Jump to content

What's with the ads?


Photo

25 Things a Teen Boy Can Do Besides Play Computer Games!

teen advice

  • Please log in to reply
47 replies to this topic

What's with the ads?

#1 Faithr

Faithr

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2459 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 07:25 AM

It's summer. Computer game playing has gone way up. My 15 yo is pretty addicted. In a couple of weeks that is going to change when we start 10th grade. I'm trying to come up with a long list of things a teen boy can do besides play on the computer or sit in front of a tv. We live in an area that is really only accessible to civilization if I drive him places. So I'd prefer that most of these things not entail me driving him some place.

I've got a couple of ideas: We have this nice pool table that hardly gets played on anymore. This was my dh's big indulgence when we finished our basement, 7 years ago. At first it got a lot of play but now that teen boy is actually old enough to really play it, it goes unnoticed. So one thing would be to become a great pool player. Another is wood carving. My son got a very nice knife and he had shown a little bit of interest in this hobby before it got eclipsed by gaming.

Anybody have any other suggestions for what a teen boy can do when the screens are off? I was just thinking of posting a long list of suggestions on his bedroom door, just to jump start him. I know he'll be really busy with school also, but all school and gaming makes Jack a dull boy! There's got to more to life!

#2 Guest_Barb B_*

Guest_Barb B_*
  • Guests

Posted 27 July 2010 - 07:33 AM

:lurk5: Great topic!

Barb

#3 mamato3 all-boy boys

mamato3 all-boy boys

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 988 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 07:34 AM

:lurk5:
I have an 11 year old.....he only has 30 min. of screen time/day, but I know the temptation is greater. I'll be lurking to learn more for the future!



One of the things I've always dreamed for my boys is that they acquire a skill that could make them some side money in the future --- carpentry, small engine repair, compute repair -- so that they could use it to work their way through school, or the lean times of employment, etc. Perhaps you can explore something like that with him?

I was also thinking about cooking. Many of the world's best chefs are male, what a great talent to have! (but I realize the mind of a 15 year old is much different than an 11 yo, so take my suggestions with a grain of salt

#4 Guest_KaciMI_*

Guest_KaciMI_*
  • Guests

Posted 27 July 2010 - 07:42 AM

We're learning card games. One new one a day.

He LOVES Pokemon card games, but has no one to play them with. He doesn't like to play with me, 'cause I beat him. There is a Pokemon card club that we go to every Monday. Some of the kids/moms want to meet up and do other things, too, but he NEVER wants to. SHY??? Loner???

We're not doing board games, just 'cause I hate them. But may have to.

Old movies, his style... westerns, etc.

We have a pool, so he has to swim 15 mins. a day

Three times a week, I make him take his bike for a ride. Or skateboard.

We're still doing school, 'cause he's behind, so that takes about 1-1/2 hrs.


By the way, he balks at all of this.

#5 LatinTea

LatinTea

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 506 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 07:50 AM

I would take the '15 yo teen' out of the title and replace that with 'person'. Or 15 yo dd or 19 yo ds or 47 yo dh!! Last night, they were ALL loving up that computer screen and leaving me to fend for myself. So I was sad, but then got on the computer myself. Ugh, the joys of the modern world. :glare:

Back to the your question. I only have one right now. We used to play board games more often. It's always hard to get everyone to sit down now and do that, but when we have in the past, it was almost always a fun time.

I am very interested to read all the replies. :bigear:

#6 Sherry in OH

Sherry in OH

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1072 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 08:04 AM

He is 15? Learn about cars! He could learn how to change oil, change tires, and other basic auto mechanic skills. If he is mechanically inclined, find old engines for him to take apart and rebuild.

#7 Hockey Mom

Hockey Mom

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1425 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 08:18 AM

I have my teen pulling weeds right now. :D

Could you have your teen and younger kids build a fort in the back yard together? Ana White has some plans on her website. Seems like a project like that would take a few weeks.

Your siggy says he's an aspiring cartoonist. How about having him illustrate one of his favorite books? Or turn a classic novel into a graphic novel?

#8 amtmcm

amtmcm

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Registered
  • PipPip
  • 1263 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 08:33 AM

He is 15? Learn about cars! He could learn how to change oil, change tires, and other basic auto mechanic skills. If he is mechanically inclined, find old engines for him to take apart and rebuild.


I love this one! My dad made me learn how to change a tire, check my oil, etc...when I was a teen. I was grumpy about it at the time, but it came in really handy!

Video games is a battle at our house too. My girls have to do 1 hour of productive activities to earn 1 hour of screen time.

