Summertime is finally here. The days are longer, the temperature is higher and children are out of school. Summer break provides the perfect opportunity to create lifelong memories with your children that will keep them smiling through the fall and winter months. Here are 32 fun ways you can spend time with your children this summer.

1. Visit your local farmers’ market

Support local farmers by buying fresh fruits and vegetables or homemade treats. For added fun: Buy ingredients to make a homemade meal or a healthy dessert or buy fresh flowers to create a beautiful floral arrangement for your home or to gift to a friend.

2. Make homemade lemonade

Grab some water, sugar and fresh lemons to make a yummy, ice-cold drink to help you cool off. You can add other ingredients such as mango or strawberries for a fun twist!

3. Decorate the sidewalk with chalk

Children can draw bright, colorful pictures or write encouraging messages to neighbors on the sidewalk. Invite your children to use their imagination to draw a fun background that can be used for photos.

4. Run through the sprinkler

Sprinklers provide a quick and easy way to cool off in the comfort of your own yard. To conserve water, time this activity with your regular lawn watering schedule in the morning or evening.

5. Count the stars

Take a drive away from the city lights and see if you can spot constellations in the night sky. Before you go stargazing, use this fun tutorial to build a telescope with your children.

6. Host a backyard luau

Invite neighbors and friends over for a luau complete with fresh pineapple. This could double as an opportunity to break out the grill and make summer staples ? hamburgers and hot dogs!

7. Have a sunrise picnic

Pack up your favorite breakfast foods and head outside with a blanket to watch the sunrise. Bring along your camera for beautiful photo-ops during golden hour, generally between 6 and 7 a.m. during the summer months.

8. Go canoeing

Grab a life jacket and hop in a canoe for a fun way to cool off in the Texas heat. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

9. Sleep in a tent

Whether it’s in your backyard or at a campsite, spending the night in a tent is a blast. Tell your children silly bedtime stories or encourage them to make up their own for a night full of laughs.

10. Make s’mores over a campfire

S’mores are the perfect late-night snack to couple with your night spent in a tent. Try different s’mores recipes, such as using white chocolate or dark chocolate. Sing fun campfire songs while roasting marshmallows for extra fun!

11. Watch fireflies at night

Head out to your backyard after sunset to catch a glimpse of fireflies, but don’t blink – you might miss them! Try catching them in a jar (don’t forget to release them!) and giving them names or counting how many you see.

12. Splash in rain puddles

Summer storms provide the perfect puddles for splashing around in rain boots. Make it a contest to see who can create the biggest splash!

13. Make tie-dye shirts

Gather up the paint and a few white t-shirts and start tying! When they’re dry, wear them to a family outing such as a movie or the park.

14. Paint pet rocks

Get creative and paint rocks to keep on the windowsill for a little pop of summer color. You can encourage your children to name the rocks or to paint them like their favorite animals.

15. Ride bikes through the neighborhood

Grab your helmet and take a ride through your neighborhood. Look up safe, easy trails in your area for a new adventure. Summer is also the perfect opportunity to teach a child to ride a bike.

16. Wash a car by hand

Just add water (and soap)! Hand-washing a car provides an opportunity to work hard while cooling off and having fun.

17. Have a homemade pizza party

Spend an afternoon making pizza from scratch with all the toppings you can imagine. Incorporate this idea with your trip to the farmers? market for a fresh take on this homemade meal!

18. Write a story

Take a break from the summer heat and cool off inside while coming up with your own creative stories.

19. Read a book

In fact – read lots of books! Local libraries often have free reading events for children. For older kids, start a series and make it a summer goal to finish each book!

20. Make a time capsule

Encourage your children to add an item that reminds them of summer. Bury it in the backyard and set a date to dig it up.

21. Write a pen pal

Write handwritten letters to a friend or family member who lives in another area. This activity allows your children to keep up their handwriting skills over the summer. For added fun, send or ask for a unique souvenir from your pen pal!

22. Fly a kite

Wait for a windy day and head to the park with a kite. To make this activity unique, build your own kite with this tutorial.

23. Make homemade slime

Following a quick slime recipe will provide entertainment for hours! Here’s a fun step-by-step.

24. Plant a garden

Pick your favorite fruits or vegetables and plant them in the backyard. Encourage your children to water the plants every day and track the progress. When the plants are ripe, make a fun recipe!

25. Make friendship bracelets

Buy colorful embroidery thread and spend the afternoon braiding friendship bracelets and anklets. This could be a fun souvenir to send to the pen pal mentioned in number 21!

26. Have a yard sale

Yard sales are a great way to declutter and make extra money. Let your children help by taking cash or bagging up items.

27. Have an ice cream party

Create an ice cream buffet with various flavors and toppings for a cool summer treat. You can even make your own ice cream with this fun tutorial.

28. Go on a road trip

Take a weekend trip to a state park, such as Dinosaur Valley, or an amusement park, such as Schlitterbahn or Six Flags! Play games on the way such as I Spy or Road Trip Bingo, which can be found here.

29. Have a watermelon seed spitting contest

Make snack time fun with a friendly competition to see whose watermelon seed can go the farthest!

30. Find animals in the clouds

Lay on a blanket in the backyard and pick out clouds that look like animals. You can give the animals names and even make up stories about their lives!

31. Have a cooking contest

Set out the same ingredients for each participant and see who can come up with the best recipe. Invite neighbors or friends to judge the competition.

32. Have fun!

Take advantage of the break from school and make memories with your children that will last a lifetime.

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