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Yippee. Schools out. I have always been one of those mothers who prefers the unstructured nature of summer over the frenetic pace of the school year.  That is, until  my kids became tweens. Never is the term tween more apt than in the summer time. They often have outgrown their summer ...

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Beyond Facebook & X-Box: Summer fun list for Teens & Tweens

Posted by: SchoolFamily on Jun 15, 2010 in Summer Learning, Middle School, Kids Learning, High School, Health and Fitness, Fun Learning Activities, Extracurricular Activities


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Yippee. School's out. I have always been one of those mothers who prefers the unstructured nature of summer over the frenetic pace of the school year.  That is, until  my kids became tweens. Never is the term tween more apt than in the summer time. They often have outgrown their summer camps but they are too young for jobs. Our kids are so in between, that sometimes they just don't know what to do with themselves. Seems that their fall back is anything technology-based. Which is why my recent quest has been to come up with activity alternatives to Facebook and X-box. Since I know I am not the only mean mom who limits screen time,  I thought I would share my plan with you. I am hoping that people will add to these ideas and together we'll come up with an awesome summer bucket list for our middle school and high school "kids."

The limited technology plan starts with having teens and tweens make their own list of what they'd like to do this summer. If they are invested or if it is their idea, they are more likely to follow through - the story of our lives, right? Suggest that your kids to break their list out by:

  • stuff to do with friends (that doesn't involve mom or dad driving)
  • stuff to do with friends (where parents need to be involved)
  • activities & events to do with family
  • things to do on your own or "things to do when I am bored."

This exercise will mean never having to hear, "Mom, I am bored." My dad always said that admitting to boredom was admitting lack of intelligence and creativity! Can't have that.

Once they have come up with their list, offer a few suggestions, based on personality and interests. Here's a list that I came up with for suggested summer boredom busters:

  • Volunteer in the community. Volunteer Match is a great way to find opportunities that range from a one-time event to a weekly gig. The benefits of this experience goes without saying. 
  • Get outside. In my estimation, there are no excuses not to get outside. The possibilities are endless: bicycling, reading a book on a blanket, playing laser tag in the woods, fishing, gardening, geo-caching,... just to name a few. 
  • Get creative. OK, don't use the word 'crafts' but inspire your kids to channel their inner artist, engineer, or chef.  One of my favorite websites, Instructables.com, has endless fodder for creativity.  For budding writers and artists, summer is a great time to work towards getting published. 
  • Get active. For the kids that start their own business there's paint balling, mini golf, and water parks. For the rest of the gang, there are plenty of ideas that cost little or no money: organize a tournament (volleyball, whiffle ball, dodge ball, etc.), get friends together for  beach Olympics.  Or,  for the planning-challenged, start jogging and chart your personal bests. 

I also thought this list of 101 fun things for teens to do this summer had some great suggestions.  But please, make no mistake: I am not advocating an over-scheduled, over-structured summer. I think that everyone from tots to adults need downtime ... I am just trying to have my kids come up with some unplugged options for summer!

OK, let's hear it: what can you add to my teen and tween summer fun list?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Posted by - Bethany on Mar. 17, 2014

    I'm a teenager and I've been looking for some fun things to do this summer. This spring break I've been noticing I'm not having as much fun doing things as I used to, like going to the board walk and mall. Seeing thing gave me a lot of good ideas, such as:
    - have a Disney movie marathon with friends
    - help out at your local pet place, outreach center, or library
    - have a glow in the dark party
    - go to the lake with your family and friends
    - go to a renaissance fair
    - play new songs on my flute
    - discover new tea flavors and read more books
    - re organize/arrange my room... Total makeover!
    - challenge: wear less makeup
    - re learn how to ride a bike
    I mean, there are more I thought of but still. :) I think I'll be way less bored now that I have these ideas
  2. Posted by - Kham on Aug. 10, 2010

    Here is a great place to create, manage and share your bucket list. You can also get some interesting ideas to put on your bucket list from others.

    Check it out.

    http://www.sharebuckets.com
  3. Posted by - J on Jun. 21, 2010

    This is good stuff. I know kids tend to look at summer months like "Yes! More time to play video games!" and don't get enough exercise as a result. This should help with that issue.
  4. Posted by - Emily on Jun. 18, 2010

    Collage I like the break down listed above. As a therapist for teens and tweens I really encourage them (while indoors) to get creative, get on a project...A college (big cork board), go to a yard sale refurbish an old piece of furniture, re-decorate his/her room. Something that takes a few days and that they are generally invested in doing. A client of mine made a jewelry board out of an old screen door, took her two weekends and she was so proud of it!

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