Kids today might find this hard to believe, but there really was a period in time when smartphones didn't exist. But how did they entertain themselves?. How did they survive without instant and constant access to hilarious videos of cats being cats and people failing at stuff?

Well, actually, they managed just fine. Check out these vintage pictures of children enjoying themselves before mobile phones were invented to see what we mean. Compiled by Bored Panda, the list serves as an important reminder that all you really need to enjoy yourself is a little bit of imagination. Don't forget to vote for your favorite!

#1

Girl Playing For Her Dog

Girl Playing For Her Dog

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Hope Floats
Community Member
3 years ago

I absolutely love this....Such a happy,happy image..

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#2

Children In A Manchester Street Find Their Own Enjoyment With The Aid Of A Rope And A Lamp Post, 1946

Children In A Manchester Street Find Their Own Enjoyment With The Aid Of A Rope And A Lamp Post, 1946

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Caitlyn McCracken
Community Member
3 years ago

Genius. That looks so fun

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#3

Children Playing "Push The Peanut", King's Cross Street London, 1938

Children Playing "Push The Peanut", King's Cross Street London, 1938

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Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
3 years ago

Imagine that!? Kids with their noses on the ground, crawling.... and most likely no child died as a direct result. People are so germaphobic these days - THAT is what's frightening!

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#4

Best Friends

Best Friends

nationalgeographic.com Report

Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
3 years ago

Reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell painting

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#5

Girl Dancing In Front Of Her Teddy Bear, Paris, 1961

Girl Dancing In Front Of Her Teddy Bear, Paris, 1961

Philippe le Tellier Report

Caitlyn McCracken
Community Member
3 years ago

I love this. Such a cute little girl!

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#6

Two Little Kids Dancing On The Streets Of New York City, 1940s

Two Little Kids Dancing On The Streets Of New York City, 1940s

Helen Levitt Report

Brontosonto
Community Member
3 years ago

Flamenco?

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#7

Paul Remos, A Circus Strongman, Hoists His Son Up In The Air Using Only His Right Arm To Feed A Giraffe At The London Zoo, 1950s

Paul Remos, A Circus Strongman, Hoists His Son Up In The Air Using Only His Right Arm To Feed A Giraffe At The London Zoo, 1950s

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Lemur
Community Member
3 years ago

That are some good balancing skills :o

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#8

Three Boys Are Fishing For Change During The Great Depression, New York, 1930

Three Boys Are Fishing For Change During The Great Depression, New York, 1930

Popperfoto Report

Steffen Beth
Community Member
3 years ago

Not sure I would call that playing.....

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#9

Even The Dog Gets A Go On This See-Saw, Northamptonshire

Even The Dog Gets A Go On This See-Saw, Northamptonshire

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Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
3 years ago

One of my favorite games to play as a kid. I remember my neighbor had one in their backyard.

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#10

Kids Playing With Skippy Balls, London

Kids Playing With Skippy Balls, London

ANP Report

Grant Davis
Community Member
3 years ago

In the UK these were called Space Hoppers.

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#11

Child Hung Up On A Clothing Rope, Paris

Child Hung Up On A Clothing Rope, Paris

Robert Doisneau Report

Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
3 years ago

This was before we could put our children in the tumble dryer.

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#12

Two Girls Ride Sheep

Two Girls Ride Sheep

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Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
3 years ago

This is awesome.

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#13

Children Drawing With Chalk, Manchester, 1966

Children Drawing With Chalk, Manchester, 1966

Shirley Baker Report

Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
3 years ago

This is one I believe hasn't died in years gone by. I do see kids or sidewalk and street art every year. I remember drawing our hopscotch game on the pavement with chalk

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#14

Kids Dancing In The Street, New York, 1964

Kids Dancing In The Street, New York, 1964

Todd Webb Report

Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
3 years ago

Set up by the fire dept. during a heat wave. People so poor they didn't have air conditioning, some as you can see didn't even own a bathing suit.

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#15

A Young Boy Wearing An Indian Headdress Hides In A Coal Hole And Takes Aim With A Toy Pistol, London, 1954

A Young Boy Wearing An Indian Headdress Hides In A Coal Hole And Takes Aim With A Toy Pistol, London, 1954

Thurston Hopkins Report

Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
3 years ago

Nowadays a kid can't even own a toy gun and people would call the head dress as 'profiling' or any numerous other terms

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#16

Children Playing, New York, 1940s

Children Playing, New York, 1940s

Helen Levitt Report

Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
3 years ago

We used to play on the roof of the house. We also used to climb trees equally as tall, or taller. NEVER once did a child fall or get hurt. Kids are adaptable that way. A child can get hurt falling off a skateboard or bicycle, it's just as easy

