Childhood · Nostalgia

7 Simple Nostalgic Sounds of Summer

7 Simple Nostalgic Sounds of Summer | The Nostalgia Diaries Blog

When I look back on my fond memories of summertime as a child, I tend to go into a little bit of a nostalgic, sensory overload:

I remember the way summer tasted… a delicious mixture of ice-cold sun tea, juicy watermelon, plump strawberries, delicious grilled hot dogs, and sweet, melting Popsicles.

I remember the way summer smelled… a potent potpourri of coconut-laced sunscreen, smoky, toasty campfires, newly cut lawns, and freshly fallen rain.

I remember the way summer felt… an intoxicating combination of lush, soft grass, the hot, hard concrete of a pool’s edge, warm, gritty sand, and freezing cold water sprayed from hoses, Slip ‘n Slides, and sprinklers.

And I also remember the way summer sounded.

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Growing up in the south, I had plenty of opportunities to experience this idyllic season in all its ear-bending glory.

Our days would be spent lazily lounging at the pool, basking in the heat of the sun that burned our skin in ways we could almost hear it sizzle. And when it got too hot, we’d cannonball ourselves off the diving board, laughing all the way down until we cut through the chlorine-laden water with as big a splash as we could make our little bodies produce. We’d hang over the pool’s hot edge and laughed and talked as “Marco!” and “Polo!” and the slip-slap of flip flops echoed in our ears.

We’d spend weekends on the beaches of South Carolina, running up and down their sun-drenched shores, hearing the crunch of tiny shells under our feet as we tried to make our rainbow-colored kites take flight. And when they caught a gust of air, the flapping of their fabric in the wind, our excited squeals, and the cacophony of the seagulls cheering us on would be drowned out only by the steady crashing of the mighty waves dancing next to us.

Our vacations were spent at my grandparents’ house, a cabin nestled high in the Appalachian Mountains of rural North Carolina. After a day filled with the exploration of the dense forest that surrounded their property, night would finally fall. We’d lay out our sleeping bags on their huge screened-in porch and fall asleep to a symphony of sounds: the gentle lapping of the nearby Hiwassee River that cut and curved its way around the mountain, the high pitched chirps of crickets and cicadas, the pit-pat of tiny moth wings flapping against the screen’s metal mesh, the low hoots of lonely night owls, and the distant howls of wolves and other nighttime creatures, ones that the safe, sturdy wood porch seemed to provide us plenty of protection from.

When I step outside during summer months and hear the familiar, nostalgic sounds of this season, I’m often reminded of these memories, ones that provided a beautiful soundtrack to the summers of my childhood.

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For Throwback Thursday today, I’ve rounded up 7 Simple Nostalgic Sounds of Summer that are some of my favorites, and I’d wager a bet they may be some of yours, too.


1) Fireworks…
They snap, crackle, and pop their way into the festive month of July. There’s the whistle of bottle rockets, the sizzle of sparklers, and the booms, bangs, and rainbow-bursts of colorful explosions in the sky.

2) Nighttime…
The heavy, thick air of a midnight sky provides the perfect backdrop for the harmonious hum of a sleepy summer night—chirping crickets, croaking frogs, barking dogs, and the low whisper of a beloved voice singing you to sleep.

3) Birds…
There’s something about waking up to the sweet symphony of birds—happy tweets, whistles, and melodies—singing outside your window.

4) Splashing…
Jump into a lake… dive into a pool… hop into a puddle… run through a sprinkler…slide down a waterslide… dance in the ocean… Whether it splishes or splashes or splatters or drenches or sprays you, those heavy drops of water cover you with a glorious cool reprieve.

5) Thunderstorms…
A distant rumble… an overhead clap… an electric shock of lightning lighting up gray, dense clouds… a steady, splattering downpour of stinging raindrops… And after an afternoon thunderstorm washes away the heat of the day, the world sparkles and shines and glistens for a few beautiful moments, reminding us the sun always has a way of shining again, no matter how dark it may get.

