10 Ideas to Survive Summer with Teens

High school is not what it used to be. The pressure is unreal. No longer a place to explore what might be interesting to you, high school can easily be about advanced placement classes, worrying about your rank, and thinking about college the moment you step through the door freshman year. My kids work hard at school. So I know they need to have a restful summer. But I just can’t stand to watch my son spend 8 hours in his room playing video games or my daughter binge watch Netflix all day. This is going to drive me mad! Do you feel me? In the same boat? So how do we get them up off the couch and outside into fresh air? I grabbed a cup of coffee and did some thinking and came up with 10 ways you can survive summer with teens.

10 Ideas to Survive Summer with Teens


keep teens busy

1. Exercise together

I don’t know about you but exercise is always on my to do list. Take a long walk or run with your teens. Introduce them to the gym. You’ll be giving them a lifelong healthy habit.

2. Help them learn to cook

Get tired of making dinner? Enlist some help. When you think about it, wouldn’t it be nice if your child could make something more than mac n cheese and frozen pizza? Teaching them to cook and help you with dinner is a win win. WebMD has a great article on this.

wouldn't it be nice if your child could make something more than mac n cheese and frozen pizza? Click To Tweet

3.  Share in their passions

I could care less about cars. My Marge (that’s the name my daughter gave her) takes me from place A to place B and can hold a lot of stuff-good when I’m taking client’s items to a thrift store. However, I have a 16 year old son who is obsessed with cars. So we’re hitting the dealers so he can drool and we can make memories. My daughter and I are shopping for dorm room items. She can drive while I cry.

4. Give them a few chores that will make them go outside

Now don’t call them “chores”-that would never work! What works in the Harvey house is for me to say “oh hey, I’m doing laundry-could you go brush the dogs for me?” (or water the plants, or mow the lawn…) See how sneaky I can be?

5. Be a tourist in your own city

Maybe it’s been since the kids were little that you went to the zoo. Maybe you could force them to go again. Invite friends, that makes anything better. Or, search out the weird and unusual nearby. Have a restaurant in town that was featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives? Watch the episode and go eat there. Ghost tour in town? Be creative.

6. Attend a concert

Whether you go with is up to you. At least they wouldn’t be on the couch. I recently attended the Panic at the Disco/Weezer concert. Interesting music, good people watching. Nuff said.

7. Craft Time!

If you have a teenage daughter, head to Michael’s and load up on craft stuff to make some cute items for her room. Glass marbles glued on a Mason Jar to hold her makeup brushes. Cut cork board into circles paint and seal to make a cool coaster. Pinterest will get you started. Just don’t go down the rabbit hole and never actually make anything-lol! Amazon has a ton of cool teen related craft kits. Duct tape. Emoji coloring. Wrap bracelets. The list goes on and on.

8. Prep a Little

Have your kids spend a little time-just a little-knocking some to do items off the list before school starts. Maybe find a few colleges they’d like to visit. Or start on the brag sheet. (That’s like a resume kids send to colleges of all their activities and volunteer hours. See? Times really have changed.)

Have your kids spend a little time-just a little-knocking some to do items off the list before school starts. Click To Tweet

9. Volunteer

Speaking of colleges, they really do prize volunteer time. And often it’s hard to find the time for that during the school year. So have your teen get a group of friends together and head to the local food pantry or SPCA. Plus, volunteering can be so eye-opening and good for the soul.

10. Make them Get a Job

I know, right? Why should they sit around all summer while you work? They need to earn money for gas, or going out for lunch during the school year etc. I bet it’s the rare teen who will jump up and down at the idea of getting a job. But stand firm sister! My daughter has a nanny job this summer to save money for college. When she comes home tired, telling stories about how the little girl didn’t listen to her and turn off the TV after the episode was finished I try so hard not to laugh.


Don’t let summer be just a sit around the house season. There’s real fun to be had! Maybe one of these ideas is just perfect for your teen-or maybe all 10! (I give you permission to throw me under the bus for numbers 8, 9 and 10 by the way.) Do more than survive summer with teens-go out there and ROCK IT!

Check Out These Other Summer Posts

Put Summer Fun on the Calendar

Organize for Beautiful Skin This Summer

My Favorite Summer Essential Oil Blends


Happy summer,

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10 Responses

  1. Jennifer Ouellette

    I love the wonderful ideas posted here. I have one child that is a teenager and one that’s a pre-teen. The teenager likes to play non-stop video games, whereas the pre-teen is very active and likes to be outdoors. I could easily see myself going to a concert with them (how ironic that one likes Panic at the Disco too!) or going to a car show. Thanks for the realistic ideas!

    • Daria Harvey

      I’m so glad some of my ideas will work for you! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know!

  2. Autumn Leopold

    Except for the cooking there is not much I haven’t done on this list with my seven year old! I’m taking him to see Sam Hunt with me at Frontier Days Cheyenne Rodeo! 🙂 Great post Daria!

    • Daria Harvey

      Thank you Autumn! He’s a lucky 7 year old! Have fun at the rodeo!

  3. Emily @ My Love for Words

    Great ideas! My son’s just getting old enough to work now, and I think a job outside of the home would be great for him. No tv/video game zombies in this house! (Not all the time, at least) 😉

    • Daria Harvey

      Thank you so much for stopping by my blog Emily! You’re right-it’s a matter of balance. We have just returned from a 5 day trip to a family wedding so I have to admit my son is having some bonding time with his computer! 😉

  4. Sabrina Quairoli

    Great ideas! I love the idea to teach them to cook. We have been making dishes together at least a few times a week so far this summer. My husband and the kids took a cooking class recently and now my son wants to cook more. Sur La Table kitchen store offers classes. It’s a great time for the entire family and we love taking classes there.

    • Daria Harvey

      Thanks Sabrina! I’ve been seeing your yummy creations online 🙂 Appreciate the tip about Sur La Table. That does sound like a nice family event. Thanks for the comment!

  5. Preston Radsek

    Once you have delegated responsibilities and made a schedule, then you can organize what you have to do and when you can do it. Staying organized is not all a breeze.

    • Daria Harvey

      So true! You have to be diligent to stay organized, but I think the results are worth it!

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