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How To Keep Your Teenager Entertained During The Summer Holidays

The summer holidays have arrived and you might already be struggling to come up with ways to keep your child entertained and off screens.

If you’re spending the day together, rather than you having to do all the leg work, why not kick off with a competition! Get all family members to come up with 10 different ideas that don’t include screens (they can use the internet to spark ideas) and put them in a bag. When you’re in need of an activity, take it in turns to pull out two slips of paper and then everybody can vote as to which one you will do.

On days you need them to entertain themselves, get them to create their own timetable – if they’re into stationery or art, they can use cute colours for this and/or doodle or draw stuff around the edges. Be realistic, they will want to go on their screens at some point so perhaps come to an agreement together as to how long they might spend on their screen and let them decide when to slot that time in. It’s very easy for time to fly when you’re focused on a screen so suggest they set a timer for the agreed amount of time so they don’t run over.

Here are a few ideas we have come up with to get you going:

Indoor Activities

  • Cooking – encourage them to have their own British Bake-Off with friends – as long as it’s safe for them to do so, let them do everything themselves including popping to the shop for extra ingredients if needed. They might also like to film themselves, like they’re actually on the telly. We recommend you add ‘clearing up’ as one of the judging criteria!
  • Art & Creative ActivitiesSoap Carving is super fun, have a look online for some inspiration, you’d be surprised at how creative you can be; Make Your Own face masks, perfumes, jewellery, clothes – there are some great tutorials online; do some Painting and get inspired with Art Is Fun, a really creative website for all ages; Pottery MakingSculpd has a great beginners’ kit but there are also loads of books with lots of ideas; Stop Motion Film Making – all you need is a phone, phone stand or tri-pod and maybe some lego pieces, clay or other figurines – again, there are lots of ideas online.
  • Mindful ActivitiesColouring can be extremely relaxing and Zen Tangling is a fun way to get your child into art and pattern making – YouTube has lots of ideas and ‘How To’ guides; Knitting can be really creative and calming, get some big needles and big wool so you can create fun results fast; Reading – this can be hard encourage if they’re not great readers so maybe you join them for 20 minutes to get them into it. It’s also important to find the right book for them – have a look at our suggested Summer Reading List.
  • Brain Games – this is an excellent way to get them to challenge themselves and it’s also fun to do with your child or teen if they seem unsure at first – try Sudoko, Crosswords, Word Searches or Solitaire – they can be quite addictive!
  • Board Games – instead of the default mode being electronic gaming, there are some great board game alternatives they can play with siblings or friends – maybe get some favourites out of the cupboard and put them somewhere visible so they notice them. Playing together as a family might encourage them to play another time with friends. We love Ticket To Ride and Monopoly Deal; Escape Rooms are also a really fun source of entertainment and something they can do with a group of friends, they may not be open yet but you can buy them as board games in the meantime; they could also Design A New Board Game or Quiz for family or friends.
  • Music – whether Listening to music, Creating it, Singing, Playing or Learning an instrument, music is a great pastime and can really boost the mood. YouTube has some fantastic How-To videos and there are lots of books for beginners. Garage Band is free and brilliant for creating music, layering instruments and vocals. Ultimate Guitar Hero is an excellent and fun app to learn on, plus they can create songs and film themselves with their friends.

Outdoor Activities

Obviously being mindful of the current Government Guidelines around distancing and meeting with friends, there are lots of ways your teen can entertain themselves outside. Here are some suggestions:

  • Getting Out & AboutGoing For A Walk isn’t always the most exciting thing for teens but perhaps joining a friend walking their dog might appeal, or if you have a dog yourself, encourage them to walk yours with a friend. Add Geo-caching into the equation and it’s suddenly quite a motivating treasure hunt. Maybe they can pack a picnic and find some trees to climb? Couch To 5K is a brilliant running app for complete beginners and the fact it uses tech might make it more appealing; Shelter Building is not just for little ones, it’s a great outdoor skill and Bear Grylls has some guides on YouTube; Wood Carving; Gardening – use their brawn to help you out in the garden, perhaps give them a bit of garden for them to cultivate or maybe they’d enjoy mowing the lawn? Teens often enjoy the chance to get stuck in and it’s an activity you can do together; Camping & Orienteering, if they’re mature enough – always make sure this is well organised, planned and they know how to stay safe; Climbing is a great one for encouraging risk taking whilst in the safe hands of a trained instructor (some climbing centres have now re-opened).
  • Getting Creative OutdoorsTie-Dye a shirt or a bag, this is another activity they can do with a friend and there are lots of fun ‘How To’ videos on YouTube; Sketching outside; Wall Art – hang a sheet or canvas on an outside wall for them to paint and get creative on; Photography – you could have a competition with the family or their friends.
  • Sports – pop to the local park with a friend for a kick about with a Football, a game of Tennis or hone their skills at the Skate Park, play a game of 40 40 or Kick the Can or head to a local pool for a Swim, if they’re open. Dancing is a great activity to do on their own or with a friend and there are some fun teaching videos on YouTube if they want to improve their routine! Horse Riding is a fun one to do with the whole family, or encourage your child or teen to go with a friend. Cycling is also a great way for teens to escape and find some independence with friends.

Having said all this, don’t overload yourself trying to think of ways to entertain them 24/7 – they’re of an age where they need to entertain themselves and there’s nothing like a period of boredom for sparking creativity. Just encourage them to consider what they are doing to keep life in balance.

Chores like doing the washing and ironing, loading the dishwasher, hoovering and cleaning, changing their own bed sheets and tidying their rooms are a great way of increasing self-confidence, getting teenagers ready for life beyond home – and of course just generally helping out.

We would love to hear your suggestions so do email them to us.

Keep well,

Alicia

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