DD13 spends 20 min doing art lessons (Barry Stebbins) , 20 min reading the Bible, and 20 min exercising.

DD10 spends 20 min practicing piano, 20 min reading a book and 20 min exercising.

For exercise they usually jump on the trampoline, swim at the neighborhood pool, take the dog for a walk or walk on the treadmill. This is the toughest one to get them to do right now since it's so blazing hot on Texas and no one wants to be outside.

DD10 is very kinesthetic, so DH has started building things with her to give her a hobby. Last week they built a birdhouse and painted it. The next project is a trundle bed that she wants. Of course, he does all the cutting, but she can use the drill (with dad's help) and hammer.

#9 ouzel

ouzel

    Hive Mind Worker Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 60 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 08:50 AM

This is a great topic and I look forward to hearing everyone's thoughts! We don't have any computer games or the like at our house, but my sons (12 and 14 yo) join in on the gaming at their cousin's house. It drives me crazy that they do this over backyard games or the nice pool table.

Here at home, we've chosen to forgo the whole computer gaming world and my sons actually support us on this. We live a 15 minute drive to the nearest town and have no television reception, so my sons have been creative with their spare time. I've asked my sons to help me create a list of things to do. My comments are in brackets.

#1 Run. [Both boys are training for cross country. They love this! The book Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall has inspired our whole family. It is an adult book, so I advice you pre-read and make sure it is appropriate for your son/daughter.]
#2 Jump on a trampoline [if you have one]
#3 Learn to identify all the birds that live around your house by sight and sound. Keep a yard list of the species. [My sons have identified 120 or so species here and enter data into the Cornell's e-bird website. Birds are their passion.]
#4 Get a good butterfly net and learn to identify the butterflies and dragonflies around your house and neighborhood. [This is a newer area for my sons. They catch, photograph, identify, and carefully release. They are keeping records of what they find.]
#5 Play card and board games. Design and play your own board games.
#6 Build bird houses and monitor them. Keep records. [Depending on where you live, this can be very rewarding! We've got Violet-green Swallow chicks in one of our houses right now. Earlier, we had nesting White-breasted Nuthatches, House Wrens, and Western Bluebirds - all but bluebirds were successful.]
#7 Learn to cook and come up with your own recipes.

~Renee

#10 ouzel

ouzel

    Hive Mind Worker Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 60 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 08:58 AM

Indeed, car, bike, and house maintenance are all essential skills!!! Knowing how to grow your own food is a huge bonus! Processing food (making salsa, etc) is another great life skill. I'm forever thankful to my father for teaching me (his daughter) to work on cars, do household repairs, trim trees, build structures, etc.
~Renee

#11 gpsings

gpsings

    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 365 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:00 AM

I like the 1 hour of productive time for 1 hour of screen time. Thanks for the idea!
I'm watching this thread! :lurk5:

#12 Guest_KaciMI_*

Guest_KaciMI_*
  • Guests

Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:05 AM

getting these boys to do these things willingly!

Love the ideas. I do have 'How Great Thou Art' and we have a piano and car, but my son will associate it all with school! He is SUPER talented in computers, even re-built my husband's. I just want him to get away from them and make friends (real, not virtual).

However, I am going to use some of these ideas with my 16 yr. dd. she's bored and willing to try anything. Yesterday we dug the old card game 'Millebourne' out. What fun.

#13 Faithr

Faithr

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2459 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:07 AM

Thanks everyone. I have to run out the door now, but these are great ideas. I agree about the car/engine repair skills. Also I think he should learn to do some simple electronics stuff, like wiring a lamp, that sort of thing. I also think he should work on frisbee throwing and basketball. He doesn't do much sports except for tennis but the teen group he meets with once a week plays ultimate frisbee when the weather is nice and basketball in the church gym when it isn't nice out. But he shies away from both of these which makes him really awkward socially. And he's already an introvert, so he has a very hard time fitting in.

Anyway we off to Mount Vernon for a fieldtrip. I'll check back later. Meanwhile I'm thinking, thinking, thinking.

Thanks again.

#14 Leanna

Leanna

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1372 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:08 AM

My 15 yo is completely in charge of all yard work and landscaping. Now that it is completely his responsibility, he owns it. His confidence gets a huge boost when others compliment our property and we reply, "Our son does it all."

