As kids get older and the lure of online games can really sink in, it can get harder to get teens outside. Here’s some ideas of fun outside activities for teens and tweens.
I had to write about this somewhere! Although some people are enjoying putting down anyone who wants to go out and collect fake creatures, I’m loving the fact that it’s getting a huge amount of people outdoors!
If you don’t know what it is, it’s an app based on the popular Pokemon franchise. Once downloaded the aim is to go for a walk, find some pokestops (normally they are at sights, plaques around town, local churches etc) to collect items and as you’re walking around you’ll find Pokemon (little monsters) that you need to catch. There is maybe more to it than that, but essentially it doesn’t work unless you don’t go out and walk.
I love that it can get you seeing and finding some local sights that you might never have heard of, and if you’re off out on a day trip somewhere, it can help bring ideas in places to walk to!
I love Pokemon Go and if you have teens reluctant to go and get some fresh air, it might be worth encouraging 🙂
Geocaching is kind of like a high tech treasure hunt. You use a GPS system, or download the app on your phone and try to find the hidden cache. There are loads dotted around every conceivable area of the country! Sometimes they are plastic boxes hidden that contain some trinkets, or sometimes they are just a magnet hidden in a really obscure place. It can be fun to find them!
Check out my article about geocaching here.
Trampolines are perfect for older kids to let off steam, either on their own and in private, or with friends. In fact they are great areas for teens to hang out around while also allowing them to get exercise with their friends.
If you’ve got the space in your garden then a large trampoline, probably 10ft plus is best, would suit your kids from an early age right through until teenager hood and will probably allow us adults a sneaky bounce too!
You can see my top picks for trampolines here.
Remote control toys
Gadgetry can win out so much at this age can’t it? Sometimes it’s best just to embrace it! Remote control toys are available in all sorts of guises these days, from cars to planes and from boats to quadcopters. There’s bound to be something there that will appeal to your older kids and get them along to the park for a little while.
Having a little bit of a garden sleep out might be fun and exciting for some kids – especially if they can bring around a few friends and make a bit of a night of it, maybe even telling a ghost story or two! If they enjoy it then you might like to make your next holiday camping with your teenagers!
Learn to skateboard or practise stunts on a scooter
Practising new skills is something well worth encouraging, no matter what age your child is. As they get older, finding the right thing to offer is the key. Skateboards are definitely still in the ‘cool’ toy category and as they aren’t something you just get the hang of, it can give teens something to really get their teeth into. There are so many tricks to learn with them and with youtube, you’ll likely be able to learn easily.
Once they get the hang of it, skate parks are an excellent place to improve and meet other people who love the sport.
Stunt scooters are possibly taking over from skateboards in something that is cool to skate around on. They have been really popular this past year so definitely something to encourage. I’ve written a guide on the best stunt scooters in case you’re not sure what they are all about.
Survival skills – build a fire
This one might go well with the garden camping idea. Kids love the idea of building fires outside so it’s a perfect time to get them to learn about them, how to do it and more importantly the safety aspects of it.
Once they get the hang of building a fire base, you can move on to creating a fire with a fire stick, or even trying to make one while rubbing two sticks together!
Make sure to have some nice food on hand for toasting!
Lastly, if you’re wanting your teens to get outside more, and they have an interest in nature, why not get them involved with volunteering? I know that the RSPB encourages volunteers even at that age and local wildlife trusts would probably welcome their energy when doing things like clearing areas and building wildlife rich habitats.
Check what is local in your area and ask them – could be the start of a great outside life!