This summer is flying by! At least that’s what it feels like at our house. It seems like the end of school only gave way to tired teens and tired parents. We tried to give our kids time to recover, sleeping in, extra time with their friends, knowing that the first month they would still be pretty busy with tennis camps, dance competitions, chores, and family activities. And now we’re halfway through the summer, and it seems that we’ve fallen into some bad habits of too much time in front of electronics, and maybe not enough motivation to get away from them.
Short of putting our kids on a schedule that looks like a work week, we couldn’t figure out what to do. So, we tried giving them some freedom to control their schedules and decide how to fill their days and weeks with days that would balance fun activities, working on their sports, and also doing a Genius Project. And while the time spent building their skills in tennis and dance are easier to define, it’s sometimes hard to figure out different fun activities to do on their own, with their friends, or even with the family.
So how do we get our bored teens away from those pesky screens, at least for a few hours every day?
It’s not easy to get away from the screens, but sometimes all you need is a list of other things to do, to get excited about. You can help your teen by working together on a long list of activities that will help battle summer boredom while also building their relationships with friends and families.
Teens spend so much time on auto-pilot, it seems difficult to even think of simple things that could also be fun.
Lucky for us, there are other parents out there who have given this a lot of thought and have come up with great lists of activities for teens and tweens. Here are some of the lists we used to get inspired, with some of our favorite activities:
- Volunteer at your local animal shelter
- Go on a long bike ride
- Start a business, like lawn care or dog walking
- Let your teen help plan a family vacation or outing
- Write and illustrate a comic book
- Make treats to give to a friend
- Have an outdoor movie night
- Learn to cook something new
- Do something kind for someone – a neighbor, or family member
- Handwrite letters to friends and family
If you have more than one bored teen at home, like we do, create a contest for the whole family and see who can come up with the longest list of offline activities in 10 minutes. Then vote for the top 5 for each list, and make sure you put them on the calendar! Your teen will be able to build out at least a few fun weekdays by themselves or with friends, and even family weekend activities!Connect with Teen SMART Goals on social media!