It’s almost September and if you are asking yourself, "how long until school starts?" don’t fret…you aren’t alone! There are a few hot weeks of summer left and I have some tried and true ideas to keep the days happily rolling along.

1. Take a nature walk. Put away the phone, grab a snack and take in a local path. Talk to your kids about all they see, teach them the Leave No Trace idea and burn a few hours in the day. So lovely.

2. Turn your backyard into a mini-water park. Kids love water. Water balloons, squirt guns and a kiddie pool can provide hours of fun on a hot day.

3. Have a paper airplane contest. Hit the Dollar Store for supplies and prizes and gather the neighborhood kids. Voila! One afternoon down and tons of fun and giggles to be had.

4. YouTube karaoke. Too hot outside? Bring the kids in and sing the day away. Throwbacks to your Top 40 days are absolutely fair game. My kids were tortured by many NKOTB songs!

5. Family movie night. I love the theater sized popcorn buckets and candy boxes at Walmart. They add pizzazz to the Netflix night. Gather the family around and take a few hours to laugh together. Good stuff!

6. Stove-top s’mores. Camp out on the living room floor and make yourself a plate of s’mores right there in the kitchen. Doesn’t get easier or yummier than that!

7. Visit the local fire station. Most people don’t know that you can go to the local fire house and get a tour. Call your local station ahead of time, tell them how many littles you are bringing and then head over for some fun during your scheduled time. Most stations let the kids try on the boots, slide down the pole and send them away with coloring books.

8. Volunteer. Nothing better than giving back. Find a service project to do with your kids. I always took my kids to do yard work for an elderly neighbor. Summer time is usually more stressful on older folks that live alone as there is more work to do outside than they are capable of doing. Teach your kids the concept of paying it forward.

9. Wash the car. Nothing like killing two birds with one stone. Word hard, play hard…. a perfect way to knock a summer afternoon off the calendar.

Hang in there parents…. you’re ALMOST there.