Also, we got our ds several computer programming books. We required work in those before allowing game time. Now he doesn't even play games; he prefers to program. He even gets calls from his grandparents and my friends for "tech support". ;)

I think boys at this age really benefit from real work rather than hobbies. This summer, along with yard work, my ds has: stained a deck, painted a bathroom, repaired a drywall hole, painted my front porch rockers, and learned to use the recording equipment at church. Did he WANT to do these things? No way! Does he feel confident now that he can? You bet!

BTW- He learned how to repair drywall online. I figured it couldn't look any worse than the hole, but he did a great job!

One of my pet peeves is that so many men and women (including myself when I got married) do not know how to do basic things around the house. If we don't let our kids figure this stuff out now, they'll be having to figure it out while balancing a job and family.

#15 jcross222

jcross222

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 150 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:15 AM

Even though my kids are still pre-teens, I have similar struggles. My current suggestions are learning to play an instrument and digital photography. A small investment in a used guitar and keyboard and free access to my digital camera really got the ball rolling.
They now have a limit of 30 min computer time daily and fill the rest of their free time with these pursuits.:001_smile:

#16 MeanestMomInMidwest

MeanestMomInMidwest

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1451 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:16 AM

My 10 year old solicits broken XBox360s from his friends and all of our acquaintances (our 20 year old babysitter brings him some from her friends). He fixes them. He has yet to find one he cannot fix, but even if he can't fix it, well, it was broken when he got it so no big deal. These come from people who would throw the XBoxes away, so instead they give them to ds.

One of his aunts is going to give him an old computer. Ds plans to replace the motherboard and see if he can get the old computer upgraded.

As you can tell, he is very tech-oriented. If a kid is very interested in computer games, learning about how the computer works could be interesting and (trust me) it takes a lot of time. Ds uses the internet to find fixes and I take him in to talk to the very nice guys at our locally-owned, independent computer shop.

#17 silliness7

silliness7

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2593 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:19 AM

I just had 2 teen boys (13) over yesterday and my 13yo makes 3 plus my almost 12 year old. They were getting antsy in the morning waiting to go swimming and I was also trying to keep them away from the allure of the computer games. I was successful with all but 1 when I suggested they bake something yummy.

Those boys whipped up a Boston Creme Pie totally from scratch all on their own that was amazing!!

#18 MeanestMomInMidwest

MeanestMomInMidwest

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1451 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:19 AM

My 15 yo is completely in charge of all yard work and landscaping. Now that it is completely his responsibility, he owns it. His confidence gets a huge boost when others compliment our property and we reply, "Our son does it all."

Also, we got our ds several computer programming books. We required work in those before allowing game time. Now he doesn't even play games; he prefers to program. He even gets calls from his grandparents and my friends for "tech support". ;)

I think boys at this age really benefit from real work rather than hobbies. This summer, along with yard work, my ds has: stained a deck, painted a bathroom, repaired a drywall hole, painted my front porch rockers, and learned to use the recording equipment at church. Did he WANT to do these things? No way! Does he feel confident now that he can? You bet!

BTW- He learned how to repair drywall online. I figured it couldn't look any worse than the hole, but he did a great job!

One of my pet peeves is that so many men and women (including myself when I got married) do not know how to do basic things around the house. If we don't let our kids figure this stuff out now, they'll be having to figure it out while balancing a job and family.


I agree! My ds loves the website instructables for this. He claims he can learn to do anything on the internet! Watch out though, because some of the projects really require adult supervision (like welding).

#19 proudmamma

proudmamma

    Hive Mind Royal Larvae

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 634 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:20 AM

This is a wonderful resource for me right now! Please keep the ideas coming! Here's my contribution :)

How about animal husbandry... We have a small farm and they are in charge of feeding, watering, cleaning stalls/pens, etc. Also, figuring out when the animals need deworming, etc. and keeping track of it all would be great.


:lurk5:

#20 slr1765

slr1765

    Too old and crabby

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1547 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:22 AM

My 14 yo and I just had this discussion yesterday. One thing we came up with is to run the local marathon. So every day he is going to go running and build up his strength and stamina to run a 15K. He's a baseball player so this will have the side benefit of cross training. He's also going job hunting so he could work a couple of days a week and start putting money away for a car. And finally he's going to join Teen Court. It's only one day a week but I think he'll really enjoy the process and maybe one day be brave enough to be one of the lawyers. Right now he just wants to be a juror but it's a start.

I'm really interested in all the replies since this is something near and dear to my heart.

#21 Pensguys

Pensguys

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1145 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:25 AM

I figure if MY computer time isn't limited, then why should theirs be cut down to 30 min? We all do other things but sometimes spend longer hours (yes hours) on the computer.

