50 Ways To Spend A Spring Afternoon With Your Tween

When my boys were younger it was so simple to figure out how to spend a sunny spring day together as a family. Now that my oldest kids are tweens, those afternoons spent together seem to happen less these days. Between sports and school activities and electronics, “time with mom” has been bumped down on the priority list. I’ve learned that I have to join their world to really enjoy some quality time with them. Here are 50 ways to spend an afternoon with your preteen:

1) Take the “try not to sing” challenge like their favorite YouTubers do.

2) Paint your nails together.

3) Play a board game.

4) Bake cookies for the bake sale together.

5) Listen to them talk about what they are passionate about. Really listen. (And yes, even if that passion is all currently being dumped into Fortnite and you’d rather talk about anything else other than that video game…)

6) Take a walk.

7) Go on a roadtrip and let them control the radio. (And don’t forget the snacks! Let them go crazy.)

8) Watch a movie together. Pick one they enjoy or introduce them to one of these throwback films.

9) Play catch or hit some balls at a batting cage.

10) Go out for ice cream.

11) Head to the mall and let your tween play stylist and pick an outfit out for you.

12) Let your child teach you how to play their favorite video game.

13) Work together to complete a puzzle.

14) Let them create the menu for the week then grocery shop and cook together.

15) Take a class together and discover a fun, new hobby you both might enjoy.

16) Make these no-bake pudding pies together.

17) Play mini-golf.

18) Let them help you plan your next family vacation.

19) Volunteer together.

20) Go geocaching.

21) Explore a new culture by trying a different cuisine at a restaurant in town.

22) Paint each other’s portrait.

23) Play a yard game like croquet, corn hole or ladder ball.

24) Go to the zoo.

25) Use an ancestry site to build your family tree.

26) Go to a ball game.

27) Be creative at a make your own pottery place

28) Build something together.

29) Make your own pizzas and let them pick the toppings.

30) Do a STEAM activity together (like this lung lift that lets them lift things just by breathing!)

31) Play laser tag or with nerf guns.

32) Garden together. Let them plant their favorite fruits and vegetables along with flowers.

33) Compete against each other while playing an active video game.

34) Go bowling.

35) Play “horse” on the basketball hoop.

36) Have a campfire in a fire pit (don’t forget the s’mores!)

37) Go on a bike ride to a local place they enjoy like their favorite park or restaurant.

38) Setup an obstacle course or relay race and see who is fastest: child or parent.

39) Make a handmade gift for someone.

40) Learn to code together.

41) Go out for fancy “coffee” drinks (Starbucks makes plenty of Frappuccinos without coffee).

42) Make thank you cards for members of the military (here’s where you can send them).

43) Go to a local museum.

44) Make your own fruit popsicles.

45) Have an A to Z scavenger hunt and see who can find the 26 things (one for each letter) the fastest.

46) Have a water balloon fight.

47) Try a new sport together like skateboarding, tennis, or golf.

48) Paint rocks with encouraging sayings and then hide them around town.

49) Turn on their favorite songs and have a dance off.

50) Go to the grocery store and let your tween pick out foods they’ve never tried before. Blindfold them and have a taste test challenge with those and other foods you have in your fridge and pantry to see if they can guess what they are eating. Bonus points for video because you know they will want to post this on YouTube!

What fun activities do you like to do with your tweens during the spring months?

 

 

50 Summer Boredom Busters Tweens Can Do At Home

Now that the novelty of summer has worn off I’m sure you’ve probably heard the words “I’m bored” come out of your tween’s mouth (or you will soon enough). I know Lucas has already said it a few times! I decided to put together a list of 50 things tweens can do at home when they say they are bored this summer!

1. Clean. (Okay, not a fun one….)

2. Write a letter to a friend or family member.

3. Paint some artwork for your room.

4. Learn a new hobby.

5. Make a no bake dessert. (These haystacks are my favorite to make year-round!)

6. Make a game and teach a family member the rules before you play it.

7. Have a dance-off.

8. Have open-ended craft time and see what you can create with various craft supplies.

9. Make a nature journal and go outside to enjoy and observe nature.

10. Plan next week’s menu plan with your favorite foods.

11. Set up a fort in the living room.

12. Go outside in the backyard and practice a sport you enjoy.

13. Redecorate your room (with a parent’s permission of course).

14. Try a new hairstyle.

15. Set your goals for the school year ahead and make a dream board.

16. Learn about a new culture and share with your family what you learned through a craft, food, or game.

17. Setup an obstacle course for family or friends to go through.

18. Go through your closet to see what clothes fit and which don’t before you head shopping for back-to-school season.

19. Plan a short roadtrip for your family to go on. Don’t forget the packing list, activities to do along the way, and must-see spots once you arrive at your destination.

20. Make some decorations for an upcoming event or holiday.

21. Find a comfortable spot and read a book.

22. Send someone a thank you card and tell them why you appreciate them.

23. Create a scavenger hunt. (My kids loved this flashlight hidden message hunt that ended with s’mores.)

24. Have a lemonade stand.

25. Start a daily journal or blog.

26. Learn to code.

27. Put together a care package to give someone in a nursing home or the military.

28. Pop some popcorn and have a movie night.

29. Write a story.

30. Have a water balloon fight or play water balloon baseball.

31. Make homemade pizza.

32. Put a puzzle together.

33. Make an awesome STEAM inspired LEGO creation like a solar powered LEGO vehicle or code a LEGO maze

34. Use tie dye or puffy paint to decorate a shirt.

35. Camp in the backyard.

36. Do a random act of kindness for each family member.

37. Make a bird feeder.

38. Play a board game.

39. Make a toy for your pet or a friend’s pet (like this easy cat wand toy).

40. Write a script for a play or lyrics for a song and perform the play or song for your family.

41. Have a picnic in the backyard.

42. Ask an elderly neighbor how you can help them.

43. Learn a new language.

44. Run through a sprinkler on a hot day.

45. Upcycle household garbage by making one of these recycled crafts.

46. Organize your room.

47. Make your own music video.

48. Make friendship bracelets.

49. Paint rocks.

50. Be bored! It will be back-to-school time before you know it so enjoy the time off!

What ideas do you have to keep tweens busy this summer?

