What are you doing with your tween only-child this summer?(9 Posts)
On the days I'm at work, 12yo DD goes to friends. I'm quickly running out of things to do with her on the days I'm off work when we'd like to spend time just us two. Last year, she loved playing in the park while I sat with a book but now she's 'too old for swings' and is embarrassed to be seen with me 'playing' in public (this includes swimming and ice skating). Other than museums and cinema, i don't know what else we can do together. Including things at home! She doesn't play with toys much now. We do board games and watch TV and play video games sometimes.
Can I steal some of your ideas for at home and outside home activities you're doing with your only tweens this summer?
Ugh, it’s hard but it’s so nice you are making an effort to do stuff together. Baking or craft stuff?? Trip to buy a magazine or to the library then a coffee shop? Meeting another friend with their mum? Bike ride? Sorry, mine is slightly younger so these might not be suitable.
They are so desperate to be individual and adult at that age, but not ready to. I did as many things as I could to help them feel like the transformation they were desperate for was happening.
Plan a makeover of her bedroom. Make a Pinterest page and get her to pin things on it that she loves, then work together to design it. Paint it together and go to IKEA together. Build the furniture together. Doesn;t have to be expensive, just a new duvet cover, some new posters for the wall etc or a full makeover if you're up for it.
Do the same for her own look. She might be at an age where she wants to look more grown up, Help her choose new styles of clothes and hair if she wants to and go on a shopping trip.
Go to see a musical or dance show with her. Or go to a gig of music that she loves.
Teach her to cook some basic dishes: pasta, a cake, chicken tray bake etc.
If she and you are into it, have a few home spa days doing nails and pedicures etc.
Do some projects that might help with next year at school: read some books and watch some films or documentaries that are related to the syllabus but fun. Do some fun science projects or nature research. Focus on her favourite subjects.
Have a reading challenge. Each pick a book. Both read it and discuss it. Same with a film. Same with a CD or streaming of a new album.
Do a few of the old childhood favourites - a trip to the beach or a funfair.
Climb a hill and take a picnic. At that age my DC felt very impressed with themselves if they managed a 10 mile hike or climbed a small mountain.
Take her swimming anyway. My DS was very embarrassed the first couple of times, then got the bug and we ended up pushing each other to swim a mile one summer when he was a tween/early teen. I have happy memories of that and so does he.
DD is a little younger but we have some similar problems.
We’ve had a few hours doing craft together - painting and decoupaging.
We are going to start doing more cooking together, especially more savoury cooking.
We have a pizza/cinema day (going to Bella Italian for £5 pizza on Tuesday).
We also have an English heritage card and will have a few visits to sites for a walk. In fact I still make her go places for walks with me when the weather is nice.
I’m interested in seeing replies as it is getting harder and harder.
Geocaching is a good one, and free.
Also wild swimming if you have anywhere nearby.
Mines almost 12 about to start secondary school and thinks she's too cool for everything! Cinema, swimming, inflatable assault course,bowling...
The 2 days I've had off so far we've done nothing she's played on the street with other kids. She can't even suggest anything
My eleven-year-old is at that in-between stage too and I'm very conscious that we'll probably see much less of her next summer, so I am also looking for fun activities that we can enjoy together this summer. Here are my ideas
Are you near London? The British Museum has an exhibition on manga art (which a lot of teens are into) until 26th August.
Horse riding together?
Swimming, but with a twist, eg outdoor lido or aquapark (with slides, wave machine etc) if you have one near you.
Camping - you might be able to borrow a tent if you don't have one.
Borrow My Doggy - choose a nice dog together and take it for a walk together. If it goes well, this could become a regular thing!
Some playgrounds have a section for age 12+, with more challenging equipment, that she might enjoy. Your local council could probably tell you if they have anything like this near by.
Orienteering/geocaching is fun. Lots of local orienteering societies run taster events for younger participants, and some National Trust properties do geocaching.
Ceramics painting /pottery cafe.
Thank you so much everyone for the replies! Really great ideas. I'll sit with DD tomorrow and try to get a list together and some things jotted on the calendar. I'm finding that we just end up doing nothing on my days off work if we haven't planned anything in advance.
DD and I spent hours attempting to make friendship bracelets the other day.
DD is a bit younger than your DD but we often try and visit different swimming pools in our area making a whole day of it, I don’t mind making a prat of myself on the inflatables when we are out of area as our local pool is often full of my secondary students and its very awkward.
If you are near a beach or water sports centre they might have surf / stand up paddle boarding or boat hire whic is always a winner.
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