School time will be here in a few more weeks for us as will fall baseball, more church activities and my oldest is training with myself and my husband to run a half marathon. He is running 3-4 days/week and I'm running 5 days/week.

#22 KnitWit

KnitWit

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3273 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:37 AM

We live *out* and have 5 acres. My 10 and 12yo sons are in charge of mowing/weeding/tending the garden etc.

We have also had a huge decluttering/cleaning project going on and they are contributing to that.

My dh has a shop and they work with him some.

They read a lot.

Do you have anything that needs to be painted or repaired on the house?
Big projects are good! My boys have learned lots of *handy-man repairs*. LOL!

#23 ouzel

ouzel

    Hive Mind Worker Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 60 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:47 AM

I love Leanna's post! I agree about the value of real work. My sons help manage the weeds and the forest on our land. They are responsible for checking oil and some car and house maintenance. They barter at a local farm (all aspects of farming) and are helping out on a community art project (mosaic). They get jobs from neighbors (dog sitting to refinishing patio furniture to yard chores).

We do encourage their hobbies, which has given them some real work opportunities. They band birds about 3 mornings a week in the spring and fall, are responsible for a breeding bird survey region, and have just been asked to edit a feature for a professional journal.

Right now? 14 YO son is doing math. We do school work year round, so they can participate in the above projects. 12 YO son is out documenting Violet-green Swallows on the verge of fledging. They really don't have time for computer games.

I think boys at this age really benefit from real work rather than hobbies. This summer, along with yard work, my ds has: stained a deck, . . .

One of my pet peeves is that so many men and women (including myself when I got married) do not know how to do basic things around the house. If we don't let our kids figure this stuff out now, they'll be having to figure it out while balancing a job and family.



#24 amtmcm

amtmcm

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Registered
  • PipPip
  • 1263 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 10:29 AM


How about animal husbandry... We have a small farm and they are in charge of feeding, watering, cleaning stalls/pens, etc. Also, figuring out when the animals need deworming, etc. and keeping track of it all would be great.


This is great! My kids would love to live on a farm. Maybe I can loan them out? :)

DD13's hamster just had babies (courtesy of the pet store). So she is reading up on how to care for them and the mom and spending a lot time on that right now.

#25 74Heaven

74Heaven

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1046 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 11:35 AM

Build a ladder with scrap lumber. Last year, I cut 2 2x4s about 5 or 6 ft. long; measured a ladder to see how far apart the steps should be then cut that many 2x4s (5 I think) that were so many inches long (15"? 16?" can't recall) and then they laid out the boards and put the 2x4s on top of them measured so many inches apart and nailed them in place. This was all scrap lumber. The 9yo did it mostly himself and gave some aid to the 6yo. It took me about 15min to set up the project, explain how to use a level and I drew "lines" where each 2x4 should sit for the "steps" and I did the nailing of the first 2x4; then the boys took over. They worked for 2-3 hours and both made 2 ladders. The steps are slightly crooked but they work fine and are standing up against trees in the forest; are used for little projects and I have 2 proud boys :). Yes, I worried a bit about hammer dangers, hollered a few warnings; but it was fine. These are very heavy ladders so they aren't the most useful, but it was a fun DIY project.

#26 Nan in Mass

Nan in Mass

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7649 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 01:24 PM

These are some of the things mine are doing/have done. I've left out some things and I'm sure there are ones I don't know about. The list reads sort of like that old American Boys Handy Book and is what happens when you let them run wild in the woods and shore. Mine are older (youngest is now 16) but most of these things are things they did or are doing in high school:

Build a skimboard, collect up friends, and go to the beach. There are bikinis at the beach, providing endless entertainment for teenage boys. Sigh. The homemade skimboards seem to work better than the bought ones for older teens and they spend hours and hours throwing, running, and jumping. Every once in a while, I wonder what will happen if they break their arm when they are a mile down the beach out of sight, but at least they aren't surfboarding. This year, one of the older ones is doing that, which I find much more worrisome. The youngest discovered that his French is a useful way to approach the bikinis. His older brothers can't decide whether to be proud of him or outraged at his boldness.

Go fishing. This wasn't so bad when they did it off the dock, but after 16, they tend to vanish into the open ocean for the day in the tiny motorboat. They hook themselves occasionally, but yank out the hook without me being involved, so I don't worry about that. It pales beside the issue of drowning.

Climb trees. I used to consider this a good occupation, until middle one unfortunately realized that he could use the rock-climbing knots he learned at boy scout camp to rappel down the really big ones.