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#17

Police Officer Playing With Children, Harlem, 1978

Police Officer Playing With Children, Harlem, 1978

Leonard Freed Report

Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
3 years ago

They're playing "Duck, Duck, Goose" - one of my favorite

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#18

Two Boys Engrossed In Their Comic Books, Outside On The Street, 1952

Two Boys Engrossed In Their Comic Books, Outside On The Street, 1952

Thurston Hopkins Report

Caitlyn McCracken
Community Member
3 years ago

I love how they dressed. Everyone looked so fancy, even those that were not

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#19

Catching Rain

Catching Rain

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Caitlyn McCracken
Community Member
3 years ago

They look like a singing group

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#20

Ten-Year-Old Martin Witter Watches Two Snails Race In His Home In Lynwood, California, 1954

Ten-Year-Old Martin Witter Watches Two Snails Race In His Home In Lynwood, California, 1954

Don Brinn Report

Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
3 years ago

This is the paramount of the word "creative"

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#21

Nun Dancing With Children On Saint Patrick's Day, Ireland, 1964

Nun Dancing With Children On Saint Patrick's Day, Ireland, 1964

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Kristin Freudenthal
Community Member
3 years ago

So cute!

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#22

Girls On Swings

Girls On Swings

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Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
3 years ago

We used to try to get the swing to flip over the pole! Of course that would be impossible, but on a good 10 foot (3 meters) tall swing set it would certainly feel like you were about to go around!

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#23

Tuba Players, New York, 1940s

Tuba Players, New York, 1940s

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Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
3 years ago

Adorable!

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#24

Girls Doing Handstands, Southam Street, London, 1956

Girls Doing Handstands, Southam Street, London, 1956

Roger Mayne Report

Ashley Kate
Community Member
3 years ago

Oh. I thought they were peeing. (The graffiti doesn't help)

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#25

The Little Marilyn, Paris 1975

The Little Marilyn, Paris 1975

Edouard Boubat Report

Bambi
Community Member
3 years ago

Beautiful & iconic! Love it..

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#26

Children Playing With Paper Boats, Paris, 1950

Children Playing With Paper Boats, Paris, 1950

Robert Doisneau Report

Hope Floats
Community Member
3 years ago

Stephen King's 'IT' comes to mind... ( "They all float down here.." ..Yikes!! )

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#27

This Girl From Finchley, North London, Shows No Fear Of Being Dropped By Her Two Friends As They Play, 1954

This Girl From Finchley, North London, Shows No Fear Of Being Dropped By Her Two Friends As They Play, 1954

Getty Images Report

Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
3 years ago

And most likely they NEVER did drop her. Look how tall the slide was too! Now this IS a playground!

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#28

Young Daughters Of Air Raid Wardens In South-east London Practising First Aid With The Aid Of Their Dolls, 1940

Young Daughters Of Air Raid Wardens In South-east London Practising First Aid With The Aid Of Their Dolls, 1940

Reg Speller Report

ADHORTATOR
Community Member
3 years ago

That's sad..... hard time to be a kid

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#29

A Group Of Children In The Middle Of A Haystack In A Field In Pawling, New York, Early 20th Century

A Group Of Children In The Middle Of A Haystack In A Field In Pawling, New York, Early 20th Century

weird-vintage Report

Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
3 years ago

Any kid who's ever played in hay can tell you, this stuff is itchy!

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#30

Children Playing Marbles, Missouri, 1940s

Children Playing Marbles, Missouri, 1940s

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Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
3 years ago

Getting the 'cats eye' marbles or another 'shooter' was always the BEST. I lost most of my great marbles to the older kids. Especially my sister, she had won all the GREAT marbles on the block.

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#31

Russian Child Plays On Homemade Swing Made On A German Cannon Left Behind, 1944

Russian Child Plays On Homemade Swing Made On A German Cannon Left Behind, 1944

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Violet Spencer
Community Member
3 years ago

i like this not only because of the happiness on the child's face, but the beauty of a weapon made for destruction now being used in the most innocent fashion. what a great shot.

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#32

Children Playing In Paris Under The Eiffel Tower

Children Playing In Paris Under The Eiffel Tower

Robert Doisneau Report

Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
3 years ago

Where's the suffocating throng of tourists?

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#33

Girl In Japan, 1958

Girl In Japan, 1958

Marc Riboud Report

Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
3 years ago

Adorable. That is one big telephone receiver, even for an adult - It's as long as her whole arm!

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#34

Children Playing, Ribeira, Porto

Children Playing, Ribeira, Porto

Teófilo Rego Report

Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
3 years ago

We did this indoors at the homes of kids who lived in 2 story houses. We would ride the carpeted stairs.

