Can you believe we are thinking about summer activities already? This summer more than ever it is important to plan some outdoor activities for your middle schooler. I am sharing 5 ideas to keep your middle schooler active this summer.
Ah summer time!
I love the sound of that like many of you I’m sure.
With summer comes a lot of down time for our kids and teens usually revert to electronics.
This summer more than ever it is important to have outdoor activities.
Don’t misunderstand me here, I believe helping our kids to have down time, quiet time and time to just be, is so important.
This school year our children have spent more time online and in their homes than any year previous.
For that reason I am sharing 5 ideas to keep your teen active this summer while also having down time.
Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
Planning an outdoor scavenger hunt is great way to keep your teen active.
You can plan it around a specific area in your town that you want to help them to learn about and discover.
Have the teams make their own t-shirts for the scavenger hunt to add a little crafting fun prior to the actual hunt.
In order for this to be a safe activity make teams of one adult per every two kids so they are not in a strange place alone.
The adults are there for safety and to offer help when they are struggling with a clue.
You can have a fun, inexpensive prize for the winner.
Wondering how to plan an outdoor scavenger hunt?
Here are a few steps to get you started:
-choose location, time and day
-set up clues to lead them in a certain order
-make the list of items or information to be found
-hide clues or objects out of plain sight (If you are exploring a town be sure to speak with business owners if using those places as clues)
-make a list for each team, giving each a list in different orders so they are not searching in the same place at the same time
Scavenger hunts are perfect for your middle schooler to get mental and physical exercise.
There are so many activities for your kids to do outside including chores.
Giving Your Teen Chores
Help your teen by changing their chores that are age appropriate.
Doing chores is a great physical activity as well as teaching responsibility as well as a skill.
Teach your child how to mow the grass and let that become their chore.
They can then turn around and possibly make a little fun money on the side by doing it for older neighbors as well.
Having them help you garden is another great chore that will give them a skill they can use later in life.
There are a ton of age appropriate chores your teen can do.
Think of what would be helpful to the household and go from there.
Looking for more activities for your teen?
This free outdoor treasure hunt is great for the whole family to do together.
Using the website geocaching.com and a smartphone or a GPS device of some kind.
This is such a fun way to look at your surroundings as a real world playground.
Geocaches are everywhere and can be a great way to stimulate the brain in learning geography, directional sense and critical thinking skills.
A wonderful physical and educational way to have your middle schoolers enjoy the outdoors and their phones for fun family activity.
Along the same lines in another great outdoor actiity.
Our family loves being outdoors this time of year and we enjoy the occasional hike.
You can explore new hiking parks and trails in your area and while hiking you can incorporate learning about plants and birds while hiking.
Create a picture sheet of plants and birds that are common in your geographical location and have them mark off all the the ones they find.
Helping them explore while hiking this way helps them to slow down and pay attention to their surroundings, to really take it in and be aware.
With all the social media and constantly being plugged in this will help your middle schooler experience slower paced activities and see that there is more than just their phone or computers to entertain themselves.
Middle schoolers are often looking for ways to express themselves, this next activity is so different but an important part of helping them do just that.
Self Expression as a Summer Activity
Now before you question where I am going, let me explain.
Often the middle school teen years your child is struggling with being in the middle of feeling like a child and wanting to be more grown up.
They will begin to express themselves in various ways and one fun activity to help them with this is by letting them help in decorating their bedrooms.
Giving them creative expression is so important to them while giving them pride in what they create.
Once they have created their space, they will more likely take pride in caring for their space as well.
If you need you can set some barriers by letting them select from a group of colors or such.
Tread carefully here with the barriers because you really want them to have free reign, within reason of course.
If your middle schooler has no ideas on what they want to do with their room, help them with pinterest, magazines and do a little research with them in coming up with a plan.
Another great idea is to help them create a mood board.
This will give them a computer skill that can be used for so many different things, including school work in the years to come.
Get creative with your summer middle schooler activities, think outside the box to keep it interesting.
In closing I want to remind you that not every minute of your childs summer should be scheduled with activities.
It is really important to give them time to figure out creative and fun ways to spend their time as well.
If we are constantly keeping them scheduled with activities, they forget how to be creative with their time and will always look to you for ways to entertain themselves.
Giving room for times to be unplugged for tv and phones as well as time to spend with their peers.
Summer time should be a time of making memories with family and friends but you know what is right for your family and middle schooler.
Till next time
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of The We Spot, it’s employees, sponsors, or affiliates.