I must say that we have been pretty lucky when it comes to keeping our now 15 year old teenagere busy over summer break. It can be hard finding teen summer activities. As a matter of fact he has had little to no time this summer to get his gaming on, much to his dismay. When my son hit middle school I was a little set back by the lack of camps that offered activities for his age range or older. Don’t get me wrong, summer is a time to have fun and relax, but it doesn’t have to be a complete waste of time filled with sleeping all day and staying up all night, playing videos games and watching YouTube videos! So I have compiled my top 5 list of…
TEEN SUMMER ACTIVITIES
- Exercise – Sign up for a summer league or try a new sport! Just because school is out doesn’t mean there aren’t groups, classes or leagues to join. Lacrosse, basketball, and soccer all have a summer season. Not into team sports? Try tennis or swimming at your local community center or pool. Looking for something more extreme? Sign up for a surfing or paddle board lessons or go to your local skate park for skateboarding or BMX riding, they usually offer camps or lessons there as well.
- Volunteer – Your teen may be too old for most of the day camps offered but they are not too old to volunteer at one! Once your child has outgrown the elementary and middles school camps there are at them and help out the counselors with day to day chores and games with the kids. If you can’t find a summer camp to volunteer at, look for other teen summer activities that align with your child’s interests or skills. There are a lot of local organizations and charities who are looking for teen volunteers. Try hospitals, animal shelters, nursing facilities, and the art and science museums, just to name a few.
- Overnight Camp – They are not just for younger kids! Sleep away camps tend to go up to age 16, if not older. Most camps limit or completely cut out the use of cell phones, TV’s and computers, making it a truly outdoor learning experience. They have activities designed to help the development of responsibility, leadership skills and teamwork. Your teen will come away from these experiences with new friends, having tried new things they never thought they would and memories that they will hold onto for the rest of their lives.
- Summer Job – A great way to keep your teen busy and make money to boot is to look for a part-time job! Many companies’ employee kids 14 and older during the summer months (look into your state child labor laws for the legal work age in your area). Check out your local grocery stores and fast food restaurants for employment opportunities. Not only can they save money for that car they want but it will teach them life skills and experience of filling out applications and interviews for future employment. If a traditional job is not an option, create your own business! Teens can start their own businesses like lawn service, dog walking or a car wash in their local neighborhood. Learning hands on skills and putting some money in their pockets.
- Take an online course – many schools these days actually require that the students take at least one online course during their high school career, why not use all the free time during the summer to knock it out? Even if your school does not require this, it is still a great opportunity to earn some extra credits or complete a class to open up a slot for a more interesting elective during the school year. You can take things like driver’s education, a foreign language, health (or what our school district calls HOPE) or other graduation requirements in English, Social Studies, Math and Science.
Bottom line is that summer does not have to be a waste of time. Your teenager does not have to sit around ‘bored’ out of their minds all summer. There are a lot of teen summer activities and opportunities for them to learn something new, develop new interests and skills, all while having a good time doing it. The coolest moments and memories are made when you least expect it.