Here we are, in the delicious, thick, hot, lazy days of summer vacation. No racing to the bus, no homework, no tests, no structure. But wait...don't our kids need structure? Or should we let our hair down for the summer and throw schedules out the window? I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle and that summer vacation is a wonderful time for us parents to practice balance and compromise. Perhaps we let our kids read a bit less, watch a bit more TV, and have a lot more ice cream during the summer months. Yet, it's also a great idea to keep some structure in place, especially if your child (and perhaps you) thrive with it. I encourage families to try to stick to a somewhat regular and somewhat reasonable wake-up and bedtime routine. Kids should get up, get dressed, and try to squeeze in a little healthy food every day. Summer is a great time to get a lot more physical activity, so try making some simple plans to get out to a beach, local pool, or even just play with the hose in your backyard. Long Island is chuck full of places to hike and explore and also has some of the most wonderful local libraries, if, on quiet days, you want to be out of the house but in a cool air-conditioned space. And try to be mindful to keep limits on technology use, even though school is on pause for a bit. Those growing brains still need face-to-face fun and to sample lots of different activities. You don't need to feel compelled to turn your houses into an 8-week summer camp experience; Just keep it simple, keep it loosely structured, and get in on the fun while you can! See below for a a great link to some local summer fun.