Tired of your teen sitting at the computer screen all day? While there is no problem with getting some tech time in, your teen should also be exploring things often. My teens and I naturally explore something just about every day. Together, we have become experts on the natural areas we have access to. Enhancing exploration skills in teens helps contribute to problem-solving skills needed throughout life. It also keeps the mind active and can be soothing to the soul. Even if your teen isn't open to the idea at first, you'll likely see her grow into it sooner than you think.
Make the outdoors a part of every day. Spending lots of time outside helps foster imagination skills, which often leads to exploring. Make sure your teen goes outdoors often, preferably every day. Mock treasure hunts and geocaching can make it interesting and help hone important exploration skills. They don't necessarily need to be on a quest every time. Even playing sports, reading a book, or painting a picture outside will help. My teens love to be outside more than in and that's probably mostly due to the fact that being outside is natural in our family.
Take nature walks and hikes often. You may think your teen will not agree to this activity. But teens naturally need to exert energy and explore. This allows for both. They may groan at first, but many teens will likely get more into this once they try it. For motivation, try giving them a camera to snap photos along the way. You can also set specific goals to accomplish. For instance, you can ask your teen to spot specific plants or animals, overcome certain obstacles, or walk a specific distance. When distance is a factor, be sure to increase difficulty. When we first started walking the trails, a mile or so was the goal. Now it is not unusual for my teens and I to walk several times that distance when we take to the trails.
Send them to camp. Many camps, be they daytime or extended stay, offer adventurous activities. Do your research and find one that offers many chances to explore. Camps that are located among nature scenes are the best option for this. For instance, a camp located in the mountains is probably going to be more adventurous on a daily basis than one located in the middle of the city. But don't let them fool you. Make sure that their activities and itinerary line up with what your teen is looking for in terms of exploration.
Visit archaeological sites. We currently live in a state where dinosaurs used to roam freely. Because of this, there are places not far from our house that have live archaeological dig sites. Some of them allow kids to participate in the excavation. If you don't have a dig site near you, you can create mock ones in your backyard. While the real deal is better, teens will enjoy and learn exploration via the mock site as well. If you are creating a mock site, you can change the subject often. For instance, some themes may be Native American artifacts, Egyptian tombs, or '"lost cities."
Go on mountain adventures. Panning for gold is just one of the many exciting adventures that can happen in the mountains. The winding trails can be exciting as well. Skiing, camping, hiking, water rafting, and biking are all activities suitable for adventures in the mountains with teens. The mountains hold many adventures and mysteries just waiting for you and your teen to discover.
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