By Georgina Chong-You
“I’m bored!” These are the dreaded words that resonate throughout most households once summer season hits, and it becomes a parent’s job to fill up those long summer days with things to do. When all the video games have been played and all the food has been eaten, now what will you think of to occupy their time? Unlike smaller kids who are fairly easy to occupy and distract with simple, spur-of-the-moment activities, tweens need more focused and thoughtful activities to be involved in. Setting a schedule helps tweens to know what to expect from their summer time off.
Summers off from school are a time that everyone looks forward to, especially kids. Now parents, on the other hand, see this as a time to get into mission mode for planning, and implementing a list of activities that will keep their tweens engaged during the summer beyond the television and the refrigerator.
So when school is out and the summer begins, the fun can then begin for both you and your tween. With some pre-planning, goal setting and anticipated excitement, your tween’s summer can turn into a memorable one! Let’s look at five summer activity options and how you can incorporate them into your tweens summer schedule.
Activity #1: Serve Your Community
What better way to teach your tween the value of selflessness than through serving others? Summer is a wonderful time to celebrate themself and enjoy the break from all the hard work of school, however, that isn’t solely what summer is about. Therefore, a worthwhile summer activity like volunteering at a community shelter, cleaning up a local school garden, or serving at a nursing home are just a few ways for your tween to have a positive impact on their community.
Activity #2: Interest Classes
This is something many tweens would enjoy doing, because it will target their specific likes and talents. Interest classes are usually given by businesses that specialize in a particular skill like painting, introduction to photography, cake decorating, pottery or learning a foreign language.
Activity #3: Organized Family Activities
This will take some detailed planning for parents but it will be well worth it once you see how much closer it brings your family. Plan it from week to week, with a different indoor or outdoor game for each day. Board games on Monday; family paint night on Tuesday; basketball competition with parents against kids on Wednesday; bake-off on Thursday; movie night on Friday; bike ride on Saturday and gardening on Sunday.
Activity #4: Help Out at Home
While many parents have to work during the summer, the house can get a little crazy when the kids stay behind. Encourage your tween to pitch in and help you with the household chores. You can have them pull weeds in your garden or water the plants, do the dishes, wash the car and baby-sit their younger siblings. Summer is a great time to reorganize their rooms and clean out the old things they no longer need, like old clothes, toys or books from school! This is a great way to emphasize responsibility and get them engaged in what is going on with the family!
Activity #5: Summer Camps
These are the go-to options for many parents during the summer months to keep their tweens happy and occupied. Summer camps are a safe activity filled day, with a host of counselors assigned to groups of kids to monitor and engage with. There are camps for a variety of interests or activities. There are art camps, basketball camps, science camps, or engineering camps.
Although having a summer jam-packed with activities is fun for your tweens and keeps them constantly busy, some quiet and boring summer days aren’t too bad either. Boredom provides a way for you to create, think or just rest. Summers are the most memorable times in a tweens life, so happy planning!