How to Make the Most of Summer Vacation With Teens and Tweens

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Summer has arrived and with it comes time…lots of time. How do you plan to spend it? Or, more precisely, what are the plans for your older children? Does summer usually involve chillin’ with electronics? Or babysitting younger siblings? Or heading off to camps?

Whatever the current summer plan, here are some suggestions to consider:

Ideas for Teens and Tweens

Learn Something New or Take a Class: If your child has shown an interest in an activity, but their school doesn’t offer it or their schedule hasn’t permitted it, summer is the perfect time to learn something new. What are some possibilities?

  • A language
  • Cooking
  • A sport
  • An instrument
  • Art classes
  • Knitting, crocheting, or sewing
  • Martial arts

And remember, classes can be taken online. You might be surprised at how much is available on the internet.

Get A Job: Have you ever met a teen that wasn’t interested in money? Summer is a fantastic time to earn some walking-around cash or add to their savings account. Along with money, a job can help a teen learn responsibility, gain confidence, and add prior work experience to a future job application. Whether they start their own business or work for an already established company, a summer job has many benefits.

Volunteer: Lending a helping hand is a great chance to learn compassion. Some possible places in need of volunteers:

  • Nursing home/retirement home/hospital
  • Food Bank
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • The Humane Society
  • Camp counselor

Things to Do While Babysitting: Perhaps your teen babysits younger siblings or neighbors? And has babysitting become monotonous? Does your teen want a change from the day-to-day routine? Here are a few ideas to help ease the boredom:

  • Go for a bike ride (remember to wear a helmet), walk, or hike
  • Attend local activities
    • Check community calendars, parks and recreation departments, local colleges and universities, and community websites
  • Crafts – the Dollar Tree usually has inexpensive supplies
  • Write and perform a play (make the costumes and set)
  • Treasure/scavenger hunt
    • It’s time to geocache! 
  • Sidewalk bakery – give the lemonade stand a run for its money
  • Fun with words
    • Book club
    • Write and illustrate a story
    • Visit the library
    • Write and perform a song
  • At-home Spa/Salon Day
  • Go outside (remember to dress appropriately, wear a hat, apply sunscreen, drink water, and avoid the muggiest and hottest part of the day)

Ideas for Family Time

Whether it’s an evening or the weekend, take advantage of the longer days and enjoy some quality family time. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do together?

Have you ever thought about showing your children what a summer day/weekend was like when you were a kid? You know, before electronics.

Or, are you a planner? If so, it’s time to make some lists. First things first, think big then narrow it down:

  • Bucket List
  • Tour your town
  • Day trips
  • Overnight trips
  • Summer goals
  • Staycation
  • Check out local activities

Remember to include your children in the planning. Their ideas may surprise you.

Is a road trip on the list? Here are some big items to consider beforehand:

  • Plan the route
    • If you’re a foodie and love the television show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, maybe a few detours are in order
  • Check for road construction
  • Research your destination
  • Clean your vehicle before packing – no need to bring unnecessary items
  • Download apps – especially the one for public restrooms
  • Download family audiobooks and podcasts
  • Create a music playlist
  • Check vehicle maintenance
  • Emergency kit
  • Snacks – quite possibly the most essential thing to consider
  • Road trip games
  • Geocaching

The best part of summer vacation is having fun! So, remember to slow down, take advantage of the beautiful days, and cherish your time together.

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