Teen Summers – Getting them Outdoors

Who doesn’t love being outside on a nice day? I’ll tell you who…teenagers (and adults too I guess) that are stuck to their computers or cell phones or who care nothing about the world outside unless it’s showing on a television screen. Trust me, I’m not making any judgement calls here – in fact it is a beautiful Autumn day as I write this, from the desk of my home office. I should be outside but when the writing bug hits me I have to hit the keyboard and write about teen activities.

As a parent I have gone through phases with my daughter to attempt to get her outside more often during the few beautiful days we have in this country. Sometimes it has worked.

Teen Activities in the BackyardThese days there has to be a cute boy in the vicinity or on our doorsteps to get her to venture out. However, today she is off on her own so it is a perfect time to explore the ways to get your teen off the couch and into the fresh air more often.

Once you get them out the door and into an activity, they’re fine – happy to be there in fact. Once the fresh air hits their lungs and the sun is on their faces, they wonder (although they won’t tell you until they are 30 with kids of their own) why they waited so long to step into the yard. There is just something about being outdoors that creates excitement. While all individuals may enjoy relaxing or playing in their backyard, there are some who get the chance to be outside more than others. Some teenagers love being outside, during the summertime you can almost always catch them in the field with the horses or tanning in their own backyard – cell phone beside them and tunes cranked to maximum.

Teenagers can be hard to please at times so finding the right teen activities for them may take a few tries. This is because many teenagers are at the age where they easily lose interest in the activities they loved last month. If you are also parenting a teenager, especially one that will be spending their summer break at home, familiarize yourself with some popular backyard activities and make outdoor fun, family fun.

If you have a pool in your backyard, your teen may literally be set for the whole summer. Although many teens get bored with certain activities, there is just something unique about a swimming pool. In fact many teenagers would spend their entire summer break in their swimming pool. While most teenagers are experienced swimmers, not all are. If your teenager will be spending their summer break alone, establish some pool rules. These rules ensure your teens are safe while swimming alone.

Not everyone has a pool or a means to get one. Not everyone likes to swim. If you are looking for a way for your child to cool off but can’t purchase an expensive pool, consider a kiddie pool! Honestly just hanging out of one – alone or with a best buddy – can be a lot of fun. As long as you don’t suggest it and let them find out for themselves. Kiddie pools are a great and safe way to say cool in the summer. Even a slightly larger pool 3′ deep and 10′ wide can be a lot of fun, inexpensive to buy, and teenaged girls will enjoy wading in it with their friends.

If a swimming pool, including a kiddie pool, is not an option, you may want to focus on other fun, outdoor water activities. Many teens enjoy playing with water balloons or water guns. These water-based teen activities are a great way to cool off, but they are also fun to play with others. Whether your teen is playing with their siblings or their friends, it is safe to assume that everyone will have a fun and cool time. I’ve known teen girls to spend hours making up games running through the sprinkler. It is amazing how much fun they can have when the activity isn’t mandated and they ‘feel’ like doing something.

Once they’re outside they may look around for other outdoor games to play such as horseshoes, basketball, football, soccer, kickball, baseball, badminton or volleyball. As with most games, the games that your child will be able to participate will depend on if they are playing by themselves or with someone else. For those playing alone, basketball is an idea. Teens playing their siblings or friends will not have a shortage of games to choose from. In fact, most backyard games are designed with two or more players in mind.

While it is important to focus on backyard activities, such as games, you may also want to think about what your older child will eat. If they will be spending the majority of their time outside, you may want to think about allowing them to eat in the backyard. Barbeques are ideal, when adults are present. If your teen will be alone or with their friends, you may want to suggest a backyard picnic. A few drinks, sandwiches, or snacks can make for an easy and safe backyard meal.

When organizing backyard activities for your teen, you may also want to get them involved. Teenagers are at the age where they like to make their own decisions. While your suggestions may be greatly appreciated your teenager may have their own backyard activities in mind. If this is the case, fine; step back and let them create their own activities, as long as they’re playing safe.

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