Kids tend to really look forward to the summer months and the release they provide from the daily grind of school and homework. Kids of all ages just love to relish those three uninterrupted months full of freedom, sun, and spare time. Little ones are easy enough to amuse by organizing play-dates and having a few fun activities like going to a children’s museum, going out for coffee with you so they can feel all grown-up with their hot chocolate from the coffee shop, or just spending all day doings arts and crafts and playing hide-and-seek.
Thing is, little ones grow up eventually, and they don’t just magically become adults one morning, they have to pass through that awkward and drama-filled teenager age, and teens can sure be a handful sometimes (or all the time). They’re less easily amused and more inclined to drama than little ones, but at the same time, they’re old enough to share in some of the household responsibility. In more ways than one, they need a different kind of planning and direction than little ones to stay entertained and occupied all summer. Vine Vera knows it can be difficult, so read on for our top tips at keeping teens busy through the summer.
Involve Them in Household Work
If your teens don’t already have a daily regimen of household chores, you might want to give them one. Simple things like doing the dishes, checking the trash and taking it out if it’s full, etc. But in addition to daily chores, over the summer in particular you can involve them in extra activities like doing laundry, getting or at least helping put away groceries, helping clean out the cluttered garage, even making dinner. Remind them that they’ll spend a lot less time on the few extra chores than they would with school and homework, and the sooner they finish, the more time they have for fun. They’ll end up enjoying their downtime more, and you’ll get some handy help around the house.
Push Them to Volunteer
Volunteer work can provide helpful experience for your teen’s future resume before they have any actual job experience to list, and it looks pretty damn good on a college application too. Besides that, you give your teen a chance to do some real good and help others. Give them a few ideas and let them pick something that interests them. Some ideas are soup kitchens, libraries, hospitals, parks, homeless shelters and retirement homes.
Encourage Them to Get a Summer Job
This one’s not strictly necessary, and there are people on both sides of the fence as to whether a teen should have to work before adulthood (versus focusing on school and enjoying their youth and freedom while they can), but it’s definitely an idea you can at least suggest to them. You can make it more enticing by reminding them that you’re not just going to buy them that video game or latest iPhone model they’ve been wanting, and it’ll probably take a long time to save up allowance. They can then decide if a part-time summer job is right for them. If they go for it, expect them to make new friends, learn new skills, and get valuable job experience.