It is very difficult to structure the day for your teen (13-17 years old) They are too old for day camp, unless they are going to be counselors. You don’t want them just sitting around staring at their phones all summer either though. So, what can they do? Here is a list of suggestions to keep them busy for a little while so they don’t turn into a permanent fixture on your couch.
- Get a summer job-even kids as young as 13 can get a job at a local farm picking fruit. There are also a few establishments that will hire at 14 year old, My daughter worked at McDonald’s last summer at 14. Babysitting is always a good option-some parents if you know them are willing to have teens watch their kids in the summer because it is cheaper than sending them to camp.
- Point system to earn electronic time-give them a list of things to do and assign each a different point value. Once they have earned a set number of points they can use their electronics. For example: do the dishes 25 points
- Volunteer- My kids have to complete 30 hours of community service in order to graduate high school. So, why not get that done in the summer. They could go to a nursing home, animal shelter or hospital.
- Go to the Beach-where we live we have a town beach (on a lake). I drop them off in the morning before work and I pick them up on my lunch break or drop them off at lunch and pick them up after work. They can pack a cooler and spend the day there. Have them bring a long a friend or two and they won’t be bored.
- Work out-they can work out with you. If you go to the gym bring them with you. Some gyms you can pay a little more each month and bring guests. There are also a few gyms like Planet Fitness that offer free memberships to students in the summer. If you get up in the morning and run, bring them a long. Do you walk after work? Why not bring them along with you?
- Crafting-have them create crafts and either sell them online or donate them to a local charity.
- Cook-as you know my kids each cook dinner once a week, so this is a given in our house.
I know what you are thinking, none of these are going to take all day. No, they aren’t but it will get them off the couch for a little while a day and at this age, that is a feat in itself. They will learn valuable skills, get fresh air and socialize with others.
What are your teens doing this summer? Let us know what kinds of things you have in plan for your kids.