This post was sponsored by Nabisco as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
When my son was tiny, getting him to go outside was a cinch. Getting him to come in was the hard part! Now that he’s officially a teenager, though, it’s kind of like pulling teeth at times. The thing is, he wants to go outside. He really does. It’s just that he doesn’t really have any friends in the neighborhood, and we live on a mountainous road that’s not really conducive to bike riding.
To make things worse, even our yard isn’t really “fun-friendly.” We don’t have an area flat enough for a decent pool or a trampoline, and my dogs would totally eat a blow-up pool. I kid you not, they ate the little plastic kiddie pool that I bought them last year.
I have such mom guilt over the whole thing. I feel like if I worked harder or made more money, we could afford to move to a place with a flat back yard…or at least some kids his own age. The way I see it, I can either continue to mope around about it or I can get creative and come up with fun ways to spend time with my son in our own backyard. I came up with a few ideas that both of us would enjoy! Check them out!
Things to Do With Your Teen in Your Own Back Yard
My son just turned 13 this year, and I’ve never taken him camping. I am dealing with some major mom guilt over that because he’s asked pretty much every year since he was 6. As a single mom who really doesn’t know the first thing about “roughing it,” I’ve never been confident enough to actually take him out in the wilderness for “real” camping. I have zero survivalist skills, to be honest.
However, I can handle camping in the back yard! Sometimes, I’ll even put the tent up just for the afternoon so Jake and I can hang out and read inside of it while getting some fresh air. Don’t forget to pack a few yummy snacks into a portable container!
2. Build an Obstacle Course
We haven’t had a chance to do this yet, but it’s on our list for the summer. Since Jake does cyber school, we need to come up with creative ways to make sure he gets in at least 10 hours of gym time each month. I think it would be so much fun to build an obstacle course, both for Jake and for my dog. Freya is excellent at course work, and she loves playing with Jake!
You can build a course out of just about anything. We’re planning on using PVC pipes to build jumps and what not, but just look around your yard and get creative.
3. Stargazing (with Snacks!)
Jacob is really into physics and astronomy right now, so stargazing takes on a whole new level of fun. While I would be content to just watch the night sky for signs of meteors, Jake is actually learning what stars are made of and why they exist. I’ll be honest, I have no idea what he’s talking about half the time. I bought a book that is supposed to explain physics to people who just don’t get it…and I STILL don’t get it. I do love that he’s so into such a fascinating subject, though.
Make up a plate of your favorite NABISCO snacks, spread out a blanket, and turn your eyes to the sky! While stargazing with a telescope would be even neater, you can still see some amazing sights without one.
Here me out, because I know some of you are thinking that gardening isn’t exactly fun for teens. I’ll be honest, I have a bit of a black thumb. My mom, on the other hand, is a total gardening addict this year, and Jake loves to help her out. Sometimes he helps water the plants, other times he simply keeps the dogs occupied so Freya doesn’t steal the lettuce (that dog is secretly part goat, I tell you). Gardening with your teen is a great way to teach them valuable survival skills. There may come a time when they’ll need to know how to grow their own food!
Earlier in the season, I took Jake to the plant store to pick out a few things that he wanted to grow. He is crazy for watermelon, so he picked out two plants. He was so thrilled to find out today that there are actually little melons growing! We really thought we wouldn’t get any since we don’t know much about watermelon plants.
5. Water wars!
Think water balloon fights with your tots were fun? Try them with your teens! When Jake was tiny, our water wars were mostly me chasing him and drenching him, or me standing still so he could get a turn at soaking me. Now, there’s a lot more strategy involved!
My son is a gamer and has excellent aim and hand/eye coordination. Me? Not so much! Now it’s more like him standing still so I can get a turn at soaking him! It is scorching hot here this summer and this is such a fun way to cool down when you can’t go to the pool.
After all that backyard fun, you and your teen will definitely need a snack! NABISCO snacks are tied to so many of my fondest childhood memories. I remember playing at a friend’s house during the summer and eating OREO Cookies with fruit juice. It sounds like a really weird combination, but it was actually really yummy!
FYI, you can get the same flavor combo by eating OREO cookies with Swedish Fish! I’m all about the quick and convenient when it comes to snack time, especially during the summer. No one wants to turn on the oven to bake snacks when it’s a million degrees outside!
If you do want to go the extra mile and make some creative snacks, visit NABISCO’s Snack ‘N Share Summer Recipes board on Pinterest or the NABISCO Snacks Content Hub with more awesome recipes from all your favorite bloggers. They even have a bunch of really fun no-bake ideas, like the OREO Crunch Parfait. YUM!
As if the tastiness and convenience isn’t enough a reason to choose NABISCO snacks, now your favorite snack could win you $10,000! NABISCO has this awesome Summer Snack ‘N Share sweepstakes running from now until 9/5/18. Here’s what you need to know:
- Grab your favorite participating NABISCO snacks at Walmart.*
- Take a photo of you and your friends or family enjoying your yummy snack (just make sure the product is in the picture).
- Share your pic on social media the hashtags #snacknshare and #sweepstakes for your chance to win $10,000 and other daily prizes!
What are some of your favorite ways to make memories with your kids all summer long?