Chances are, your teens and tweens could use some direction this summer. I’ve created a free summer printable planner for teens and tweens to help make their summer (and yours) better!
How is summer 2020 going for your family? For many of us, things are still really strange because of Covid 19 and the continued sheltering in place orders. If your teens and tweens are still stuck at home and unable to see their friends as often as they’d like, they could probably use some help.
Many kids are just kind of whiling away the hours online without any direction. If you’re frustrated that they are just wasting their time, I’ve got a summer planner that can help to give them some direction.
My free printable summer planner for teens and tweens is designed to help. I created it to help teens and tweens organize their activities so that they can have a fun and productive summer. I think many teens need to recapture that feeling of success that you get from making a plan and achieving it.
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The continued shelter in place orders have made many of us feel like each day just dissolves into the next day and every day feels the same…kind of like the movie Groundhog Day. It’s not good for anyone’s mental health. As parents, we have to figure out how to help our kids be successful.
Why your teens need a summer planner
For most teens and tweens, summer is something to look forward to! They love the endless free time to be with their friends and many of them have summer camps or classes that they enjoy and summer jobs to earn some money and meet new friends.
But in 2020, much of this is canceled. The activities that normally keep them busy might not be happening this summer, or maybe they’ve been moved online. And the usual plans with friends may not be the same this year. Amusement parks are mostly closed and heading to the mall to hang out is probably not happening. Where we live in California, you can’t sit inside an air-conditioned Starbucks like usual and even the beaches are closed.
Even if those things are opened where you are, many parents are still not comfortable with letting their kids participate. They are worried about the virus and don’t want their kids to catch it or spread it. And if your family isn’t that concerned, the parents of your teen’s friends might be, in which case the friends aren’t available.
So. I am concerned about tweens and teens not only being bored and wasting time, but I’m worried about this generation’s mental health. Anxiety and depression are on the rise. Let’s give the kids some direction.
I created this free weekly summer planner to help teens and tweens make a plan and organize their life! I want to help them have a purpose and enjoy life. I made it weekly instead of daily since it’s summer – we don’t want to be too organized. If you’d rather have a daily planner, click here
How to use the summer planner for tweens and teens
I’ve divided the weekly planner into sections to help kids organize their thoughts before planning their week.
Just like in my article about the daily planner for teens, I’m going to switch my tone here, mom. This summer planner is for tweens and teens – so I’m going to explain it to them.
First of all, write this week’s date at the top of your planner.
The Top Three section is for your main goals of the week. The things that you really want to make sure you don’t forget to do. Sometimes it’ll be obvious to you which things are most important to do. If that’s the case, go ahead and fill them in. Maybe you have some new art supplies you’re excited to use or you really want to meet a certain friend for ice cream or maybe you want to start a YouTube channel. If you already have some ideas, go ahead and write them in.
But other weeks you don’t really know what you want to do. That’s okay – I’ve got some ideas to help you. Start with the other sections and come back to the Top Three part later.
The Must Do’s section is a habit tracker. Have you heard of a habit tracker? It’s a way for you to get in the habit of doing the stuff you really have to do. There are certain things you have to do every day. So take a minute to think about what you need to do every day. I’ll help you brainstorm what that’s might be. Then you just fill them in on each line on the left and check them off when you do them each day (that’s what the letters are for, they represent the days of the week).
- Exercise – Everyone needs daily exercise to feel good. Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones that has a built-in activity planned for this during the summer like swim team practice. But lots of kids have had stuff like that canceled. So you might have to get creative. You could go for a jog or a bike ride, walk the dog, jump on the trampoline, play something outside with your sibling, learn a new Tiktok dance, or find an exercise video on Youtube that you can try. There are dance lessons, yoga routines, and lots more available. See what you can find! It might not be what you really want to do, but you’ve got to make yourself move or you’ll feel crummy.
- Reading – Read every day. It’s good for you. Hopefully, you love to read and I don’t have to tell you to do it because you already are. If you don’t really want to read, talk to your parents about it. Your family can decide what is a good goal for you. Maybe 20 or 30 minutes a day? Or if you really hate reading, maybe there is a different way you could use your mind without a screen each day. Perhaps you could spend some time drawing or writing in a journal.
- Learning – Is there some learning you can be doing this summer? Maybe you could spend 10-20 minutes a day on Duolingo to keep up with your language learning, or maybe you could go onto Khan Academy and keep up your math skills or something else. Or maybe you could take guitar lessons on Youtube, or work on a workbook like this to keep up your school skills.
