Has winter break turned your teen into a couch potato? Are you tired of hearing groans of boredom? Never fear. Here are the top 10 educational winter break activities for teens.
Make a Movie
Is your teen the next Steven Spielberg? Do they love putting on skits or acting in the school play? Then why not have them spend their winter break making a movie. Movie making is a great way for teens to practice their verbal expression, writing and technology skills while being creative at the same time.
Tutor/Mentor a Younger Child
Is your teen a math whiz? Do they excel in writing? Why not have your teen help other kids strengthen their school skills by becoming a tutor during winter break? Teens are perfect for tutoring younger children. If your teen plays an instrument they could offer music classes. Tutoring is a great learning experience for teens and could put a little green in their pocket as well.
Start a business
Is your teen a budding entrepreneur? Why not have them start their own winter themed business during winter break? There are many businesses that would do well with a winter start- snow plowing, snow shoveling, running errands for the elderly or others who are homebound or being a mother’s helper. Help your teen create a business plan, set up a budget, set up bookkeeping and start up bank accounts and money handling procedures.
Take a College Class
Many community colleges, technical schools and universities offer winter break classes for juniors and seniors. Keep your teen’s mind working while earning high school or college credit. Taking college classes may reduce the number of general education classes your teen needs to take in college, which in turn will save you money. Don’t live near a college? Many institutions offer online classes.
Investigate Summer Programs
Winter break offers teens the perfect opportunity to investigate possible summer programs they’d like to attend. Summer programs are an excellent way for teens to gain hands on experience, explore their interests, try something new or gain more advanced skills.
Apply for Scholarships
If you have a senior, applications for college have undoubtedly already gone out. But what about scholarships? There are literally thousands of scholarships available to college students. Encourage your teen to research scholarships on the Internet and apply. They will gain a better understanding of themselves and their writing, spelling and reading skills will get a good workout. Start looking for scholarships online at FastWeb.com, Scholarships.com, ScholarshipExperts.com, or SchoolSoup.com.
Preparing for the Holidays
Put your teen to work helping you prepare for the holidays this winter break. The tasks teens can help with or even completely take over are endless. As an added bonus, many of the activities for holiday prep are also educational, giving teens a chance to practice math, science, reading, writing, artistic and communications skills. Teens can help wrap gifts, shop, bake cookies, address and send out Christmas cards, make their own wrapping paper and plan parties and menus.
Write Thank You Cards
Has winter break provided you with a bored teen? Never fear, thank-you cards are here. Having your teen write and send out thank-you cards is a great way to sharpen their reading, writing and communications skills. If your teen has an artistic bent, let them design and create their own homemade thank-you cards.
Conduct Winter Science Experiments
Get your teen in the scientific frame of mind by having them conduct science experiments during winter break. Have your teen search the Internet for experiments they’d like to conduct or have them investigate scientific questions they themselves have.
Start a Book Group
Looking for an educational activity you and your teen can do together? How about starting your own book group? The group could simply be you and your teen or you could invite others to join in the literary fun. Have the book group read books, perhaps those usually read in high school or freshmen English classes in college, and then have them compare the book to a movie adaptation. If there is more than one movie based on the book, have them add that version to their analysis. Discuss comprehension questions, literary devices, themes and the different parts of the novel. Discuss with teens how the movie adaptation was different from the book and how reading the book first changes their understanding of the novel.