The lazy days of summer are almost here. With the lure of long mornings of sleeping in and no schoolwork, it can be hard to keep teens and tweens mentally and physically active. Here are some ideas to help them stay busy through the summer months.
Get Them Moving
All kids need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day to stay healthy. Try these tips:
- Schedule family time for exercise. Take a walk after dinner or shoot hoops in the park. Find something you all like to do and make it a habit.
- Assign chores. Teens and tweens can help with household chores like vacuuming, dusting, or mopping.
- Take a family vacation that includes activities like hiking, bicycling, or swimming.
- Sign them up for a new sport or activity at your local youth center or community center.
- Summer camps are a great way for kids to stay active. They can even learn new skills like swimming, crafts, rock climbing, or archery. Look for low-cost camps in your community.
Keep Them Thinking
Keeping your kids’ minds active over the summer will help them retain learning skills when it’s time to go back to school in the fall. Here are some ideas:
- Limit video games, cell phone use, and TV time. Experts recommend kids spend no more than two hours a day in front of a screen.
- Get involved in community service. Help your teen find a project he or she finds interesting. Or volunteer as a family.
- Find a summer job. A summer job will not only keep teens busy, but also teach them new skills. Teens must be at least 14 years old to legally work at most jobs. But even younger kids can get jobs like babysitting, delivering newspapers, or helping neighbors with pets or yard work.
- Keep up with after-school activities. If your child belongs to a math club, chess group, or computer club after school, see if they offer programs over the summer. Many after-school programs continue during the summer months.
- Encourage reading. Most schools require reading over the summer months. Help your
kids choose books they will enjoy and set aside family reading time each week.
- Think about tutoring. Does your teen need extra help in math, reading, or science? Find a tutor over the summer to help sharpen his or her skills. Or, encourage your child to tutor others if he or she excels in a subject.
- Take a field trip. Visit a museum, aquarium, zoo, or other attraction to learn something new.
Krisit Jouett is a Certified Athletic Trainer at the Barton Center for Orthopedics & Wellness.