10 Ways to Keep Teens Busy and Active this Summer

English: A group of American teens at a swimmi...

Teens at a swimming party in the late summer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Teenagers start looking forward to summer vacation as soon as they come back from Christmas break, but parents often start longing for the first day of school within days of school getting out.  One of the most common summer struggles is finding enriching activities that teens are interested enough in doing that they will get out or bed or off of the computer.  While most parents want their teens to enjoy their school break, they don’t want them sleeping all day and staying up all night playing video games or using the computer.  The key to a successful summer is finding the balance between the two extremes.  Here are 10 things for teens to do this summer to help achieve that balance.

1.     Make a Movie

This can be a great activity for teens to do with their friends and it offers a wide range of learning and enrichment opportunities including writing the script, designing the shots, sets, as well as costumes, filming, editing, and working together as a team.  Once their movie is done, they can upload it to YouTube for all their friends to see.

2.     Play Frisbee Golf

This offers enrichment opportunities and physical activity while giving your teen something fun to do with their friends.  Let your teen design and set-up a Frisbee golf course in a local park and then invite friends over to play in a tournament that lasts all summer long.  Offer a cool prize to the winner at the end of the summer as extra incentive.

3.     Grow Something

While it may not seem like a ton of fun, growing something green can be very rewarding for teens and once the green shoots peek through the dirt, many teens will be hooked on helping it grow to full size.

4.     Have a Movie Marathon

Let your teens plan an all night movie marathon for their friends and neighbors.  Feature teen favorites like the Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings movies and put your teen in charge of the details.  They will learn valuable lessons in planning, budgeting, and logistics.

5.     Organize an Event for Charity

Give your teen the opportunity to learn new skills, have fun with their friends, and give back to their community by organizing an event for charity.  Make it more worth their time by letting them split the proceeds with the charity which can give teens who have had trouble finding summer jobs a way to earn a little money.

6.     Host a Water Balloon War

Let your teen host a water balloon war with the other kids in the neighborhood.  You can even turn this into a neighborhood block party and have a cookout for everyone after the war.

7.     Learn How to Cook on the Grill

Summer is a great opportunity for your teen to learn to cook on the grill.  Work together to try different recipes. You never know; you may create a new family favorite!

8.     Organize a Summer Long Board Game Tournament

Encourage your teen to organize a tournament at a local park or community center that features favorite family board games.  By including games for different age groups, the tournament can appeal to all ages and give families something to do together each week.  Your teen will learn important skills like planning, advertising, organizing, and working with people.

9.     Learn the Stars

Challenge your teen to learn about the night sky over the summer.  Connect them with resources for learning how to use a telescope, to identify the constellations, and any other things that interest them about astronomy.

10.  Have a Photo Scavenger Hunt

Encourage your teen to explore an interest in photography by creating a photo scavenger hunt for them to do over the course of the summer.  Make a list of interesting, unusual, and creative pictures to take over the summer and then turn their best shots into a memory book for the family coffee table.

It isn’t hard to find fun and interesting activities for your teen to do over the summer.  Start with things that your teen is already interested in and provide them with opportunities to explore those interests in ways that expand their skills and enrich their lives.

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