For many kids, SUMMER means freedom. Freedom to sleep in and hang around most of the day. With the way technology is evolving, we don't see many of them without electronic devices of some sort. It's easy to see how they can become so involved in them. As adults, we have the same problem with putting down the phone or stepping back from the computer.
Now here goes the "when we were your age" part.. we didn't have the option to sit inside all summer. I'm not sure about your neighborhood but in mine we were told to go outside. We would wake up, race out the door to see what friends were already out there. You knew when you had to go in b/c the streetlights would be on or your parents would be yelling your name. I would always be jealous of the kids that got to stay out a little later.
Fast-forward life to my kids... they wake up and walk right to the computer. They will stay at the computer until you remove them. (usually with a struggle). The kids I would sit for in the summer would complain there was NOTHING to do when they were told to go outside. Mind you there were 2 acres of land (including the neighbors yard), every piece of sporting equipment you could imagine, bikes and plenty more to do. Yet after 15mins, I would find them sitting on the porch looking miserable with cellphones in their hands.
After the 1st week of summer, I could no longer take it. The fix... I sat each kid down and had them give me 10 things they'd like to do ( less kids increase amount) and I would sort them onto colored paper. Categories included, places to go, things to make (snacks/crafts/meals) and things to do. I rolled each paper up and picked from the last 2 categories during the week and places to go when we everyone together. Everything on the list was also free of electronics and you could not use one during the time. Each day we did a few of the activities BUT they still had video games/TV time.
As the next couple weeks passed, I noticed them expressing more excitement about going outside. Now it was my time to step back into the picture once I knew I wouldn't hear "I'm bored" every couple minutes. The activities we made were no longer being used and I was setting things up for the day. Summer isn't very long and as a kid (or adult), that's when you should make lots of memories. Since they were no longer dependent on electronic devices it was time to make my move.
Go The Whole Day Outside and NO Electronics
I will admit I did use my phone to take a couple pics (Capture the memory, don't interrupt it). Some of the things we did outside... set up targets around the yard with different obstacles for a nerf gun target challenge, relay races, smores by a fire, water balloon fights, and different sporting games like basketball and soccer. At one point the kids wondered off into the woods to build a fort. Yup I really just said that. The 15 mins and bored kids were now actually BEING KIDS and not zombies.
In this fast moving world, we tend to loose site of the little things. I can tell you it was just as tough for me to cut down as it was for them. This summer I encourage you to pick at least 1 day, where you go outside for the day and just ENJOY it without the distraction of any electronics. Make and capture memories to look back on. One day the kids will be gone and you'll have are the memories.