Your teen is probably leaping for joy at the announcement of a snow day, but that same proclamation is enough to strike fear into the hearts of parents everywhere. While teens can easily entertain themselves, they will probably spend much of the day whining that they're bored, especially if you limit their television and video game time. Instead of viewing the snow day as a burden, see it as a chance to spend extra time with your child, and suggest creative and entertaining activities that will keep you both occupied and amused.
Go outside together. Challenge your teen to a snowball fight or see who can build the tallest snowman. If her friends were around she'd probably roll her eyes at the suggestion, but even teens might enjoy making snow angels or constructing a snow fort.
Participate in winter sports. Find a hill and go sledding with your teen or head to a nearby ski resort and spend the day downhill skiing or snowboarding. Many teens enjoy cross-country skiing, too.
Play board and card games. Bring out a few of your teen's favorite games from childhood and challenge him to a game or two. Teach him a new card game as another way to enjoy a snowy day. You might let him invite his friends over to take part in the games, too, since most teens would much rather compete against their friends than against their parent.
Do a puzzle. Choose the puzzle with the most pieces to make the activity last longer, or let your teen select the puzzle, and she's more likely to stick with the activity until the puzzle is done. This is another activity she might enjoy more with a few friends. She could ask her friends to bring puzzles, too.
Bake cookies. Encourage your teen to flip through a cookbook or browse the Internet and find a recipe for cookies that you have all of the ingredients for. Make a batch together, and enjoy them warm from the oven. This is the perfect opportunity to teach your teen the fundamentals of cooking -- a skill he'll need in the near future, especially if he plans to leave home to attend college.
Get out old photographs and home movies and reminisce about the most memorable times in your teen's life. Show him photographs of you and his other family members from when you were young, too. Most teens enjoy the chance to see a glimpse of what their parents were like before they were mom and dad. Answer questions about each family member and share humorous stories, too. It's entertaining, but it's a good way to teach your teen about his history.
- Require your teen to wear a helmet when he skis or snowboards, the KidsHealth website recommends.
- Even on snowy days, your teen should wear a broad spectrum sunscreen because he's still at risk for a sunburn, according to HealthyChildren.org.
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