate him and cherish those memories even more.” – Jacqueline

18) “When my kids were little (they’re teens now), after a summer rain storm, we’d take a walk around the neighborhood looking for the best rain puddles. They’d wear their swimsuits and get soaking wet. That’ll always be my most favorite summer memory. I hope it’s theirs, too.” – Amy

19) “We grew up in the middle of Nowhere, Indiana. There were no towns nearby and at night, you could see the Milky Way. My parents used to take a blanket out with my sister and me to the dock on our pond and we’d all lay on our backs and watch for shooting stars, count satellites, and search for constellations. It wasn’t until I moved out that I realized how incredible it was to be able to see that many stars.” – Jess

20) “My mom had a habit of fluffing the top sheet on our beds so it slowly fell down on us as we lay in our beds. On a hot summer night, the fan would catch the sheet and it would take ages to fall. By the time it hit our bodies, it felt so cool and fresh. With central air now, my kids sleep under their quilts, so they’ll never know the joy and relaxation of that sheet fluff.” – Hope

21) “After eating lunch outside in our yard, my mom would bring me my blanket and pillow, so I could take a nap in the outdoor lounger under the apple tree. I still remember those glimpses of sun through the branches and how calming it was.” – Anne-Sofie

22) “I was raised by my aunt and uncle. My uncle was a biology teacher, so in the summer he had to bring home all the animals from his class room. He had an 18 foot ball python. Its’ cage couldn’t fit anywhere but by the kitchen table. Friends from the neighborhood would come over to watch us feed it a rabbit. When I started telling this story later in life, I realized that not everyone grew up with a snake in their kitchen!” – Joni

23) “My favorite summer memory only happened for a few years because my parents split when I was about seven. If it was a really hot night and my siblings and I weren’t sleeping, we would drive to the beach (it was about a  two hour drive) just to sit and listen to the waves in the dark. We would all be asleep by the time we got back.” – Claire

24) “Almost every Sunday, we would pile into the station wagon and go to a state park for an all day picnic. My dad would rent a boat to take the boys fishing while the girls swam with my mom. After dinner, my dad would take the girls out for a boat ride before we headed home. Those picnics were so much fun. My mom did all the work gathering and packing everything and it was all homemade from the potato salad to the fresh baked cookies. We would all fall asleep on the way home and wake up when we turned into our neighborhood. We got to go to bed while mom stayed up and unpacked everything and put it all away until next Sunday.” – Nancy

25) “My cousin would come stay with us for weeks at a time. He, my brother and I would do all the normal summer stuff of the ’80s— bike around for hours, play in the pool, endless games of Monopoly, drinking Kool-Aid and eating ice pops and PB&J on Wonder Bread. Simple, magical childhood days.” – Elizabeth

26) “I grew up in rural North Dakota so many of my memories revolve around agriculture and small town life. Rock picking with my siblings and cousins in the fields of the family farm. Taking ‘field lunch’ or ‘field dinner’ out to my dad and uncle during planting and harvest… and then begging for a ride in the tractor or combine. I had the coziest spot in the cabs of both… and had many a nap there! I used to make forts with my younger siblings in the farmyard and explore the pastures and creek that ran through them. We taunted the bull whenever he was in the pen, and then screamed for our lives when he started moving towards us! We spent our waking hours outside, eating at whoever’s house we were at during meal times and finally coming home when the sun started to set. My city-raised kids can’t believe my stories from childhood. They love the freedom they have when we go to my hometown to visit.” – Kaylyn

27) “I used to love walking to my grandma’s and using the pool at her townhouse complex. After swimming, we’d get to watch ‘The Elephant Show’ with Sharon, Lois and Bram (they had cable!) and eat old fashioned molasses cookies. When my brothers and I were old enough, we’d ride our bikes there without our mom, but we still loved that grandma always had molasses cookies for us!” – Emerson

28) “We lived in San Francisco and would visit my grandparents in WA state for a couple weeks in the summer. We stayed at my great grandma’s house and she lived next to my grandparents. In the morning, I’d run across the yard to get cereal. I’d take it outside to eat under this huge tree that had small white flowers that smelled sweet and fresh. Whenever I smell this tree, it brings back those days! I wish I knew what kind of tree that was!” – Mariah

29) “We always used to do a whipped cream fight to celebrate the end of summer and the start of a new school year. Each person got two cans and you just went for it! We smelled and felt so gross after, but we always laughed so hard and had a great time together. Then a nice long shower.” – Taylor

30) “Plastic pool in the backyard. Literally the kind from the drug store. One mom and three kids in the pool… It was heaven.” – Jay

31) “My mom used to put my pajamas in the freezer to try to cool me off before bed. Then we’d sleep out on the trampoline.” – Katie

32) “One time, my parents woke us up at night and took us outside because the northern lights were making a very rare appearance! To this day, I don’t even remember seeing the lights; I just remember being outside way past my bedtime and thinking how special that was.” – Kate

33) “My grandparents lived next door, and had a fair bit of land. They had a pond with a rope swing that we would swim in almost every day. On the weekends, all of our cousins, aunts and uncles would come, and we would grill and swim until dark, playing capture the flag and catching fire flies.” – Kate

34) “India is famous for mangoes. Every summer after dinner, the five of us would sit together and my mum would bring us the ripest, juiciest mangoes. We cut them, ate them and shared laughs until our stomachs would start hurting. I have now started doing it with our 3 year old. The mangoes in the UK don’t match the ones in India, but the wait to eat them together andlaughs shared are exactly the same.” – Sameera

35) “We used to set up obstacle courses in our backyard like we were on Double Dare. My sister and I would drag all of our toys outside and make a huge mess of the backyard! But my Mom was okay with it, because we were outside and not on the couch watching TV.” – Sarah

36) “I remember eating watermelon with my grandpa as we sat in lawn chairs in his front lawn. We would compete over who could spit the seeds the farthest.” – Tonya

37) “Road trips. Our family drove wherever we would go on summer vacation. My father always loved to drive. We would have amazing conversations. He still loves to do it. And now as adults we enjoy it more.” – Karen

What’s your favorite summer memory from childhood?