The house is a mess and you wonder where the time has gone. You recall the trips to the beach and all of the fun your family has had in the sun. It’s such a bittersweet time … when the summer starts to wind down and you realize that the kids will soon be back in school, those perky yellow buses pulling up in the weeks to come.

There are only 18 summers that we get to spend with our children, after all, so we’ve got to make the most of every moment. That’s why, in the middle of all of that notebook buying and pencil sharpening, we must squeeze in as many memories as we can.

Here are five things that you should do with your kids before they go back to school:

  1. Spend a day doing whatever they want to do. Ask your kids if there is anything that they wanted to do during the summer that they didn’t get a chance to. Offer them the opportunity to pick an activity of their choice before they get back to all of that homework and those early wakeups. They will be thankful for the fun and happy to be included in on the planning.
  2. Go on a short trip even if it’s just a day trip. I know that I love going away with my kids because it means that I have dedicated time where I can focus solely on them. Quality time is the name of the game when it comes to children. Try to get just a little more in.
  3. Set goals for the year. Talk to your child about their goals for the upcoming year. What do they want to accomplish and how will they get there? The more they plan for it, the better their year will be. Yours too.
  4. Take them out for ice cream. Nothing reminds me more of my childhood summers than those times that I went out for ice cream with my mom. So, pack your kids up in the car and go grab some cones and summer memories while you still can. It doesn’t take much to form some really great childhood experiences.
  5. Squish in a few more games. Whether it’s catch in the yard, monopoly in the living room, or hide-and-seek wherever the best hiding spots are at, be sure to embrace your inner child during these last few days of summer. Your kids and your mindset will thank you for it.