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These 10 Nostalgic Photos Capture the Magic of Childhood

These photos of kids playing, spending time with friends and family, and celebrating in the mid-20th century will bring you right back to the good old days!

01-Nostalgic-Photos-That-Capture-the-Magic-of-Childhood-Mary-BrownCourtesy Mary Brown/Reminisce

Have sled, will travel

“My children Bruce and Debbie could hardly wait to take their new sled out on a snowy January morning in 1968. The snow was packed just right in the lane, and they had so much fun!” –Mary Brown, Flat Rock, IL, Reminisce Extra January 2014

Here are some great ways to spend a snow day with your family.

02-Nostalgic-Photos-That-Capture-the-Magic-of-Childhood-Bruce-WilliamsCourtesy Bruce Williams/Reminisce

Make the world your playground

To brothers Hilen and Bruce Williams, the well cover in their backyard was not a well cover; it was the Wild West! “It’s 1960, and we’re setting up figures from our cowboys and Indians set.” –Bruce Williams, Bethany, MO, Reminisce Extra September 2016

Check out these adorable photos of kids playing before technology took over.

03-Nostalgic-Photos-That-Capture-the-Magic-of-Childhood-Louis-A.-Alt-JrCourtesy Louis A. Alt Jr./Reminisce

Happy Independence Day

“Growing up in the Woodside section of Queens, New York, my friends and I made a mini U.N., and woe to me if I refused to play with anyone. My dad took this picture on July 4, circa 1954. It shows just how real the melting pot image of America was—and that my urban cowboy look was good for getting the girls.” –Louis A. Alt Jr., Union, NJ, Reminisce June/July 2016

Here are some fun Fourth of July games your kids will love.

04-Nostalgic-Photos-That-Capture-the-Magic-of-Childhood-Reminisce-Ali-BlumenthalReminisce Magazine

Story time with sis

“This was the usual scene before bedtime in 1948. I read fairy tales to my sister Susie in my scariest voice, while our brother Fred pretended he wasn’t listening. Mom made that bear for Susie, and she never put it down.” –Judy Sikorski (far left), Rossford, OH, Reminisce December 2015/January 2016

05-Nostalgic-Photos-That-Capture-the-Magic-of-Childhood-Reminisce-Ali-BlumenthalReminisce Magazine

The elephant in the room

Why build a snowman when you can build a snow elephant? During a 1964 snowstorm in Massachusetts, siblings Jean, Don, and Greg Pippin pose with their massive creation. “The Pippins and their parents built this six-foot-long pachyderm out of snow over two days and even got their picture in the local paper.” –Reminisce December 2015/January 2016

Next time you’re making a snowman (or elephant), try out this awesome shoveling hack.

06-Nostalgic-Photos-That-Capture-the-Magic-of-Childhood-EarlVandigrifftCourtesy Earl Vandigrifft/Reminisce

Sweet ride

“My dad, Walter Vandigrifft, hand-built this child-size convertible for me in 1941. When he unveiled my new automobile—complete with hood ornament—I became the envy of every child in my Atlanta neighborhood.” –Earl Vandigrifft, Albany, OH, Reminisce Extra March 2014

07-Nostalgic-Photos-That-Capture-the-Magic-of-Childhood-Reminisce-Ali-BlumenthalReminisce Magazine

Here comes Peter Cottontail

“After a fruitful Easter egg hunt on Grider Field air base (sometime during World War II), Patsy Pipkin (center left) poses with two sisters, three cousins, a neighbor boy, and their young aunt, Beth.” –Patsy Pipkin, Reminisce April/May 2016 

Before your next Easter egg hunt, check out this ranking of the healthiest—and unhealthiest—Easter candies.

08-Nostalgic-Photos-That-Capture-the-Magic-of-Childhood--Bruce-ThompsonCourtesy Bruce Thompson/Reminisce

Fish like a girl

“Our younger daughter, Robin, loved being outside. Here she proudly shows off the catch of the day during a family camping trip in 1963.” –Bruce Thompson, Waukesha, WI, Reminisce August/September 2014

Little Robin might have to be the newest addition to our collection of super intense fishing photos.

09-Nostalgic-Photos-That-Capture-the-Magic-of-Childhood-Mary-ScottCourtesy Mary Scott/Reminisce

Who better to keep the monsters away than your own cuddly monster?

“Grover kept my son, Jason, safe and secure many nights. This photo was taken in 1979, when Jason was so sick that he wanted to stay at Grammy’s house. Nothing like a loving Grammy and Grover to make you feel better!” –Mary Scott, Hooksett, NH, Reminisce Extra, September 2014

10-Nostalgic-Photos-That-Capture-the-Magic-of-Childhood-Wendell-CrockettCourtesy Wendell Crockett/Reminisce

Good friends, good memories

Paul Pariseau (left), Darold Pariseau (right), and Wendell Crockett were inseparable as kids. Sadly, the Pariseau brothers moved to California in the 1940s, but the story didn’t end there: “A few years ago, Darold and his wife came back and we reconnected. Good friends, good memories.” –Wendell Crockett, Charlton, MA, Reminisce Extra, March 2017

Check out this friendship advice from lifelong friends.

Originally Published in Reminisce Extra

Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a Staff Writer for RD.com who has been writing since before she could write. She graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been writing for Reader's Digest since 2017. In spring 2017, her creative nonfiction piece "Anticipation" was published in Angles literary magazine. She is a proud Hufflepuff and member of Team Cap.