Just because your teen is not attending school or a summer program during the summer does not mean he or she can’t be involved in meaningful activities. Summer is a great time for your teen to get away from the video games, computer or other solitary activities. Here are some ideas to get your teen involved with his or her peers during the summer:
• Swim Club- find a local pool and carpool with your teen’s age mates’ parents to drive the teens to swim at least once a week! Support friendly competitions between the teens and have a pizza party at the end of the summer so they can compare stats and stories. It can be a great bonding experience.
• Try your local library- Many public libraries have programs for teens over the summer. They often have book clubs, weekly or daily themes with corresponding arts and crafts, facts, book suggestions, etc. This is a great way for your teen to do something free or at a low cost and still get involved with his or her peers.
• Host sleepovers and/or movie nights- Give your teen permission to invite 2 or 3 friends over for a themed sleepover or a movie night. Some great ideas for themes are science fiction, chick flicks, anime, Disney cartoons, musicals, superheroes, etc. Don’t forget the popcorn!
• Teens can get together at someone’s house a cook a meal together for all the families. A parent can volunteer to supervise and the teens can work together to make a family style meal for all the families involved to eat together. It can be a picnic outdoors or inside if there is enough space.
• Have a garage sale- Your teen and a few friends can plan, create and have a garage sale. This is a great way to get rid of unwanted items, make some extra cash, and learn about customer service and money management (good skills for adulthood and potential jobs)
• Help your teen get a summer job- This can be volunteer or paid, but during the summer, there are plenty of jobs available for teens. This is a great time to work on interviewing skills, resume writing, how to conduct a job search, soft skills, etc. Another option is for the teen to start his or her own summer business. Some ideas are: pet sitting, house sitting, dog walking, children’s party entertainment, gardening and landscaping, grocery shopping or running errands for elderly neighbors, collecting recyclables, etc.
• Start a future planning club/group- Teens and their friends can meet once a week to plan for college/adult life, talk about their fears, troubleshoot ideas with each other, and assist each other with tasks. This is a great idea to create a built in peer support system for when your teen takes his or her steps into adulthood.
There are many things teens can do over the summer when they are out of school or programming to have fun and stay involved with their peers! Try some of these ideas to keep your teen involved and busy for an awesome summer!