The benefits of time outside are seemingly endless. Fresh air, vitamin D, the beautiful sight of greenery, and of course, exercise. Summer is the perfect time of year to take advantage of the wonderful weather and get your teen outside, and to reap all of the physical and mental health benefits of time in nature. But, as many parents know, it can be tricky to convince your teen to step away from their screens and maximize their wellness beyond those four walls. So, to help, we have compiled a list of fun ideas and summer activities for teens to help you get your family outside this summer.
If your teen loves video games and can’t seem to pull away, indulge their competitive spirit. Take your family’s favorite games outside! Whether it’s cornhole, badminton, volleyball, or soccer, there are endless opportunities for fun. If you have a reluctant teen, challenge them to a round or a race. Consider offering a prize for the winner! Maybe your teen will get to have their favorite healthy meal for dinner or one less chore for the week. Just getting through that push to pull them outside can make a big difference in their decision to keep on enjoying nature next time!
Is your teen a social media butterfly? Invite them out for a mini photoshoot. Find a beautiful lookout spot to hike to or catch the sunset at a park, lake, or beach. Encourage your teen get their freshest outfit on and bring their coolest shades. Then, make a day of it with their favorite summer activities. Take a walk along the water, the grass, or a dirt path with some interesting plants or an eye-catching view. As they soak up the sun and the beauty around them, their smiles are bound to shine as bright as ever. Perfect for a summer photo-op!
If your teen has a series they can’t get enough of, or a movie they keep playing on repeat in their room, try to take it outside. Grab an electronic device, or if you have it, a bed sheet and a mini projector, and move to the backyard, balcony, or a nearby park. Set up the motion picture of choice and watch the magic happen! Bring healthy snacks and a picnic blanket for optimal lounging. To maximize the benefits, take a walk to your destination or play a round of your favorite active game first. Then, sit back, relax, and enjoy the sweet sounds of summer in the background of your movie night. You just might find that they end up spending time outside much more often!
Maybe your teen is looking for something new and exciting. Give them options! Summer activities for teens are the perfect opportunity to get the whole family interested in getting outside. So, offer to take your teen to a special summer time location. Perhaps a field of flowers or fresh summer orchard? If there is a seasonal event or location nearby, take advantage. It might help give your teen that extra push to come outside knowing that if they skip it now they just might miss it. So whether it’s paddle boating on a lake or strawberry picking in the fields, encourage them to make the most of summertime fun. Who knows, maybe it will even become a family tradition!
The key trait that sets summer apart from all the other seasons? Aside from the beautiful weather of course… beach days or poolside fun! Find the closest body of water in your neighborhood and make a relaxing day of it. Cool off together by taking a dip! Or get active by having your family start a race from one end of a pool to another or one wave at a time. No water? No problem! You can recreate a beach vacation right on a sunny patch of grass. But whatever you do, don’t forget to reapply sunscreen!
At Coastal Kids Pediatrics, we are passionate about seeing your children grow and thrive. As teens quickly approach adulthood, it is important to start forming healthy habits that will continue for years to come. Getting outside is key to a happy and healthy lifestyle. So, if you have a hard time rounding the family up for more time in nature, or are looking for more ideas on activities for teens this summer, don’t hesitate to reach out to your pediatrician for advice. To make an appointment, visit us at www.coastalkids.com.