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Summer is in full swing. That means lazy days in the park or on the beach, cookouts, long days, and warm, firefly-dotted nights. But if you’re stuck in an office all day it can feel like summer just isn’t the same season you used to enjoy as a kid. Good news: It doesn’t have to be that way. You can capture some of that summer magic you used to enjoy when summer meant no school practically forever, at least for a little while. Here are some ways to do it.

Make a watermelon smile

Is there any fruit that screams “summer” quite like watermelon? This drippy and refreshing summer treat always takes me back to the good old days. (That and peaches, those delicious fruit flavor bombs that taste just like childhood.) Slurp up some fresh watermelon and pause for a moment to pose with the slice in front of your face: Voila, instant watermelon smile. Try a new grown up twist by hollowing out the watermelon and using it as a punch bowl for your favorite boozy and fruity summer spirits.

Sprint from your mailbox to the top of your driveway

This sounds silly, maybe, but just try it: That giddy adrenaline rush will bring you right down to those moments when you used to yell 1-2-3, GO! and race down the block. When was the last time you just ran really hard like a monster was chasing you for no reason at all? Do it. Try it right now. You’ll feel weirdly exhilarated

Play in the sprinkler!

We love relaxing by the poolside like anyone else, but there’s just something about the sprinkler that makes you feel like a kid again. If you have little kids in your family, this is a great activity, too: Just throw on a bathing suit and turn on the hose! You’ll be so glad you did.

Make another hallmark summer treat: peppermint stick in a halved lemon

This one is a summertime classic in the mid-Atlantic, and it combines the minty goodness of peppermint and that tangy citrus of them. It’s simple. You cut a lemon in half and jab it with a (soft!) peppermint stick. Use the peppermint stick as a kind of straw. I had them all the time growing up, and I might have even included them in a lemonade stand or two. They were always a summer favorite. Yum!

Have a sleepover or camp out in the backyard

Invite your gals, or a significant other over for a sleepover, and go all out. Stock up on your Twizzlers, your scary horror flicks, and make sure your friend(s) bring extra pillows. You’re in for a crazy night of good, clean, feelin’ like a kiddo style fun. You can even go one step further and make it an indoor camping trip.

Plan a picnic

Go to a park. Pick out a nice spot. Lay down a blanket. Open your picnic basket and share some PB&J sandwiches with all your friends. Maybe bring some lemons and peppermint sticks or watermelon slices to sweeten the deal. Instant outdoor lounging achieved.

Go swing on some swings

As long as you can find a playground that isn’t already occupied by kiddies, this is a great one. Go swing on the swingset with a friend, and see who can go the highest. It’ll bring your right back to elementary school.

Go out and draw on the sidewalk with chalk

Grab a bucket of chalk and a friend and go out and make a hopscotch field, or just let your imagination rip. If no outdoor space is available, a coloring book will make a just fine substitute. Just spend some time coloring. You’d be shocked at how relaxing it is, and how much it makes your feel like you’re whiling away those long summer days while on break from school

Read a book out loud (preferably before bed)

I bet you know someone in your life who needs a bedtime story: A friends, a niece, and grandparent, even your mother. Share that favorite literary treat with someone new, or give back to a relative who shared it with you by revisiting it together. You and your partner will enjoy some laughs and hopefully sleep easier.

Have the best summer ever!

[Image via iStock]