Here are some examples listeners sent in of incredibly imaginative fun for boys before there were laptops, smartphones, and Game Boys...
Being a boy in the 60s, I picked up a stick and that became my gun and I played soldier. An old trailer was a landing craft. Usually I was an American soldier, but sometimes I was a German soldier or a Japanese soldier or a Russian soldier. Or a stick was a sword and I was a Viking or a knight, or a Saxon or an ancient Greek or Roman or Babylonian or Israelite. The trailer was a pirate ship or the Mayflower and the hills were an island we were sailing by. A line of trees in the ditch across the street was the jungle trail. An empty lot was the Great Plains and we were Indians hunting buffalo. Dad made me a dogless dog sled (we did have a dog) and for three winters I pushed the sled around the empty lot as an Eskimo hunting seals. I picked up the cap of a Ban roll-on deodorant bottle. I held this Mercury Space Capsule up and walked around the block orbiting the Earth before splashing down in the lawn. A mustard bottle looked (to me) like a Russian Space Capsule and I walked that one around the block for a few orbits, too.
We would grab the lawnmower and mow the empty lot across the street and play baseball with the neighbor kids or football, or sometimes basketball. We rode our bikes a lot. Sometimes we even had rock fights until we got caught. That sounds pretty twisted now that I reflect on it, but it was pretty fun until the spanking stick came out. Nothing electronic. There were only two channels on a black and white TV and we were rarely inside long enough to watch them. We made our own skateboards out of sets of old roller skate wheels and a scrap of board. Six kids in our family and we all turned out okay.
I loved to play in the great outdoors. We would play baseball, fake war games, cops and robbers etc...from dawn to dusk. I also used to ride my bike for hours each day in the neighborhood. When I was older we were fortunate to have a very nice in ground pool and we would swim as much as possible. One summer, it was so much my little brother who had light blonde hair actually had green hair as the chemicals in the pool changed his hair color (it was very light green). It was never a question of being outside. As long as it was not thunder-and-lighting outside, we were outdoors all summer long and even here in Michigan, in the winter time. We just wore a lot more layers of clothes.