Summer is wonderful! The sun is shining, the days are long, and there are endless possibilities. But as any parent knows, once that mid-afternoon sun hits, it can be hard to find the right activities. To help you keep your kids cool in the summer heat, we put together four simple ideas everyone will love.

Get wet

You don’t need a backyard pool, or even a lake, to get wet in the summer. Even a plain old garden hose will suffice. Set up your sprinkler on the lawn and have a jumping contest. For younger kids, a water table is a great investment and will remain entertaining for years to come.

If you don’t have a water table, but want your kids to have the opportunity to explore, simply fill up a large bucket of water. It might seem simple, but with kids, sometimes the more simple, the better. Find an empty storage bin, fill it up, and let kids lead the way with play. Whether it’s filling up watering cans for the garden, or simply trying to see who can fit inside, it’s an easy, innovative way to keep your kids cool in the summer heat.

Head to the forest

To beat the heat, get out of the sun. Tall towering forests provide ample shade and are a lot cooler than open spaces. A quick search online will allow you to find a nearby park that you can explore. Search out small critters, make a leaf collection, and find cool rocks. The only think about forest walks is that you will want to prepare. Even if you just plan on being out for an hour, bring your cell phone, pack plenty of snacks and water, and always tell someone where you will be going. And always be aware of bear sightings.

Head indoors

Indoor play centers are the perfect way to keep kids cool in the summer heat. Air-conditioned and full of fun, you can have a safe place to explore on those sunny afternoons and not worry about wilting kids. Keep their energy levels high, burn off that extra sugar, and make sure they can fall easily asleep at night, even if it is still light out.

Cool treats

Keep your kids cool in the summer heat by providing them plenty of cool treats. Homemade popsicles have way less sugar than store-bought treats and are also a fun activity to make with your kids. Frozen grapes are super simple and surprisingly delicious. Experiment with ice molds, colored water, and even homemade ice cream as a treat. Have your kids experiment with making their own cool treats. You might be surprised by what they come up with!