Summer is here, and for your teen, that means eight or ten weeks of no school. Most young people look forward to summer vacation but find themselves bored after a week or two of not having a regular routine. Boredom in teenagers can lead to negative behaviors such as staring at screens all day, experimenting with drugs and alcohol, or exhibiting signs of a negative attitude. The best way to head off this type of behavior is find summer activities for teens to make sure that they have fun things to do this summer. Here are seven great summer activities for teens, have fun, and boost his or her physical or mental health.
1. Go to Summer Camp
Many teens think that they have outgrown summer camp, but there are camps that cater to adolescents. They might like sports-related camps or those associated with groups such as a church youth group, Boy Scouts, or Girl Scouts. Your teen might also enjoy camps that teach them how to do something new, such as sailing camp or drama camp.
If your adolescent isn’t wild about the idea of attending camp as a camper, they might want to go as a counselor. Many camps for younger children hire teenagers to provide supervision. This is a nice way for your teen to earn some money while spending time having fun with children, if that’s something they might enjoy.
2. Make Time for Family Time
During the school year, it’s easy to put family time on the back burner. Between school, extracurricular activities, and all of your work and household obligations, it’s difficult to juggle everything. Something like a game night or a day spent at the beach together can fall by the wayside. During the summer, however, everyone has more time. You can ask your teen to pick up some of the slack when it comes to household chores so you’re more free in the evenings and on the weekends. Then allocate one or two days per week as family time, where you watch movies, play games, go out for dinner, go bowling or miniature golfing, making summer activities for teens like this will help them greatly to have fun and be healthy.
3. Start a Business
Does your teenager have the entrepreneurial spirit? More and more young people nowadays are starting businesses. The summer is the perfect time to take on this type of project. The possibilities are endless: They can go to yard sales and sell promising items on eBay, walk dogs or pet-sit when pet-parents are working or on vacation, babysit, set up websites, manage social media accounts, and more. Your teen will be earning money and learning about what it takes to run a successful business, from marketing to staying organized to following through even when the going gets tough.
4. Plan (and Take) a Vacation
Many families go on vacation in the summer. If your family is no exception, ask your teen to manage the arrangements. Knowing how to plan, book, budget, and execute a vacation is a skill that will serve your teen well in life. Let them know how much money is available to spend and give them some parameters (staying in state, staying within driving distance, flights must be under a certain dollar amount, and so on). Be available to help with and supervise the booking process, but let your teen (or teens, if you have more than one) do the research and make the plans.
5. Add Exercise to Each Day
Staying active is good for both physical and mental health. Teens should get about 60 minutes of activity most days of the week. If they play sports or like to ride their bicycles all over time, this isn’t an issue, but many teens get into the habit of sitting around all summer, which isn’t healthy. Encourage your teen to go for a walk after dinner (better yet, go with them!) or challenge them to a race or a basketball game. Do what you can to keep your teen physically active for better health now and in the future.
6. Have a Reading Challenge
Many students of all ages forget some of what they have learned the previous year in school and have some catching up to do come September. Keeping your teen reading helps them maintain their reading skills and encourages them to pursue a love of reading, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction. Make good use of your public library and challenge your teen to read a certain number of books this summer. Some libraries sponsor challenges with prizes. Or your teen might like to have a friendly competition with siblings, with you, or with their friends. Whatever you decide, make summer activities for teens fun and encourage them to choose books that they enjoy.
7. Spend Time with Friends
Your teen should get together with friends at some point over the summer, if possible. Many families are busy with vacations and other projects during the summer months, so it might not be as simple as you think for them to go out with their buddies. Still, you can encourage them to host a movie night or to meet friends for bowling or a beach day.
If you can, offer to be a driver or to host at your house; this allows you to meet your teen’s friends and to stay involved with what they’re doing. If they are going to be at other homes, make sure that there is a parent home or at least aware of what the teens are doing; this can prevent alcohol experimentation, sexual activity, and other behaviors that you don’t want your teenager trying out due to boredom or not having something better to do.
Keep this summer vacation safe and fun for your teen by knowing where they are, who they are with, and what they are doing. Talk to your teen about behavior expectations and give them some ideas for fun and healthy things to do if they seem to have trouble coming up with their own ideas. Having summer activities for teens and them learning how to have good, clean fun is something that will help them as they get older and are responsible for planning their days.