Summer is a time for lemonade, swimsuits and sunscreen. Days are longer, and no school means there is more time to spend together as a family. Every year, I have set a goal to accomplish a list of things I want to do over the course of the summer with my family. Unfortunately, by the time summer rolls to an end, my list isn't even near completion. Year after year, I realize that I wasted my summer and didn't take full advantage of the extra sunlight and warm weather that I could enjoy with the people I care about the most.

With a little effort, you can make this the best summer for you and your family members. Here are a few ways to involve your entire family and make this upcoming summer one to remember.

Hold a family council

When determining your summer activities, discuss your ideas as a family. Designate one night to creating a plan for your summer. Pull out your calendar and jot down events that you know are already taking place such as church activities, extra-curricular activities, sporting events, etc. Then, ask each family member what additional activities they would like to do. These activities could involve camping trips, hiking, swimming, enjoying a picnic at a specific park, etc. When you include your family in the brainstorming process, they feel like they are involved from the very beginning and will be more excited to participate in the activities later on in the summer.

Take Action

Once you have a plan established, take action. If you need tickets to a certain event you want to attend, make those purchases immediately. If your child wants to fly kites but you don't know where the kites are, search for them. If you don't take action right away, you may become too busy or forget the small details which can hinder the entire excursion.

Stick to a routine

To keep your sanity throughout the summer, establish and stick to a routine. One way to keep summer days fun and exciting is to designate days of the week to a specific activity. For example, Mondays are park days. On this day of the week, you spend time at a nearby park. Tuesdays are water days. Every Tuesday you do something involving water whether it is running through the sprinklers, having a water fight or going to the local swimming pool. Wednesdays are learning days. Every Wednesday you go somewhere educational. Whether it is to a museum, a performance or an exhibit.

Also, it is a good idea to keep children in a routine throughout each day such as wake up, eat lunch or go to bed at the same time. Routines can help keep children and parents happy.

Utilize your resources

You can make the summer fun by utilizing the resources around you. Companies such as Groupon and City Deals often provide discounts on entertainment and venues you and your children may enjoy. Also, many local events take place throughout the summer including celebrations and festivals that are free to attend. Look at your community calendar to see what local events you and your children might enjoy.

It is possible to make this a memorable summer. With a little preparation and input from all members of your family, you can turn this upcoming summer into one you will all remember.

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