It’s HOOOOOOT here in Texas where we live. How about near you? We’re rounding the bend into a very hot, sweltering actually, summer. Of course the first thing my children said to me the last day of school was, “let’s go to the pool!” They love to play in the water. Period.


It makes me smile, as my fondest childhood memories are of summers with my grandparents at their house near the lake, many boat rides and picnics, and lots of swimming! When we weren’t with my grandparents, my brother and I found our way – with our dogs – down to the creek where we spent much time just being country kids. In other words, they come by it honestly.


I’ve turned from a lake/creek/river girl into a pool girl through my years. There’s something about being able to see the bottom. Maybe grandpa shouldn’t have told me all of those stories about the depths of the lake? As a parent, it’s definitely the fact that the pool is free from creatures – read this as “bad ocean experience” with my youngest daughter who also should be hired for a Lifetime movie drama.


When we first scouted out a house here in Texas we found one with a pool. That didn’t work out (we’re glad it didn’t now) and instead we ended up in very large neighborhood which has HOA dues that include the use of five different pools. Can’t argue with that.


We’re also water park connoisseurs. It is one of our summer fun activities we never miss out on. Whether we are on vacation or just stay home, we scope out the nearest water parks and splash on in.*


Of course, I work out of my home office so summer is always a challenge. I can’t take every day off to spend hanging out at the pool no matter how much that would rock! One of the girl’s favorite things to do is the giant slide we purchased when we were in Oklahoma. That was a very good investment on my part. My husband thought I was insane until he saw the hours of fun they had. The problem is that here in Texas – yes, the land of the wide open spaces – our yards are barely large enough to blow up the slide, let alone walk around it. Bummer!


I have to get creative this year to find other options of water play that won’t break my budget (remember, we need all of the cash we can muster to purchase those water park tickets) and are still hours of at-home fun. 


The folks over at Parenting Magazine came to the rescue with some great ideas for summer water fun. There were many, but these three were ones that I added to my repertoire for our summer. 


Balloon babies Fill up a water balloon and draw a face on it with a dark marker. Wrap it in a paper towel, then hand your kid (4 and up) his new "baby." See how long he can take care of it before it breaks.


Water-gun tag This clever twist on a classic is pretty self-explanatory: Have everyone don bathing suits and play tag. Whoever is "It" gets the water gun and tries to tag the other players with a cold squirt! (Tara’s note – in a pinch you could even do a spray bottle.)


Freeze! Place plastic bugs, toy cars, or other small treasures in your cube tray, add water, and freeze. Then hand a piece of ice to your child (age 3 and up) and have her melt it in her hands until the prize emerges.


Do you have a favorite summer water activity?
Are you a lake, pool, or ocean type of person?
What has been your favorite water park that you have ever visited?


*To find a park in your state take a peek at this listing.

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Bob the Barista
Drinking iced coffee on my front porch with the fam!