Summer break didn't exist for American children until the 1840s. Before educational reforms, rural schools divided the academic year into winter and summer, with brief seasonal breaks in spring and fall so children could help with planting and harvesting. For many twenty-first century teenagers, however, the initial feeling of freedom associated with summer break is quickly quelled by boredom. According to a survey by KidsHealth, 40% of kids in their early teens claim they'll be bored over summer break.
Physical activity not only helps you stay fit, but also produces endorphins -- a brain chemical that boosts happiness and reduces anxiety and depression. Safe and supervised access to pools, rivers or lakes can provide exercise and refreshment during a hot summer day. Bicycling, walking or hiking are healthy alternatives to swimming. Any of these activities can be enjoyed with a group to build social bonds, stay fit and alleviate boredom.
Keeping boredom at bay may require brainstorming. Make a list of personal projects or chores you would like to accomplish, and use these things to fill in the time between larger events. Listening to music can make these projects more enjoyable, so put on your favorite tunes and wash your car, re-organize your room or do some laundry. The activity doesn't have to be a chore -- try building something, drawing or exploring a new hobby.
Reading and Writing
Learning doesn't have to stop just because it's summer break, nor does it have to be a drag. Outside the classroom you're free to choose your own reading material, so enjoy a graphic novel, romance, mystery, science-fiction or adventure story. Alternatively, write your own story. Explore your creative side. Learning to read and write effectively can increase critical thinking skills, in addition to being enjoyable.
Start a Business
Who doesn't want a little extra cash? If you're unable to find work over the summer, consider putting yourself to work. Running your own business can build character, with lessons involving people skills, financial responsibility and the value of hard work. A summer business might include a dog walking service, lawn maintenance, babysitting or a car wash. Keeping a goal in mind, like a particular item you want to purchase, might help you stay motivated as you work to save money.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
Things to Do on a Boring Summer Night
Summer is a great time of year with its warm weather and long evenings. After a long day at work or school,...
Fun Things to Do in Boston in the Winter
Snow can pose a lot of trouble for people visiting the city of Boston, often causing businesses and schools to close. Vacationers...
Theme Week Ideas for Summer Day Camps
Although an infinite variety of summer camp themes are possible, some of the best-suited themes for day camps relate to wildlife, science,...