It’s almost that time of the year! Your teen is counting down to spring break, and you need to get some activities together to keep her entertained. It may not be Florida, but the weather is getting warmer in Indiana too, which opens up a range of activities. Whether you live in a rural area or a big city, these ideas will keep your teen safe and happy over spring break!
1. Cook or bake something new. Cooking with your teen can be a bonding experience as you work (and troubleshoot) together. You both will gain a sense of accomplishment from creating something new, and you’ll have the satisfaction of doing something together.
2. Plan a “staycation.” Look at your hometown from the point of view of an outsider. Every city or town offers something unique to do. Visit a museum, antique shop or local park or go to another community to explore. You’ll always find something you’ve never done before.
3. Schedule a volunteer day. Confer with your teen on where you should offer your services: maybe the local soup kitchen, animal shelter or community cleanup project? Your help will surely be appreciated, and your teen will glow with the satisfaction that comes with making a difference.
4. Go to the movies or rent one. Let her pick – engage with her in a movie of her choice (even if you hate it) to help her know that she can have different likes or dislikes and still be close and connected to you.
5. Have a family night. Get everyone together for games or movies, and prepare a special snack. Create an opportunity to foster a culture of appreciation in your family by sharing what you appreciate about each other and your time together. Memories are made of such nights.
6. Try something new. Whether that is painting, baking or playing tennis, trying something new is a great way to bond with your teen.
7. Plant a garden. Now is the perfect time to plant those seeds. Research together some possible flowers or vegetables and design your garden. Buy the seeds or plants if you don’t have any on hand. Then plant and pray!
8. Read the same book. Decide on a title together and get two copies. Pause after each chapter for a little discussion. Doing so can be a valuable – and insightful – bonding experience.
9. Spend time outdoors. Go for a hike in nearby woods – everything will look new again in the spring. If it’s raining, grab boots and go outside anyway – stomping in the rain and getting muddy only enhances the experience!
10. Visit a nearby college campus. It’s good to get your teen thinking about life after high school. Being around all those students (who probably don’t have the same spring break) might energize her to think about the next big step in her life. Grab pizza and talk while you’re there.
11. Challenge your teen to stay off social media for 24 hours. While this might not be fun for either of you initially, it will get her to think about other ways of connecting with friends and developing other healthy hobbies. Offer a small reward or celebration when she reaches 24 hours. As a reflection, ask her what she liked and didn’t like about her fast from social media.
12. Scrapbook the last year. This activity is perfect for teens and their parents. Look through your photos and phones, then print out the photos she thinks best represent the past year. Get an inexpensive notebook and paste them in, remembering all the fun she had with family and friends. If you prefer, there are easy-to-use programs to create digital scrapbooks as well.
13. Make a vision or dream board. Ask her to print out images from the internet representing things she hopes to do or accomplish in her life, then arrange them on poster board. This will help her think about her goals and aspirations, and it will give you a glimpse into her heart and mind.
14. Make sure she spends time with friends. Offer to drop them off at the movies or park, or invite a few for a sleepover. It’s important she knows that you like her friends and it’s helpful if she can see you interacting with her friends in positive ways.
15. Relax. There’s nothing quite like taking it easy with your teen, especially after an eventful week. Modeling healthy rest and relaxation can be a very life-giving lesson she carries with her forever.
Spring break should be a fun time, but it also can be one that makes her think and an opportunity for you to develop a deeper bond with your teen. These ideas are only a starting place to help you design a week your teen will never forget. Intentionality is key!
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