Archery. They are pretty good about this, but now that they are bigger, their bows could easily kill someone. Mostly, though, I worry about the holes that get poked in the trees when they miss the target.

Candy making. Fudge is easy. Nachos are popular, too. So are various other cooking projects. If you make pudding and freeze it, it makes pretty good fudgicles.

Campfires. Cooking bits of steak on a stick will keep them occupied for a long time. It isn't very good for my canoe, though, because they tend to throw the firewood into it from some distance up the yard. Just be prepared for them to return well after dark (if they come back) with no lights on the boat.

Audio books and a hammock. This one is pretty harmless. For some reason, Gaudy Night is a favourite. Or real books. Captain Blood, Lindsey Davis mysteries (not exactly suitable in spots), Hornblower, Midshipman Quinn, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy are all favourites, even with the non-readers.

House chores. These always seem to require extension ladders or the chain saw or the sawsall, which I find worrisome.

Sailing. Canoeing. Kayaking. Backpacking. Hiking. Most of these I am pretty good at not worrying about, even when it involves not hearing from them for a few days. I try not to think about the time one of their friends broke his arm badly going off a rope swing. Fortunately, that was only an afternoon trip and there were other people around.

Working on cars.

Adding motors to things that aren't meant to have motors, like scooters or bikes.

Projectiles like potato cannons and trebuchets.

Kites.

Paper airplanes and balsawood airplanes. The windup ones can keep a boy occupied for an afternoon, especially if you supply them with a couple of them and a knife and the white glue and suggest they fly them through the woods.

Origami.

Chess, settlers, and other board games.

A mask and fins. Again, they tend to vanish for long times and I worry about them getting hit by motor boats, but these are a huge success, especially if you provide them with a snorkle and a tube as well.

Darts. Pingpong.

One of mine likes to grow hot peppers. They all do yard work.

Fixing up old lawn tractors and then driving them around (not mowing the lawn).

Dragging each other around with the motorboat. The engine isn't big enough for them to waterski or tube, but that doesn't stop them from half-drowning a brother clinging to the end of a rope until his hands give out.

Water rockets. Estes rockets. Stomp rockets.

Borrowing the car to go places. This I always find worrisome.

Going to a movie. We discourage this one because it is expensive.

Larps. D+D. Warhammer.

Camping in the yard. This is pretty tame, provided they actually stay in the yard, something I was never too sure about.

Building a shed or some other sort of alternative living space for themselves.

Working.

Lifeguarding.

Carving. A chess set is a fun project and can be made from sticks found in the woods.

Comic books. These have gotten progressively more sophisticated as they have gotten older. I'm sure there are some they don't show me.

Drawing (a favourite occupation while listening to a book). This is a look into their fantasies, a bit disconcerting. Weapons. Girls. Twisted humour...

Little electronics kits. Make magazine has a good selection of these.

Sewing costumes.

Inventing things.

Terrorizing the local wildlife. If it moves, it can be hunted. Sigh. They don't hurt anything on purpose.

Whitewings.

Disc golf.

Bocci.

Legos.

Skateboarding.

You know, listing all this out makes me realize why I don't think of summer as a relaxing time... I generally let them play as much on the computer as they want, in the summer, and they usually play intensively for a few weeks and then get bored and move on to doing something else.

-nan

Edited by Nan in Mass, 27 July 2010 - 01:38 PM.


#27 Brindee

Brindee

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5731 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 01:32 PM

I would take the '15 yo teen' out of the title and replace that with 'person'. Or 15 yo dd or 19 yo ds or 47 yo dh!! Last night, they were ALL loving up that computer screen and leaving me to fend for myself. So I was sad, but then got on the computer myself. Ugh, the joys of the modern world. :glare:

Back to the your question. I only have one right now. We used to play board games more often. It's always hard to get everyone to sit down now and do that, but when we have in the past, it was almost always a fun time.

I am very interested to read all the replies. :bigear:

This could've been written by me--just with a 13yo dd, 16yo ds, 19yo ds, and my dh AND me! :D Same things--everyone gets on, and we have less fames and things together. The worst culprit is the 19yo! Not sure how to get him off that thing when he has his own laptop! :glare: We're ALL guilty though, I'm just having a hard time getting out of this rut we're in! We're all older, so little tokens and things won't work anymore. I'm glad they didn't get into this until they were older, but now....

