The old fashioned thinking of laying low for the summer is out the window. Our kids are bored. They need constant stimulation, and while it's not always a good thing, it's not a bad thing either. Last year we made a "Summer Bucket List" which consisted of about 20 things. Only 3 activities were ultimately crossed off, and this year we did away with that list completely. This year we decided to take it one week at a time. My husband and I have a secret to enjoying our summer nights, and that's WEAR THEM OUT! We let our kids play 'til they tire themselves out and go to sleep easy. Here are some ideas we've compiled of summer activities to keep everyone active, beat the heat, and truly enjoy the summer as a family:

Join a local community pool - even our friends who have their own pools in their backyards join the community pool because the kids can socialize with friends, play games, participate in community activities, and more-depending on what your pool offers. Ours has late nights, guest passes, and a poolside restaurant. Do your research and choose a pool based on your needs- something that was super kid-friendly was a must. Don't forget the sunscreen for this one, and allow kids to have a time out every now and then. Too much sun can make for cranky kids!

Research day camps in your area - we have a local day camp that is offered one week out of the entire summer. For 5 consecutive days, the kids play sports, create crafts, and hang out in an air-conditioned school-like setting. It may not sound like much fun, but my girls beg for this week at the beginning of each summer because they have a ton of fun without the strenuous academics.

Read a book - encourage older children to read a page or two a day of any book of their choosing. To get my girls excited for reading, we take a trip to our local bookstore and let them choose one book. If they want to get another book the following week, they must read the first one and write a short summary about it. Alternatively you can take kids to the local library for free books!

Plan meals as a family - kids tend to be better eaters when they help prepare their meals. Download the Flipp app, browse through your local supermarket circulars, and plan a meal together. Once we have all our ingredients my husband alternates which child he will take to the supermarket and we make lunch or dinner as a family. Since the school year is met with time restraints, summer is a great way to get the kids involved in the kitchen without having to worry about homework, after school activities, and our night time routine.

Plan day trips around your area - Even if there's not much to do or see in your own neighborhood, choose a destination that is within an hour or two away like a museum. Field trips are a great way for kids to connect with the world around them.

Playdates! This is my favorite one because when the kids have a playdate, so do mommy and daddy. We invite our friends and cousins over for a good old fashioned backyard BBQ where the kids can play and the adults can relax.

What are some of your favorite summer time activities?