- Chores – What are you supposed to help out with every day? Maybe unloading the dishwasher, feeding the cat, watering the garden, or making your bed? Write it in and check it off.
Should do’s/ Want to’s
Brainstorm everything you can think of that you should do or want to do this week and write it in this section. When you set up your planner next week, you can start by moving whatever didn’t get checked off this week to next week’s list.
Yes, I’m telling you that you have to have fun! I think this Covid-19 thing has decreased the fun in everyone’s life, and teens are really suffering from it. Even though your life has been rearranged for you, you still need to have fun! Every day! Maybe it’s not exciting fun, but there needs to be some pleasant time in which you’re doing something you enjoy.
There’s a good chance you’ve been feeling down lately. That’s okay – let’s work together to make it better! This may sound strange to you, but sometimes us humans have to make an effort to be happy. In normal times this is usually just an issue for adults that get too caught up in work and responsibilities and forget to take time for themselves. Normally, kids have some social time built into every day because of lunchtime at school, sports and clubs, and that sort of thing. But right now, many of us don’t have those normal things happening.
A good way to get started on this is to grab a blank piece of paper or make a Google Doc and brainstorm all the things you’d like to do for fun. Let me help a bit to get you started:
- Hobbies you already have – art, crafts, an instrument, singing, baking, etc.
- Activities you love to do – video games, TikTok, watching movies, reading, etc.
- Friends – You probably aren’t getting to see your friends as often as you used to. So, plan for friend time. Put your friends on your list, and think about what you can do to increase your friend time. You’re going to have to make an effort – yeah, it’s weird. If you are allowed to see your friends right now, great! Right now for our family, my kids can see one or two friends at a time. That’s different from before, but it’s okay. And outdoor activities are the best choice. Could you meet up with a friend for Starbucks or ice cream? Or go for a socially distanced walk? I’ve seen people in my neighborhood walking together with one on the sidewalk and one next to the curb in the street. Or could you meet at a park and each bring your own towel or chair to sit on? Maybe each pack your own lunch and then hang out on the grass and eat together. Yeah, it’s different, but it’s okay. And you NEED to spend time with friends. If your parents don’t want you meeting up with a friend in person, then figure out how to virtually see your friends. Texting, Facetiming, etc. Maybe you could Facetime a friend while you’re both drawing. Or get on Xbox Live. Or play together on a Minecraft server, or play together in Roblox or another online game. If you have more ideas for me, please comment below!
- Family – You’ve probably been spending way more time with your family than usual. It might be a good idea to mix things up and do some new stuff together. It’s summer, so hopefully they have some extra time to spend with you. Anything in particular you’d want to do with them? Board games? Puzzles? Crafts? Teach your parents your favorite video games or computer games? Binge-watch something? Write it on your list. Also, think about the family that doesn’t live with you – maybe grandparents? Aunts and uncles? Cousins? Think about what you can do to connect with them. Facetiming, phone calls, emails…this is an especially hard time for our elderly family members. Think about what you could do to make their lives more pleasant and connect with them. We play Words With Friends on our phones with our grandparents – maybe you could do something like that.
- Need more ideas for activities? Read my article about what to do if you’re bored.
All right, now that you’ve brainstormed fun things, write some on your weekly summer planner. Pick 1-3 things that you want to do first and put them in your For Fun section. Maybe add some more to your Should do’s/Want to’s section.
Planning your week
So once you have an idea of what you want to do this week, you’re ready to fill in the schedule. Write in anything that is connected to a certain day, first. If you have any classes you’re taking or something you have to go to, write it down.
Otherwise, it’s totally up to you to decide how you want to fill in your week. You can make a plan for which days you’ll do what if you want, or you can just leave it mostly blank and check things off in the other sections.
The whole point of the Summer Weekly Planner is to help you think about how you spend your days and be purposeful. At the end of each week, you want to be able to look back and remember the fun things you did, and also be able to feel like you accomplished something. You helped your family keep the house nice for example, or you had a pleasant conversation with Grandma, or you practiced your Spanish so you don’t lose the progress you made during the school year, or you took some steps to work towards a goal.
Whatever it is you want or need to do, you will be most happy and successful if you have a plan – even if it’s a loose plan. So good luck! Please pin and share this article with others! And if you have ideas for me, please comment below! I hope you have a wonderful summer.