The sun is shining and summertime is rolling around any day now.

I often think that kids enjoy it a little more than parents do. What's not to enjoy? No school, great weather, and sleeping in every single morning. For us parents, it means scheduling child care, meal plans, etc. Although, we're all happy to welcome the much needed change, around the third week both child and parent often times fall into a rut. The allure of summertime fun is now replaced with boredom and little stimulation for the child, all while we as parents struggle to keep the stress levels down. 

It’s time to regroup and figure out a way to reconcile your child’s expectations with your own in a way that makes life a little easier for everyone. Not only can your kids have an amazing summer, so can you. Below are five tips on how to get the most out of your summer.

1. Don't ditch the morning routine
Sure, let the kiddos sleep in the first couple of mornings but after that it's back to the routine. Try establishing early morning chores before breakfast and for the working moms and dads, this is a great time to stay connected with your kids first thing in the morning. 

2. Educational camps/classes
Instead of dropping the kids off with a sitter or simply just staying home, try keeping your child mentally stimulated with educational camps or something similar. This is a great and safe way to keep them inspired even when you aren't there.

3. Let them play
This is probably the easiest and yet hardest thing to do. Why? Because it usually includes getting dirty, creating a mess, or something else that requires immediate attention as a parent :) We're all human, I get it. Challenge yourself and let them play in the dirty or water. It beats sitting in front of a TV all day. This will tire them out and help them feel satisfied at the end of the day.

4. Keep a bedtime
Who else has struggled getting your kiddos back on track when it comes time to go back to school? It's never easy turning off the summertime buzz but keeping a steady bedtime throughout the summer will soften the transition for both child and parent. 

5. Plan a family activity
Activities don't necessarily have to cost a ton of money. It could be something as simple as loading up the bikes and hitting a trail and having lunch afterwards. The power of bonding is something special and very much needed. Not everything requires a ton of money. The great stuff in life is free.