Looking for ways to keep your teen busy this summer? We’ve got you covered.
If you’re a parent of a teen, you know just how tough it can be to keep them entertained – and out of trouble – when they aren’t in school. While it’s important to let them enjoy a healthy amount of downtime, it’s also not a good idea to let them lie around the house all summer, staring at their cell phones or watching Youtube videos.
Fortunately, as their parent and authority figure, you’re in a position to help them make plans for the summer months. There are actually quite a few ways your teen can spend their time out of the house engaged in something enriching. If you’re looking to keep your teen busy this summer, here are just a handful of activities to consider:
Help Them Find a Summer Job
Depending on your teen’s age and local laws, there’s a good chance they can find a summer job to eat up some of their spare time and let them earn a bit of spending money. Not only that, but they’ll likely get to make friends while they’re at it – and get some experience to put on a future resume or college application!
Some summer jobs your teen might consider include:
- Lifeguard. If your teen is a strong swimmer and there’s a nearby water park or public pool, there’s a good chance they’re hiring!
- Retail. From grocery stores to shops in the mall, many retail locations will hire teens as young as sixteen to operate the registers, stock the shelves, and help customers.
- Camp counselor. Teens with younger siblings are exceptionally well-equipped for this role. If your teen is younger, consider looking for counselor-in-training or junior counselor positions.
- Yard work. Teens can always find neighbors in need of help with yard work, whether it’s mowing the lawn, raking leaves, or pulling weeds.
- Dog walking/pet sitting. If your teen is an animal lover, this is a perfect option! They can care for pets while their owners are out of town or at work.
Get them thinking about their future by choosing a few colleges to tour over the summer months. Many schools offer group tours, but you can also set up an appointment for your teen to take a tour on their own. This is a great way to get them excited about the idea of college and help them start thinking about what they want to study. Not only will this give you an opportunity to bond with your teen and help them stay focused on their plans after high school, but it’s also a great excuse to build a few little vacations – even day trips – into the summer months.
Sign Them Up to Volunteer
If they can’t land a summer job, or they still have plenty of time on their hands, volunteering can be a great way to have fun and kill time during the long summer months. Volunteer work can also look great on a future resume or college application!
There are all sorts of ways to volunteer, from working in a soup kitchen or food bank to helping out at the local animal shelter. You can even find opportunities to volunteer right in your own neighborhood – things like mowing an elderly neighbor’s lawn, walking their dog while they’re on vacation, or helping them with yard work or home repairs.
Get Them Involved in Sports
Whether your teen is already a jock or they’ve never played a sport in their life, summer is the perfect time for them to get involved in some organized athletics. If they’re not interested in playing on a team, there are still plenty of ways they can stay active and have fun. Many towns offer drop-in basketball games at the local park, for example, or your teen might enjoy going on hikes or bike rides with friends.
Send Them to Camp
If your teen isn’t too old to enjoy summer camp, it could be a great way to get them out of the house and keep them busy for a couple of weeks. Camps can be found for all sorts of interests, from sports to arts and crafts to academic enrichment.
There are even camps specifically designed for teens, which can help them make friends and learn valuable life skills. These types of camps often include activities like team-building exercises, leadership training, and community service projects.
Encourage Them to Start a Business
If your teen is creative and entrepreneurial, summer is the perfect time for them to start their own business! This could be something as simple as starting a dog-walking service in your neighborhood or mowing lawns for people in your town.
Not only will this give them something fun and productive to do with their time, but it’s also a great way for them to learn some important life skills, like time management, financial responsibility, and marketing.
Take a Family Vacation Together
If you have the time and money for it, taking a family vacation together can be a great way to bond with your teen and make some great memories. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy – even a road trip or camping trip can be a lot of fun. And if you’re worried about leaving your teen home alone, bringing them along on your vacation is a great solution!
Do Some Home Improvement Projects Together
Another way to spend quality time with your teen while also getting something productive done is to tackle some home improvement projects together. This could be something as simple as painting the walls in their bedroom or helping them to organize their closet. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, you could take on a bigger project like renovating the bathroom or landscaping the yard.
Not only will this give you some quality time together, but it will also teach your teen some valuable life skills, like home maintenance and repair.
Teach Them Something New
Chances are, your teen only has a few more years before they’re out on their own, navigating the world without Mom and Dad to show them the way. Many teens struggle with the transition because they haven’t been prepared at all when it comes to the skills needed to survive in the real world. If your teen isn’t too comfortable in the kitchen, this could be the summer you teach them how to cook – or drive, or do laundry, or master some other skill critical to succeeding as an adult.
If your teen is lacking summer plans, consider suggesting one or two of these ideas as ways to stay busy. Whatever you decide to do with your teen this summer, the important thing is that you make an effort to spend time with them and keep them busy. From earning a little extra cash to prepping for their future by exploring potential schools and developing life skills, all it takes is a little planning to prevent the weeks from becoming dull and boring.
With a little planning and effort, you can make sure they have a summer that’s both enjoyable and productive!