I'm listening too! :bigear: :lurk5:

#28 Brindee

Brindee

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5731 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 01:36 PM

I was also thinking about cooking. Many of the world's best chefs are male, what a great talent to have! (but I realize the mind of a 15 year old is much different than an 11 yo, so take my suggestions with a grain of salt

My 16yo is a GREAT cook! He's thought of being a chef, but is not sure right now what he wants to do. As a matter of fact, he makes the best banana bread EVER! (He's making some today--yippee!) :D He also knows how to shop for the best prices/deals, and remembers to check details--like ingredients, sizes, etc. I'm fairly good at that, but he catches me sometimes! :D I think it's great he's so good at that!

I'd encourage your son to consider that if he's interested!

#29 Pam H

Pam H

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 422 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 01:55 PM

Here is our "Bored" list:

Origami
puzzles
logic games
drawing
watercolors
pastels
charcoal
playdough
pattern blocks
tangrams
woodburning
engraving
leather tooling
model rocketry
photography
capsulas
legos
magic tricks
card games
knot tying
model building
organizing collections
secret and real life codes
electronic kits
chemistry kits
star gazing juggling
candle making
plaster molding and painting
paper airplanes
yo yo tricks
magnet play
jacks and marbles
soap carving
calligraphy
harmonica playing puppetry
computer software
reading
military strategies
cooking
send off for free stuff in the mail
pen pals
write letters to relatives
teach dog tricks

My 15yo taught himself to solve a rubic cube and taught himself to play the guitar by watching youtube videos. Now he plays in a praise band. =)

#30 Nan in Mass

Nan in Mass

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7649 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 02:14 PM

Reading this list makes me remember things I forgot... How could I forget the rubic's cube or the dog LOL. Marbles worked for my teens for several summers. They made moccasins. Magic tricks are popular. So are card tricks. And Ashley's Book of Knots has provided hours and hours of entertainment. So has the guitar. It is amazing how fast two of them picked it up. I guess all those piano lessons were worth it.
-Nan

Edited by Nan in Mass, 27 July 2010 - 02:39 PM.


#31 sadiegirl

sadiegirl

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1116 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 03:16 PM

I have 2 boys ages 13 1/2 and one that will be 15 in a month.

They love to play golf. One is more like me and likes to talk but my oldest is quiet-much the introvert and so golf is a great game for him! My husband started them when they were quite young as he said it is a sport you can play for a lifetime and play with children/spouses/friends/parents. Teaches discipline, and patience for sure!

Fishing...we live on a lake so this is a great thing for my boys.

Rockclimbing...fun and once again, he doesn't have to talk to anyone...plus the indoor climbing places offer great training.

Pottery/art classes at local art museum.

#32 DebbS

DebbS

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 301 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 04:39 PM

I kick mine out of the house with his skateboard, bike or whatever so that he does something/anything(well not just anything) else. Kids can figure out how to entertain themselves if they have to. Also, he's taken up guitar and we're paying him to do some work around our house that we would have to pay somebody else if not him. At age 15, I had a job, but around here unemployment is so high that there are very few jobs to be found.

#33 NeonCat

NeonCat

    Hive Mind Larvae

  • Members
  • 38 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 08:50 PM

All things in moderation is the key, I think. My 16 y.o. plays computer games, but also enjoys many of the activites others have mentioned (golf, bocce, ping pong, horseshoes...). I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned the board game "Carcassone" - I've found that my son & his computer game lovin' friends like it. Also, as other posters have stated, playing a musical instrument is a rewarding investment of time.

#34 Jenn in CA

Jenn in CA

    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 494 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:42 PM

Nan mentioned projectiles. The book Backyard Ballistics is super-inspiring and full of fun projects.

Also, have to add, I love Carcasonne. I scored a super-set of the game plus 4 or 5 expansion sets, in almost new condition, for $3.50 at Goodwill... and when I opened it there was a $5 bill inside!! Woo hoo!

Meanwhile my boys are spending a good amount of their summer on the couch. :-)

Website design is a fun project & skill although it's screen-based.

Another thing boys can do, that's productive but also screen-based, is research colleges & majors. Then there's study for the PSAT & SAT.

#35 DebbS

DebbS

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 301 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 10:00 PM

Another thing boys can do, that's productive but also screen-based, is research colleges & majors. Then there's study for the PSAT & SAT.


:) Those suggestions would make my son flee to the outdoors.

#36 Tina

Tina

    Hive Mind Royal Larvae

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 691 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 10:28 PM

No one's mentioned air guns or paintball guns. An afternoon in the woods is good. ;)

#37 mompotter

mompotter

    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 386 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 10:44 PM

We are going back to one hour of screen time for every half hour spent outside (we live in a city with a small back yard or I would require more). Basically this translates to basketball or soccer in the back yard in exchange for screen time.