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#35

Children Leaping With Umbrella, 1963

Children Leaping With Umbrella, 1963

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Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
3 years ago

Sometimes we used sheets as parachutes too. We knew the umbrella might break, and that is actually what we would get in trouble over, but not for playing on the roof. lol

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#36

Kids Keeping Cool In The Summer, New York, 1937

Kids Keeping Cool In The Summer, New York, 1937

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Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
3 years ago

Okay, who peed in the tub?!

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#37

Children Playing In The Housing Slums Of Gorbals District, South Bank Of The River Clyde, Glasgow, 1960s

Children Playing In The Housing Slums Of Gorbals District, South Bank Of The River Clyde, Glasgow, 1960s

Mirrorpix Report

Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
3 years ago

Those three kids were LUCKY. They actually got a boat to play in. It looks like 8 others had to watch

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#38

The Little Parisian, 1952

The Little Parisian, 1952

Willy Ronis Report

Daria B
Community Member
3 years ago

Awww.... That bread is as tall as himself. ♥

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#39

Youngster Playing In Water From Fire Hydrant. Police Are Waging Campaign Against Indiscriminate Opening Of Hydrants Since It Reduces Water Pressure And Poses A Threat To Fire Fighters, New York, 1959

Youngster Playing In Water From Fire Hydrant. Police Are Waging Campaign Against Indiscriminate Opening Of Hydrants Since It Reduces Water Pressure And Poses A Threat To Fire Fighters, New York, 1959

Getty Images Report

Caitlyn McCracken
Community Member
3 years ago

What an amazing picture

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#40

Children Fishing In Victoria Park, London, 1953

Children Fishing In Victoria Park, London, 1953

Mirrorpix Report

Hope Floats
Community Member
3 years ago

I was born opposite this park and have great memories of this particular lake.. In the late 60's they put small rowing boats on it and in Summer we'd row across to the center island and feed the ducks with bread,that we'd saved up all week..This scene brought back very happy memories. ..Thank you for sharing it!!

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#41

Children Singing In A Snow Cave, Niigata Prefecture, 1956

Children Singing In A Snow Cave, Niigata Prefecture, 1956

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Moy
Community Member
3 years ago

Wow

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#42

An Eye On The Street, Glasgow, 1968

An Eye On The Street, Glasgow, 1968

David Peat Report

Caitlyn McCracken
Community Member
3 years ago

Her dad is in the background waiting to meet her boyfriend.

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#43

Boys Skateboarding In Streets Of New York, 1960s

Boys Skateboarding In Streets Of New York, 1960s

Bill Eppridge Report

Totally Magical Unicorn
Community Member
3 years ago

Damn skateboarding hooligans.

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#44

A Group Of Boys Aged Between 8 - 14 Out At Play

A Group Of Boys Aged Between 8 - 14 Out At Play

theirhistory Report

Ashley Kate
Community Member
3 years ago

Adults would disapprove. It's not that kids don't want to play, it's just that we don't get as many opportunities any more.

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#45

Children Balance On Rail In South Dakota, 1959

Children Balance On Rail In South Dakota, 1959

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Fire Bird
Community Member
3 years ago

My home state. As you can see, not much else to do there. Pretty flat. Putting pennies on the rails was another thing we used to do.

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#46

Girls Playing With Their Skirts On An Air Vent

Girls Playing With Their Skirts On An Air Vent

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Cat Meow
Community Member
3 years ago

As a kid, I'd have done the same. And twirl. Anything to see how the skirt floats in the air

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#47

Boys Riding The Rails After The Liberation Of Holland, 1945

Boys Riding The Rails After The Liberation Of Holland, 1945

Menno Huizinga Report

Femke Van Der Leij-Nijdam
Community Member
1 year ago

The image of freedom!

#48

A Us Soldier Helps Some Children With Their Skipping, England, 1944

A Us Soldier Helps Some Children With Their Skipping, England, 1944

Evening Standart Report

Zori the degu
Community Member
3 years ago

One of my favourite old school activities. My class was the best at this sort of entertainment.

#49

Two Girls Swing On A Lampost, Manchester, 1965

Two Girls Swing On A Lampost, Manchester, 1965

Shirley Baker Report

#50

Children Walking Rue Marcelin Berthelin Berthelot, Choisy Le Roi Mai, Paris, 1946

Children Walking Rue Marcelin Berthelin Berthelot, Choisy Le Roi Mai, Paris, 1946

Robert Doisneau Report

Cassie Schoonover
Community Member
3 years ago

In the too big boots handed down from an older boy probably stuffed with wool or old newspaper to prevent slipping :) lol

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Note: this post originally had 110 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.

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