Ready to simplify your family's summer? Slow down and savor the season by eliminating all of the unnecessary stress in your life — and giving up all the things your family can easily do without.

1. Cooking

Okay, you can't give up cooking completely (because you have hungry mouths to feed, right?), but you can quit using your stove and oven to prepare elaborate family dinners. Make easy, no-bake meals like salads, sandwiches and wraps your summer meal staples.

2. Day Camps

Summer day camps can be a tremendous blessing for working parents who need childcare, but it's also easy to overschedule our kids' summer in a desperate attempt to keep them entertained. If you or another caregiver are lucky enough to be home with your children over summer vacation, keep life a little lazy by limiting or eliminating those day camps.

3. Long Car Trips

In most parts of the country, summer is hot. Cars are hot. And while it may sound like a good idea to drive across town to see that new exhibit or take part in that special event, sometimes it isn't worth the effort. This isn't to say that you shouldn't plan any summer adventures, but don't put too much effort into dragging your kids somewhere they weren't really interested in visiting in the first place.

4. Helicopter Parenting

We're all guilty of this at one point or another, but summer can be a great time to practice letting go. Give your kids more space to play in their rooms or the backyard without constant supervision or suggestions of games and activities. Give them a chance to experience a 1970's summer.

5. A Schedule

If you're a Type A person, this probably sounds scary. But one of the best things about summer is the freedom to do what you want, when you want. You might want to establish a daily rhythm to keep the household running smoothly, but try to go with the flow and be more spontaneous with your time. Kids will love this break from routine.

6. Enrichment Activities

As much as we worry about summer slide, it's also possible to overcompensate by devoting too many hours of the summer to learning activities. Put away the workbooks and flashcards, and encourage your kids to go outside and play. It's where they will learn the most anyway.

7. Technology

The demands of modern life probably won't allow you to forego technology completely, but give yourself permission to "unplug" as often as possible. Take a hiatus from Facebook or commit to checking emails only once a day. Cancel your cable or Netflix subscription for a few months and spend your down time playing outside as a family. This might be challenging at first, but rest assured, you will make memories to last a lifetime.

Do you simplify during the summer months? Or does life feel more chaotic while the kids are home from school?