How to keep teenagers busy during holidays

Wouldn’t it be great if life came with a guide for every stage of parenting? I think we need something like “A Daily Guide to Surviving Teen Years!”, or a “How to Keep Your Teen Busy.”

After reading Arundhati Chaturvedi’s tale about her teenage boys, I realized that things must get hard sometimes.

Especially, when your teenybopper’s in the house during the holidays.
One minute your daughter is humming her favorite tune, basking in a world of her own. The other, she stumbles upon a bag of chips (SHE LEFT ON THE FLOOR), and you hear her hiss profanity under her breath.
Or it’s the school holidays, and your mood-swinger refuses to get out of his bedroom since morning.
Most things your teenagers do during breaks leave you frustrated. One way to avoid it the upcoming holiday season is to get them occupied in things that pique their interest.
So, read along! Here’s a list of ideas to keep your teen busy this summer break:
  1. Board Games:- Let the fun begin at home! If you do manage to get them out of their bedroom, that is.
    Plus, when have board games EVER failed anyone? From building vocabulary with Scrabble to honing their inner detective skills through Cluedo, or fine-tuning their motor skills through Jenga- the options are endless!
    Host a dinner night- coke, and pizza et al- for your teen/tween and their friends. Have their friends bring all the games they own and have a board game marathon!
  • Get Cooking– And while their friends are over, have them bake their own customized pizza. One thing my family absolutely LOVES to do is to have pizza nights while binge watching our favorite Netflix show or movie marathons. From kneading a customized dough to choosing toppings, it is a fun activity to keep everyone occupied!
    Alternatively, you could also have them make breakfast for you. This ensures two things
    a) they aren’t hoarding in their beds all day, and
    b) you get a well-deserved break!
    Win-win, I’d say.
  • Gardening– If you own a lawn or a balcony garden, or would love to have one set up, use those extra hands for help while you can. Moreover, gardening is extremely therapeutic and has proven psychological benefits. To read more about it, click here.
  • I remember, as a kid, I would go to my neighboring uncle’s HUGE garden every morning to lend a hand. I assisted in his daily tasks of watering, trimming, and pruning the plants and trees (oh, and touch his touch-me-nots to sleep, hehe). Aah, the fresh fragrance of the lemon trees still lingers along like it was just yesterday!
  • Books exchange– Encourage your teens to set up a books exchange club.
    Summertime is a good time to encourage your teens to cultivate their interest in reading books when they don’t have much else to study. This can (and should) be further encouraged by having them set up a books exchange club with their friends and neighbors. By doing so, they can enjoy free access to a variety of book genres. This way, they can pinpoint the kind of books that intrigue them most.
  • Volunteering at a library– This is another way to get your teenagers interested in books. Another advantage is that they will also get some hands-on experience on how to keep things organized while assisting.
    Some, if not all, local libraries even pay at an hourly rate so that would be a great means to generate some income for your kid!
  • Start a small business– While your ambitious teen is earning a few chips off their volunteer work
    at the library (or not), they could set up a small scale business like a lemon soda stall, or renting their music collection for a fee.
    One of my students runs a steady business of selling shoes- something he picked over his summer holidays as a part-time affair. So, let your potential entrepreneur experiment and find their niche next holiday season!
  • Find a summer job– If you think they aren’t cut for a business, have your kid check the classifieds section of the local newspaper for summer jobs. There are a variety of jobs they can choose from. Some ideas include babysitting, lawn-mowing, dog walking, becoming a barista and the local cafe or a cashier at one of your local stores. The possibilities are endless! But, be sure to first have them write their CV!
  • Take an online course– Most of my 11th and 12th-grade students have a host of certifications listed on their college applications. While they don’t get much time for extracurricular activities during school days, holidays are a perfect time to enroll in a course that interests your teenager. And with the advent of online teaching forums like Coursera and TedEd, the possibilities to learn so many things from just a few clicks are abundant! From learning the basics of embroidery to the nuances of Artificial Intelligence, one can learn anything online these days.

The internet is full of other ideas to keep your teens and tweens busy. Do yourself, and them, a favor and encourage them to get busy with one or more of their favorite activities from above!

How do you keep your teens busy during the holidays? Leave a comment below!

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8 Comments

  1. I love that these ideas actually encourage my future teens (I have 2 toddlers) to be creative! To many younger folk stuck to their phones and computers…Great post!

  2. I’m not there yet with my 3 year old, but I suspect it will be fun times when he’s 16! How will I keep him away from electronics or a smartphone will be fun. I think encouraging hobbies is a great idea too. Loves art? Art classes, or creating artwork to sell online etc. Crafting? Making jewelry? A business is a great way for a kid to do something they love and learn about the world of selling (with some help from mom and dad).

  3. Starting a small business is a great idea! As a teacher, I can see all the benefits and learning opportunities surrounding this! First hand experience for teenagers! Learning to learn from mistakes, mathematics, marketing, communication, researching, determination, risk-taking, and of course so much more!

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