Weeding
cleaning the garage
tearing apart something (I had to pull nails out of boards and stack them all from an old barn when I was about that age. Lots of thinking time.)
care for a pet
learn an instrument (guitar)
learn computer science
web building or blogging
read
play games
learn chess
bike riding
basketball (or sport of choice)
develop a hobby (research, practice, etc.)

#38 TerriMI

TerriMI

    Hive Mind Level 3 Worker: Honeymaking Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 184 posts

Posted 27 July 2010 - 10:50 PM

Work on the 1000 Good Books list. Some of them are online, free.

Imitate somebody's (his favorite author's?) writing. Just a passage or longer.

#39 Faithr

Faithr

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2459 posts

Posted 28 July 2010 - 06:36 AM

The whole problem is moderation. He seems incapable of it. That's why I want to post a list! And the other big trouble is that I seem incapable of monitoring screen time effectively. I'm too busy to keep an eye on it, plus I can see doing that for a younger kid, but at 15 I think he needs to learn himself how to make wise choices. He's too close to adulthood for mommy to be standing over him.

I made a list completely tailored to my son but maybe others would find it inspirational. I had forgotten about air guns. He lately has gotten into shooting but because of recent back surgery he can't handle a shotgun quite yet. The kick back is too great. But his friend has airguns and he loves them. So that would be a great thing to add to his list. I'm thinking a really great Christmas present for him!

Some of his actions are restricted because of back problems, some are restricted because I simply can't drive him some place every time he's bored and I don't want him on the screen. This was just to get make him realized there ARE other things to do. If I leave him to his own devices he just walks around the backyard daydreaming (which isn't the worst thing in the world but it isn't engaging in the world either).

I broke the list up into different categories, Life Skills, Body Building (I will have to drive him to swimming which is fine!), Helping Around the House is stuff he mostly does already but not frequently enough! Also I desperately need him to learn how to work the trimmer. Our yard looks terrible! For Hobbies - Tillie is our Sheltie and we are joining the 4H dog group this fall to train her in agility. Doing all 25 of these is just too much but if he picks one or two from life skills to work on this coming year, one or two things from body building to focus on, tightens up on all the Helping Around the House stuff and picks two hobbies to dabble in, I'll be very pleased! And I think his narrow world will open up quite a bit. I actually don't mind gaming that much. I think it has its benefits as well. But when it takes over one's life to the point of neglect of other things that are important, it becomes dangerous.

Here's my list:

25 Things to do Besides Computer

Life Skills:

1. Paint your bedroom (really needs it!)

2. Learn to wire a lamp

3. Learn to change a tire, change oil and how an engine works

4. Carpentry projects with dad

5. Learn how to fix different machines

6. Learn how to cook

7. Pray regularly and intentionally

Body building:

8. Biking

9. Hiking/walking

10. Elliptical work out

11. Weightlifting

12. Calisthenics

13. Frisbee practice

14. Basketball practice

15. Swimming

Helping around the house:

16. Keep room tidy

17. Do own laundry regularly

18. Help tidy house with mom

19. Weed garden

20. Mow lawn

21. Learn to use trimmer

Hobbies:

22. Wood carving/whittling

23. Learn to play the ocarina

24. Practice playing pool

25. Train Tillie in agility competition

Thanks everyone for all the contributions! I truly appreciate it! This turned into a great thread! I don't know how to turn off the centering function!!! LOL!




#40 Osmosis Mom

Osmosis Mom

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2813 posts

Posted 10 March 2011 - 07:50 AM

I realise this is an old thread, but interesting ideas!

I wanted to ask about Warhammer. Does your son enjoy this and how expensive does it get? There is a local group starting up, so I am looking into this for my two sons as they love playing Ages of Empire online.

#41 Nan in Mass

Nan in Mass

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7649 posts

Posted 10 March 2011 - 08:16 AM

This is naninmass's son talking here, she thought I could answer this post.

I run a local weekly battle gaming club, and we primarily play warhammer and warhammer 40, 000.

I highly recomend any variety of warhammer as an advanced strategy game. There are no age expectations, we have a 45 year old that comes every other week, and he brings his 8 year old boy with him.

If your children play Age of Empires online, then they should enjoy this game. It is the closest equivalent game that you can play without a computer. The major difference in this game is that a game of AOE is based in real time, and if you play for an hour it represents several hundred years in the game. In warhammer, we do the opposite. Each turn is 6-10 seconds of time in the game, but can take hours of carefull planning in real time.

