Inside: Wondering what to do in the holidays with teenagers? Here are 100 + ways to get them off their devices and into the holidays. (Download the list for future reference)
Holidays pose a real challenge for some parents in terms of getting kids off the couch. It is relatively easy to get young kids out to play, but teenagers are a bit more difficult.
When teenagers are sitting around using their devices, it is often out of habit. It’s not always about not wanting to do anything else. So, here’s a great ‘no excuses’ list of activities for your teens this summer. Don’t forget to download a copy and put it on the fridge so the kids can tick the ideas they love and start planning. (The download button is at the bottom of the page.)
2. Rock climbing at a climbing gym or outdoors
3. Free-throw basketball competition
4. Tennis or badminton
7. Geocaching is a treasure hunt with something for everyone. Using map coordinates and a GPS enabled device, you can ﬁnd a geocache near your home, in the city, in the bush, or in Antarctica. Have a look at the website here
8. The skate park
10. Surf catting
12. The gym… Most gyms are very ﬂexible, you can buy a short monthly to half-yearly membership.
13. Couch to 5km app running program
14. Get training for a mini-triathlon
15. Visit Bounce or Latitude or your local version of a trampoline gym
16. Hire bikes or electric scooters and see your city
17. Water skiing
18. Visit an all-ages playground
19. Visit a water park
20. Fitbit Challenges are a fun, competitive way of getting kids to increase their activity levels
21. Golf – There are lots of public golf courses, just look for the one closest to home.
22. Stand up paddleboarding
23. Get a group of friends and take them paintballing
24. Join a Zumba, Yoga, or Pilates class
Get Back to Nature
25. The beach, the beach, the glorious beach!
26. Bushwalks. Look for your state’s best walks and hikes. Send your teen out with a couple of friends and pick them up at the end.
27. Plant a veggie patch
28. Spend some time as a family at your local swimming/picnic spots
29. Horse riding
30. Go camping
31. Volunteer at a wildlife park
32. Canoe or sup down a river
34. Enrol in a high ropes course in the bush
35. Mountain biking
36. Visit friends with a farm
37. Do a SCUBA diving course
38. Walk the dog twice a day, but suggest they double up with a friend and walk their dogs together
39. Create a roster for cooking meals. Make it competitive by making it a Masterchef competition.
40. Give each child one area (on top of their own room) to spring clean.
41. Set the Declutter Challenge
42. Challenge them to go through their wardrobe and get rid of anything that doesn’t ﬁt or that they will never wear again and then take it all to a charity shop.
43. Weeding. At this time of the year, there is plenty to go around. Appoint a section of the garden to each family member and see who has a green thumb.
44. Give them a budget and ask them to do the family grocery shopping
45. Wash the car
Book in Some Special Events
Every family member puts an idea for an activity on a piece of paper and puts it in a jar. Once a week you draw out an activity that everyone must participate in. Put in some parameters! Include things like outdoor movies and fish and chips on the foreshore for dinner.
46. Outdoor movies
47. Fish and chips on the foreshore for dinner
48. Have a family movie marathon
50. Play mini-golf
51. Go on a ghost tour
52. Hire a jetski
53. Go to an escape room
54. Go to the beach
56. A couple of nights camping
57. Whale-watching tour
58. A day trip to a favourite destination (E.g. Perth’s Rottnest or Garden Island)
There are so many holiday programs available to teens. I love the idea of kids trying something new. Often adolescents start to narrow their range of hobbies and skills at a time in their life when they should be expanding them.
59. Arts Centres
60. Film Schools
61. Photography courses
62. Jewellery making
64. Barista course
65. Vacswim – practical water safety, lifesaving & ﬁrst aid skills are a mustfor every teenager who is around water.
66. Circus Skills at Circus School
67. Learn to drive
Kids in the Kitchen
68. Bake cupcakes and design toppings
69. Hold a barbeque for friends
70. Make a pie
71. Cook a meal for the family
72. Make pasta from scratch
73. Run a Masterchef competition
74. There are countless organisations that would appreciate your teen’s help. Send them with a friend so that it isn’t quite so daunting.
Get a Job
Being paid is a terrific incentive to put down the game controller. It is also a great way to teach the value of money. When kids have a job, they take instructions from someone other than their parents and teachers. They learn that society has expectations of them. It also starts the process of integration into the adult world. Your teen may well benefit from getting a job.
75. Write a CV
76. Check for opportunities in local area
77. If your teen isn’t old enough to be formally employed, they can do paid jobs for family, friends, and neighbours.
80. Renovate an old piece of furniture
81. Design a dress for the school ball
82. Learn to sew
83. Build a piece of furniture
84. Choose a great colour and paint their bedroom
86. Create a dance with friends
87. Create photo books
88. Make candles…these could double as Christmas or birthday gifts
89. Make a movie with friends, siblings or cousins
90. Get started on submissions for some competitions. (Eg. In Australia, The Tim Winton Young Writers’ Award or the Shaun Tan Award for Young Artists)
Read and Research
91. Try your City council library for holiday programs
92. Enrol in your local Summer Reading Club
93. Research the family tree
94. Read a great book
95. Listen to an audiobook
96. Research your first car
97. Read your set literature texts for the next school year
The participation of parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles can be a vital ingredient in getting kids off the couch.
98. Get grandparents involved in teaching kids something new and spending time with them. Equally as valuable is getting your teens to teach their grandparents something new…maybe how to send emails, Skype or join Facebook.
99. Spend time with cousins
100. Plan a pamper day for extended family
101. Tech-free family time
102. Have an extended family lunch where every family makes a different course
103. Card and board games inside on a stinking hot afternoon
104. Family sport, like basketball or cricket, that involves all the adults and children in your extended family can become one of those great rituals that you all look forward to every holiday.
105. Book in a few one on one dates with your teenager doing something simple that you both like. It may be something as little as a morning at the beach, or a morning tea together, or shopping.
Enjoy Holidays with Your Teens!
When you download this list you also receive Linda’s fortnightly blog posts. They are full of great information to support you as you journey through your children’s school years.