Summer is nearing its end as we reach the end of July and that much closer to school starting.

I remember going to the beach as a kid with family and staying practically a week on South Padre Island at the same motel. Playing in the sand and staying in the water from sun up to sun down. I sometimes felt like a mermaid. I remember wrinkled fingers and sun kissed skin albeit with a sunburn here or there. Even now I plan on heading to the beach this weekend when I go home for a visit but I canít help but think of the families who donít have that luxury.

I know some people in the area canít afford to drive all the way to the beach and enjoy the fun times I had and make memories like I did. Just because you canít go to the beach during the summer doesnít mean you canít have fun. Aside from buying kiddie pools at Walmart or visiting the community pool, there are other ways to have fun.

I remember the days when me and my brothers would run through the sprinklers when my dad would water the lawn. Of course due to the contingency plan in place, homes can only water at certain times so you wouldnít really be breaking any rules when doing this.

Water guns are always fun as well. My brothers, cousins and I would play freeze water tag outside. Itís like regular freeze tag but we put ice cubes in our water guns to make it freezing cold. If you got hit, you froze until someone ran by and touched you to untag you. Trust me, with the scorching heat we get here in South Texas, this game really helps cool down.

Water balloons are just as fun as water guns. Letís face it parents, throwing birthday parties for your kids sometimes leaves you with left over balloons that just take up space in your drawers or cupboards. Why not give them to your kids to have some fun outside. Kids can get into teams and play water balloon dodge ball.

You donít have to drive so far away to have a fun summer. Having fun in your backyard can be just invigorating, it just takes a little creativity.