With School Holiday’s upon us and lockdowns still in place across many states here in Australia, here are our favourite ideas for encouraging your teen to spend less time on their screens!
Don’t get us wrong, there’s definitely a time and a place for screens. They’re such an important tool in keeping our teens connected with their friends right now.
But when they spend all day online for School followed by socialising with friends on House Party, scrolling Social Media or watching movies, the School Holidays are a great time to encourage our kids to spend less time on screens and try something new.
Get those bods moving with a garden Pilates sesh. While this technically does involve a screen, it’s a great way to get in some daily exercise, soak up some sunshine and get those endorphins flowing!
There are loads of great Pilates videos on YouTube, but we love this one by Steph Smith and Laura Henshaw, the girls behind Keep it Cleaner.
They have loads of other great workout videos on the Keep it Cleaner YouTube channel that are worth a try!
It’s so important to move your body everyday and YouTube workouts are a great way to do that, but even better is getting out of the house and going on a long walk (within your allowed distance, of course!).
Grab a friend – it’s a great way to stay connected and catch up over a nice long chat!
Or, if you’re walking alone, find a podcast series you love, pop those headphones in and hit the pavement. My daughter loves a good crime podcast, but there’s loads of options out there on every topic imaginable.
Plant a Vegie Patch
Plants are very on-trend at the moment and even better than a succulent is a vegie patch! Head to Bunnings online for a kit or completely DIY by letting your teen choose their own herbs and vegetables and caring for the plants as they grow.
When working out what to plant, have a think about what you like to eat and plant accordingly. There’s nothing more rewarding than to pop outside to that vegie patch and pick fresh produce for your cooking!
Or if they’re the creative type, let them get some terracotta pots and paint the pots first. It’s a great creative outlet!
Find out more about the best vegies to plant in Spring.
Get Creative in the Kitchen and Have Fun!
Create a Freak Shake! This is great for kids of all ages (that includes the grown up kind as well)!
Get a variety of chocolates, sauces, fruit and anything else that might make a fun shake or smoothie and let them loose in the kitchen with the blender to create the ultimate freak shake!
Or if she’s a fan of ‘Nailed It’ why not get some friends together for a virtual bake-off. This is super fun with some hilarious results and the best part is when she shares whatever she’s baked! 😉
Enjoy a Pamper Sesh
If you don’t have the products at home to have a pamper day, there are so many great homemade recipes for face masks, coffee body scrubs, bath bombs and hair masks.
If you’re not snowed under with your own work, why not set up a ‘salon’ and give your teen a facial with the products they’ve made.
Play a soothing Spotify playlist and make them a herbal tea ‘on arrival’ for a salon experience at home!
If she enjoys making these scrubs and bath bombs why not make a little extra and package them up nicely for her friends ready for Christmas?
Now is the time to say goodbye to the same handful of dinners on repeat, get creative and try something new. Give your teen the cookbooks and let them choose and cook dinner for the family!
Take it up a notch by letting everyone take a turn choosing a different cuisine each time and decorate the table to match.
Be sure to have a frozen pizza or similar as a backup dinner, just in case! 😉
Journaling can be a great outlet for teens (and adults too!), it can help them express themselves, be more grateful and get to know themselves better.
Here are some tips for encouraging your teen to get into journaling:
- Let them choose and personalise their own journal or purchase one with prompts in it to help get them started.
- Google some prompts to help them get started with what to write in their journal. Here are some suggestions.
- What are you grateful for?
- When do you feel the happiest?
- What is the first symptom you notice when you feel anxious/stressed/sad?
- How can you help yourself to relieve the anxiety, stress, sadness?
- What makes you feel proud?
- Make a list of things that make you smile.
- What habits do you want to change? Think carefully about the plan how you can change that.
- Write down everything that inspires you. Don’t forget the little things.
- Encourage them to write in their journal each day, even if it’s just something small, it’s good to create the habit.
Be sure to let your teen know that if they’d like to share parts of their journal with you, you’d love to read it but that if they don’t feel comfortable sharing, that’s okay too.
Makeover your bedroom
Get your teen to create a mood board to makeover their bedroom using Pinterest to gather ideas and inspiration. Give them a budget for new items that they can order online – Kmart is a great option because you can get a lot of really great homeware items on a budget.
A room makeover/move around is a great way to encourage your teen to clean up and clean out their bedroom and they can donate old clothes and items that they no longer need or use.
Giving them a budget also teaches them how to manage money and prioritise what they spend based on want and need.
Test your knowledge with an Online Escape Room
There are so many free online escape rooms and you can get the whole family involved by connecting your laptop to the TV and doing the puzzles together!
Here are some suggestions for some popular themes linked below, but you can google for themes that interest your teen or family.
Netflix Watch Parties
Like a movie night with friends but make it virtual! Head to https://www.teleparty.com/ to watch Netflix with friends virtually.
Cook up some popcorn, get into your PJ’s and watch your favourite movie with friends. And just quietly, we know where to get the comfiest PJ’s!
It’s another great way to stay connected even when they can’t get together just yet.
Virtual Trivia Night
A virtual trivia night is another great family activity, you can play with their grandparents or get a group of other families involved.
There are lots of guides for how to create a virtual quiz night online using Zoom, complete with question and answer sheets, instructions on how to play and ideas for themes!
Online Retail Therapy
Why not lighten your load and task her with getting a head start on your Christmas shopping. Let her have the enjoyment of watching others open their presents on Christmas morning knowing that she tracked down the perfect present just for them!
Aussie businesses need our support more than ever and we can still enjoy that little shopping thrill without leaving the house.
With online shopping at its peak due to lockdown, Australia Post is expecting serious postal delays and recommend that you get your orders in even earlier this year to guarantee getting them in time.
Just imagine how smug you’ll feel when Christmas rolls around and all you have to think about is the wrapping!
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