How big is this game? You can expect to spend at least two hours playing a game, and more for larger games, but you will speed up as you adjust to the game type.

How expensive is the game? This is an extremely expensive game. But it can be played on the cheep. Most people use models from the company that produces warhammer to represent soldiers on the field. However, the companys prices mind blowingly high. However,there is no reason that you need to use the official warhammer models. When my group first started, we didnt have the funds to use the real models, so we used legos. Honestly, they are the way to go if you want a cheeper way to play the game. After you have tested this, and if you have decided you like it, then you can start buying the real models. And still you dont have to use the wahammer models, since neerly any scale model will work. Some people might complain that you arent using the official models, but if the local club has any decency at all, they wont turn you away just because you dont want to make that kind of commitment to the game until you know more about it. I highly recomend ebay.

How much work is the game? It takes a few games before you fully understand the rules. I have been playing this game for over 10 years now, and I still make mistakes. If you dont understand it all, or you get it wrong a few times, dont wory about it, its normal! No one gets the rule exactly right the first tiem. If there is a local group, then all the beter. Its no fun trying to learn to play by yourself, since it is so painstakingly slow that you quickly tire. What you want is someone who knows the rules well, and can teach you, give advice, and help you get the most out of your game. The other difficult aspect of the game is the modeling. If you play this game, people will expect you to make your own models. So grab a brush and some paints and try it. Dont wory about making them look like the photo's online, those are done by professionals. Dont wory about it at all, actualy. The paint can be cleaned of the models with a touth brush and a few cleaning agents you can buy online. So just try it, dont wory about what it looks like, and the more you paint the beter you will get and the more fun it will be. Again, a local group will be invaluable to you if you have never done this before.

If you are looking for a complex strategy game, then I warhammer is exactly what you want.

Edited by Nan in Mass, 10 March 2011 - 08:35 AM.


#42 Tarreymere

Tarreymere

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2160 posts

Posted 10 March 2011 - 08:55 AM

Well, actually, his interest in gaming could be the beginning of a career. Those games are really popular and the companies that own them are always adding on to them to keep their customers. They hire a lot of people and I understand the pay is pretty good. They look for people who can draw, people who can do computer amination, ect. Maybe you could go with his interests and encourage him to learn how to program a game or to do computer animation and have him look into careers in that field. Sounds like he has a natural interest there so instead of fighting it why not try to encourage it to encompass more than just playing the game?

#43 Osmosis Mom

Osmosis Mom

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2813 posts

Posted 10 March 2011 - 09:07 AM

Thanks, Nan's son and Rainefox. Perhaps if my boys end up liking it, they can go try your club! Sounds like a bit more engaging than AoE which is always a good thing!

Best,

Nadia

#44 Tarreymere

Tarreymere

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2160 posts

Posted 10 March 2011 - 09:10 AM

Here is a link to the jobs available page at Blizzard Entertainment, one of the biggest game companies:
http://us.blizzard.c...region=Americas

If your son finds some of those jobs interesting maybe he could look into what it would take to get hired in that field. Then you can encourage him to spend time on THAT, which would at least be related to something he is already interested in instead of trying to get him interested in something completely different.

#45 slr1765

slr1765

    Too old and crabby

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1547 posts

Posted 10 March 2011 - 09:29 AM

Here is a link to the jobs available page at Blizzard Entertainment, one of the biggest game companies:
http://us.blizzard.c...region=Americas

If your son finds some of those jobs interesting maybe he could look into what it would take to get hired in that field. Then you can encourage him to spend time on THAT, which would at least be related to something he is already interested in instead of trying to get him interested in something completely different.


You're brilliant! My son is always telling me this is the field he wants to go into so this link is exactly what I need to show him so he knows what it takes to get there. Thank you!

#46 Nan in Mass

Nan in Mass

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7649 posts

Posted 10 March 2011 - 11:15 AM

My son says they would be welcome. It is a fun group.
-Nan

#47 LBS

LBS

    Hive Mind Royal Larvae

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 658 posts

Posted 10 March 2011 - 12:45 PM

Join Boy Scouts: most of the ideas listed (cooking, car maintenance, dog training, etc.) are all merit badges in Scouting, and so much more. You can join pretty old and still acheive Eagle Scout.

Two new merit badges: Geocaching and Inventing! New this year!

LBS

#48 elegantlion

elegantlion

    Signed Model Release on File

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24935 posts

Posted 15 September 2011 - 09:37 AM

spam reported



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: teen advice

What's with the ads?