No matter where you live, chances are that you’ll encounter some hot days this summer. Sure, you could stay inside and stay cool in the air conditioning, but where’s the fun in that?

Instead, get on your bathing suit, put on some sunscreen and head outside for some water fun.

You can make this as simple or complicated as you’d like. If you have a kiddie pool or a big plastic tub sitting around, fill it up.

Just sticking your feet in some cool water is a great way to cool off. Who needs a pool if you can sit in the shade with a good book and your feet in cool water?

The kids will have just as much fun splashing around in a kiddie pool as they would if you were heading to the local pool or beach.

Turning on the sprinklers or the gardening hose is another great way to cool off in your own backyard. If you haven’t run through sprinklers in the past decade or so, I dare you to give it a try.

It’s just as much fun at 35 as it was at 5. And, frankly you owe it to your kids to introduce them to this old-fashioned summer tradition.

Water guns are another fun way to play outside, get wet, and cool off. Head to your local dollar or superstore and pick up a few of them. Fill them up and let the games begin. Having big buckets of water sitting around the yard makes it ready to refill and keep playing.

If you don’t feel like heading out to buy squirt guns, grab some plastic cups and use them to throw water at each other.

You can use the same buckets and plastic cups to set up some fun water races that involve getting the water from the bucket at one end of the yard to the other using the cups. It’s a great way to get the kids moving.

Water balloons are another fun option. Grab a pack (or two) of them at the dollar store while you’re there and head outside. Fill them up, divide the balloons and let the battle begin. Lots of giggles and screams are sure to be heard.

Get the kids to pick up all the little plastic pieces from the balloons before everyone heads inside. They can be dried off and ready for a bath or food by the time they are done.

Toward the end of summer keep an eye out for pricier water toys like larger pools, sprinklers, and slip-and-slides. You can pick them up for a great price, stick them in the closet and have them for next summer’s water fun.

No matter what you do and how you end up playing outside with the kids using water, they are sure to have a great time. As an added bonus, all this running around in the water will wear them out, which translates into a quiet evening and night for you.