Gift Ideas For Tween Boys {Skylanders Giveaway}

(Disclosure: Samples were received but all thoughts are my own. This post contains affiliate links.)

Christmas is coming and if you have a tween boy on your shopping list you might agree with me when I say they are kind of difficult to shop for! I feel like pre-teen girls are pretty easy to shop for (maybe that’s because I was actually one myself at one time?) but I tended to struggle with boy ideas. With my oldest in the tween stage now I feel a little more confident in knowing what they want so I thought I’d share. (I also want to preface this with a note that girls may like these ideas as well. This is just a list of ideas for boys because I am a “boy” mom and I want to help those looking for ideas. We don’t really stick with gender specific labels on toys at my home.)

Make sure to check out and enter the amazing Skylanders giveaway at the end of this post!

LEGO

Like I said in a recent Huffington post article, you can’t really go wrong with a LEGO set. My boys love any that are Super Hero or Star Wars themed. Generally the boxes have the age ranges on them to help you pick the right one for your child but I’ve found Jake can do ones that are made for children a couple of years older than him. Amazon has the best assortment of LEGO sets including this Star Wars one for ages 8-14 years old that is listed as the #1 new release on Amazon.

The 2016 World Series Film

Being from Chicago, I had to include this DVD! Baseball fans, whether a Cubbies fan or not, will enjoy reliving this moment 108 years in the making! This sports documentary can be found on Amazon here.

Sky Rover Voice Command Missile Launcher

Ready, aim, fire! Kids can fly this toy helicopter and launch “missiles” all by voice command! They’ll enjoy watching as their heli flies in a circular motion in response to their command “enemy scan,” and launches missiles when they say “missile fire”. The helicopter comes with 8 missiles and has a gyro balanced engine for easy and stable flying. This would make the perfect gift for an aspiring pilot or person going into the military. Buy it on Amazon here.

iTunes Gift Card

My boys have been all about music lately. If the boy in your life is all about music then they will love an iTunes gift card to download their favorite songs!

G-Form Youth Apparel For Athletes

Jacob plays multiple sports and I think sports gear always makes a great gift for the young athlete. G-Form’s youth apparel offers specialized products to fit your aspiring athletes. If you have a soccer player, they will appreciate a pair of G-Form’s Pro-S Shin Guards ($44.99).  The Pro-S Shin Guards offer a broader area of coverage than traditional shin guards. They are constructed as part of a sleeve so your sports player will never have to worry about their shin guards falling down. They also have breathable air vents which is perfect for playing during the hot summer months!

Turbo Runner 

Has your tween been asking for a drone? The Turbo Runner is a great option that’s affordable and perfect for kids. Capable of going just about anywhere, the Turbo Runner climbs walls and ceilings with ease. The Turbo Runner is a master of all tricks. Transitioning from flight to running mode, it darts across walls then dashes across ceilings – it even runs down staircases. Mimicking a design that was developed in conjunction with the U.S. Navy for a real-life UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), the Turbo Runner fears no trick thanks to its patented cage, which minimizes any force of impact. Master the trimming controls, and soon you’ll be performing amazing stunts never before possible with a flying RC vehicle. Buy it on Amazon here.

Ball Sports Trivia Book

Any sports fan would love the Ball Sports Trivia book. Whether you’re tweens a football fan, a rugby player, a tennis aficionado, or  baseball player or a soccer enthusiast, they’ll love this fascinating collection of over 250 sport facts. Over 20 sports are covered and they can find out why the number of dimples on a golf ball can make them a better player, how many tennis balls are used each year at Wimbledon and who is the world’s highest-earning ball player (among other things). Buy the book on Amazon here.

Skylanders

The top gift on my boy’s lists for the past few years has been Skylanders,  the toys-to-life video game series that can be played on a number of different video game platforms. There have been new games each year and this year’s Skylanders game is Skylanders Imaginators. In this new Skylanders game, children use the power of their imaginations to create their own Skylanders to battle in the ultimate adventure alongside the almighty Senseis to save Skylands. All characters from the previous Skylanders game are compatible with this new game and of course there are new Skylanders to collect, along with Creation Crystals and Sensei Skylanders that are now available. Skylanders Imaginators can be bought on Amazon. Here are links to the game for specific systems so make sure you buy the one for the system you have :) XBOX 1, XBOX 360, Wii U

I’m so excited to be giving away one new Sensei Skylander character and one new Creation Crystal, along with a code for your child to create their own Skylander character in the Skylanders Creator App and bring it to life as a 3D printed character. Jake was so excited about creating his own character that he immediately started working on his creation as soon as he found out about it and he will not stop talking about it. The boys have quite a collection of Skylanders but there is nothing quite like having one you’ve created yourself! This will be an awesome gift for any Skylanders lover and these three items are a $75+ value total. (Please note: this giveaway does not include the game. You will still have to purchase the game for the console of your choice.) You must be 18 or older to enter and have a US address to enter. Giveaway ends 12/28 at 11:59pm CST and I will contact the winner via email. Prizes will be received after the holidays.

HOW TO ENTER:

Leave a comment telling me why you want to win.

For an extra entry, share this giveaway on social media and leave the link in a second comment

Which of these gifts do you think the tween in your life would love? Have any other gift ideas? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.