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10 Simple Ways to Make a Memorable Summer

These days it feels as though making memories with our kids has become a serious endeavor requiring Pinterest perfect projects and expensive adventures. I'm not looking to curate the most perfect twelve weeks of entertainment for my five- and one-year-olds, but I am looking for simple ways to make summer special. Most of my fond summer memories involve playing outside and eating cold watermelon, so with that in mind, I thought I'd share a ten doable ideas that are sure to create lasting summer memories.

1. Just add water. A swimming pool, lake, river, ocean, sprinklers, or even a baby pool in the backyard all make summer more fun. This is my default summer activity and while I'll admit it's a bit of work to pack up and play life guard, it really is fun for the whole family.

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2. Eat outdoors. For my family summer and dining al fresco go hand in hand. Dinner in the backyard and simple picnics are the stuff summer is made for. If you live in a place where a lunch time picnic would be far too hot, try beating the heat with a breakfast picnic!

3. I scream, you scream. Ice cream is a super simple way to make summer sweeter. Try your hand at making your own. Treat the kids to ice cream sundaes for dinner on an extra hot night. Or simply make a habit of hitting up your local ice cream shop.

4. Light up the night. One of the best things about summer is no early morning rush. Take advantage of later bedtimes with fun nighttime activities. Try flashlight tag in the backyard or schedule a star gazing session.

5. Pitch a tent. Whether it's camping in the backyard or building a blanket fort in the living room, hideouts make summer more fun.

6. Grow a garden. Kids and gardens are a natural fit. Digging in the dirt, watering, and harvesting are all favorite pastimes in my house. And gardening doesn't have to be elaborate at all. It can be a few herbs in a pot or some strawberries tucked in with the flowers.

7. Hit the books. Summer is a great time to prove to your kids that reading is fun! Join the summer reading program at your library. Check out arm loads of books and go on a virtual adventure.

8. Get crafty. Making things with your kids doesn't require hours pouring over Pinterest or gathering fancy supplies. Make simple boats from paper, foil, corks or all three. Finger paint on the porch and hose off before coming inside. Doodle and draw to your hearts content.

9. Blow Bubbles. Bubbles are fun for kids of all ages and a great way to spend a lazy summer afternoon. If you're feeling extra adventurous you can try making giant bubbles, which are super fun.

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10. Play games. From hopscotch to Pictionary, stick ball to Scrabble, the loose schedule of summer break lends itself to games of all kinds. Make it extra fun by inviting over a few friends.

Here's to summer fun made simple. If all else fails, just send them outside with a big slice of watermelon.

Images via @smallfriendly instagram

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