In this world of video games and TV shows, it is refreshing to see teens get into the great outdoors and enjoy themselves with activities that get them moving. A University of Sydney, Australia, study reveals that active teens are happier and healthier than their couch potato counterparts. The study states that busier and more active teens get along better with peers, while those who rarely exercised were more likely to be shy and lonely. Finding games that do not seem childish or dull for this age group can be a challenge but can definitely be done with some extra thought and creativity .
Set up your own version of the Olympic Games for your teens. Make it comical with watermelon seed spitting contests, water balloon tosses and pie eating competitions. Complete the games with silly Olympic-style medals with funny quotes or characters inscribed. Make these games an annual part of a July 4 celebration or Memorial and Labor Day weekend festivities.
Outdoor lawn games will really get your teens rockin' and rollin'. Set up a miniature golf course using a wide variety of props, cans, bricks, tubes and baskets. Keep score to see who can get through this course with the smallest number of strokes. Make it even more interesting by playing at night with fluorescent golf balls. Old-fashioned lawn races are also popular -- compete with wheelbarrow races, backward crab walks, hula-hoop competitions, and your classic slip-and-slide races, accelerated with a coating of shaving cream, will provide fast-paced entertainment.
If you have a pool, soda or coin toss activities will definitely motivate your teens. Purchase miniature cans of soda or obtain tubes of quarters from your local bank. Line the teens up at the side of the pool, toss the items and watch them scramble for these treasures. Have a belly flop or cannon ball dive contest at the diving board with parents as judges and silly tokens as prizes. Floating balloons, powered by water guns, could be raced to the opposite side of the pool.
Moving the Indoors Out
Many indoor games can be easily move outdoors so your teen and his friends can enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Some of the best chess tournaments are played in outdoor parks. A scrambled game of twister can be made even more enjoyable when played on a soft green lawn. Setting up a ping pong table in a front drive can provide hours of fun and friendly competition.