This post was sponsored by the makers of Invisalign® clear aligners. My nephew and mom are receiving complimentary Invisalign treatment as they share their Invisalign journey.

Summer means a lot of things: no school, vacations, late nights and sleepovers. Summer means playing outside and going swimming. For me, summer also means playing catch-up.

Is it like that for you? Most moms I know use summer as the time to get all the things done they’ve put off during the school year. It’s just easier. We aren’t having to navigate school schedules and homework and bedtimes and regular routines. And honestly, my kids seem more agreeable to helping with things they would totally have complained about during the school year. They seem more relaxed about life in general.

Here are some things that we try to catch up on during those summer months:

1. Organizing. It’s no one’s favorite thing to do, but it does have to be done. With four kids, if I let this one slide at all, we’ll be buried in the mounds of clothing and toys that we outgrew years before, but never bothered to get rid of. In the summer, I put the kids to work on the purging process (while I supervise). We go through their closets and pull out clothes that are too small or have been worn way past their prime. They dig through toys and books they don’t play with anymore, or won’t be reading anymore, and we donate them somewhere.

2. Doctor visits. Nothing kills the lazy-summer vibe like a trip to the doctor, but honestly, summer is a great time to schedule that well-child visit—you know, the one that you should have done around someone’s birthday, but didn’t.

3. Dental care. Kids are supposed to get their teeth cleaned every six months. We always try to do one of those visits in the summer because we have more options for appointment times. No need to work around school or other activities. Summer is also a great time to start the teeth-straightening process, which I suspect is in our future fairly soon. Take a trip to the orthodontist this summer and look into the latest in teeth straightening, like Invisalign, which offers treatment especially for teens. The clear aligners are removable and can straighten teeth without a mouth full of metal and all the hassle that comes with it—no broken wires or brackets, no food restrictions, no cut up gums after sports, no worries about making music, singing or acting.​ Best part, the clear aligners are virtually invisible, making it easier to “fit in” rather than call attention to it. ​​

4. Reading with kids. (Um, feel free to skip ahead if you are one of my child’s teachers.) During the school year, our nights are so hectic that sometimes daily reading doesn’t happen. But summer is a great time to start a book series. What’s more fun than everyone staying up late or spending a lazy morning reading together? I have friends who still read book series aloud to their kids…and their oldest is in middle school. Their kids still say it’s the best part of the night.

5. Reading for myself. Summer is also a great time for moms to start a new book or dig into that book you’ve been meaning to read for years. Take it to the pool. Take it on vacation. Take it to the park. The more free playtime your kids have in summer can always mean some extra reading time for you. I certainly don’t mind the indulgence.

6. Camps. There are tons of sports and activity camps available during the summer. Whether you want to give your child a little extra help in a sport they’re already interested in or if you want to help them build confidence with a new activity like skateboarding, a week-long camp is a fantastic option. Seriously, I’d much rather find out if my child likes (or hates) an activity after one intense week in the summer, rather than suffering through a whole season of a team sport they eventually decide they hate.

7. School help. Ugh. I know kids don’t want to have to do school work during the summer. I don’t want them to, either. But I’m also a realist, and summer really is a great time to get extra help on subjects they might be falling behind in. A little summer tutoring on my timetable seems much more preferable than trying to jam it in during the school year.

8. Cooking. I’ve found that I am much more adventurous in the summer when it comes to cooking. Maybe it’s because I have a little more time to look through recipe books and scroll through Pinterest. This helps me find recipes the kids can help with, and then I’ll take them to the store with me to pick out ingredients. Giving them some ownership over a meal goes a long way in helping them become self-sufficient, well-adjusted kids. Cooking in the summer lends itself to fun for the whole family.

What about you? What activities or interests do you catch up on during the summer break?

This post was sponsored by the makers of Invisalign clear aligners. My nephew and mom are receiving complimentary Invisalign treatment as they share their Invisalign journey. Full disclosure here