Parents, it’s never too early to begin brainstorming summer activity suggestions for your teen (especially if you’re worried about them spending three long months lazing on the couch!). Many summer programs include early application deadlines that occur well before springtime, so it’s always a good idea to be scoping out programs in advance. Need some help in this area? Look no further than this list for some great summer activity suggestions!
1) Volunteering. Volunteer work is always a worthwhile idea to help keep your teen’s mind, body and spirit preoccupied and fulfilled. Finding a good cause and helping others is a vital part of fostering positive self-growth – something very important for all teenagers to do!
2) Leadership programs. College admissions boards everywhere adore seeing leadership programs on students’ applications. Check with your city’s YMCA chapter or library for specific suggestions ranging from everything to skill-building workshops to local leadership classes.
3) Library or book groups. And speaking of libraries – encouraging your teen to join a library-sponsored book club is a wonderful idea to help them keep up their reading/writing skills (they’ll be thanking you later on in life for those heightened ACT/SAT scores!).
4) High school study abroad. There’s a reason why high school study abroad is on the rise these days: not only will your teen have the cultural experience of a lifetime, learn a new language and gain valuable global leadership skills, but high school study abroad can also net college credit hours.
5) Getting a part or full-time job. Sure, most high schoolers are pretty burnt out by the school year’s end (and all high schoolers do need their sleep), but having even a part-time job can do wonders for your teen. Even better: getting a rewarding job like serving as a mentor for elementary school kids, a tutor, or a Big Brother/Big Sister.
6) Engaging in a new hobby. Why not tell your teen to take up a stimulating hobby that pertains to their interests? Doing activities that allow them to explore what they’re interested in will give your teen a better sense of what they may like to do in the future.
7) College prep programs. Specific college prep programs are wonderful ways to engage your teen’s brain during the summer, provide him or her with a noteworthy addition to a future resume or college app, and, best of all – it’s these kinds of programs that can give your child an accurate sense of what life at a university will be like.
8) Overnight summer camp. Is there anything more blissful than summer camp? Fond memories aside, overnight summer camps are a truly wonderful way to help instill a crucial sense of independence and self-worth.
9) Forming a new club. Does your teen love sewing? Go wild for culinary arts? Adore playing chess? Forming a club that revolves around whatever their passion may be will help imbue them with a sense of confidence and fulfillment.
10) Learning a new language. Nothing will get the cranial juices flowing like learning a foreign language! Whether it’s helping your teen enroll in a Spanish class, encouraging them to search for French clubs, or even signing them up for a once-a-week Italian tutor – one thing’s for sure, it’ll be a much-needed brain workout unlike any other!
Justine Harrington is the Admissions Director for SPI Study Abroad, a leading provider of language immersion and global leadership programs for high school students. She is also the main contributor to the SPI Blog.