6) Lawn Mowers…
The rattle of a lawnmower’s motor as it roars to life and its continuous chugging chant as it cuts and slices those overgrown Kelly green blades of grass provide the perfect baseline for a hot afternoon.

7) Laughter…
Perhaps my favorite: More time outside means hearing more happy squeals sprinkled and glorious giggles scattered throughout our sweet, sun-drenched summer days. But there can never be too much—so don’t forget to join in on the fun during this season of wonder, magic, and joy.

Let us know: What sounds of summer take you back to your childhood? What summer sounds are your favorite?

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At The Nostalgia Diaries, our goal is to help you simplify, enhance, and engage your lives by focusing on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.

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29 thoughts on “7 Simple Nostalgic Sounds of Summer

  1. I love reminiscing about the ease of childhood. Activities are so different than they are today for young kids! Love this, thanks for bringing me back in time for a bit xo! D

  2. These are great! My daughter has been curious about the nighttime sounds here lately and I’ve been trying to explain to her that it’s bugs singing their nighttime song that they can only sing in the summer lol

  3. I love thinking back to my childhood. It was full of laughter and horseback riding. It was full of outdoor living & the sound of the tractors mowing our grass.

  4. I find Summer to definitely be a sensory filled season, from sights, smells to as you said sounds. The sounds I think of are definitely splashing pools, the hum of cicadas, and crickets at night. Love it.

  5. This is such a lovely and fun post! For me, crickets always remind me of summer. They remind me of late nights with friends and enjoying the outdoors.

  6. Summers in my native Colorado definitely felt different than the ones here in Carolina. The dry heat, the sound of Mexican polka coming out of an AM station on my grandpa’s radio as he grilled out. The carnival sounds from Frontier Days in Cheyenne, spending an entire day in another state just because it was cool.

    The massive rainfall in the arroyo in New Mexico, huge drops of rain falling straight to the earth, the sky dark as night. The song of the frogs as they clouds cleared and the sweltering day takes a turn from the cool raindrops.

    Here in Carolina, there’s a different band of songbirds, loudest of which is the cardinal. For me, a sound of summer is the ripping of a soccer ball swirling backward in a net after one of my girls shoots it. It’s the ching of golf disc catchers and more often, the clank! of me hitting the catcher and missing the shot.

    One last thing: The organ at a baseball game, and the vendors hawking beer, and kids yelling for the mascot to come their way in the stands. It’s the ball’s swack! into a leather glove, or crack off the bat and over the fence.

    Man. Now I want some lemonade. Loved the description of your memories. They made me feel like a kid again.

  7. Just reading this list, I could hear some of these sounds in my head. The nighttime sounds especially! There is something almost magical about a quiet summer night where all you hear are the crickets, the owls or a crackling campfire.

  8. Love a good thunderstorm! It’s been fun to watch my kids start to think about it and experience the first “woh…. what’s that!?” Ice Cream Truck music would be high on my summer list too.

  9. Growing up in Florida all of these sounds remind me of summertime too. I think the number one thing that reminds me of summer is the sound of seagulls.

  10. Thunderstoms will always be my favorite 🙂 I love to crack open my windows just a bit whenever there’s a storm so not only can I hear it, I can feel the temperature drop and fully immerse myself in that thunderstorm feeling 😛 Thanks for the great post!

  11. Loved this! Late afternoon thunderstorms remind me of summer bigtime! And eating blue crabs, roasting marshmallows for s’mores, and catching fireflies.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  12. We just had a thunderstorm here last night, and I love the smell of summer rain. and the relief you know that’s on it’s way from the summer heat. I live in Philly, so summer never started until we hear “Summertime” by Will Smith…I wish they still played it as much as they used to.

  13. I often think of the smells and sounds of summer too. The scent of freshly cut grass makes me so nostalgic and I always think of reading a mystery (I’ve always been obsessed with mysteries) by flashlight on the floor of the living room where I often slept when we went up to the lake while watching the lightning flash and listening to the thunder of a thunderstorm outside.

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