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Healthy Things For Teens To Do Over The Summer
Posted on Jul 29, 2013 by Samantha Lancaster (G+)
Summer in the UAE with teenagers can be tough. We share some ideas to keep them occupied during the vacation season
School’s out for summer and the mercury is soaring, which can make for a stifling and often volatile combination where adolescents are concerned. If you’re staying in the region over the holiday and dreading the “been there, done that” apathy, read on for some great tips to get your teens motivated and moving over the holidays.
Summer Camps and Workshops
Camps and workshops are a great way to focus your teenager’s attention, and help them hone a skill and gain confidence. Sports-related camps are the classic choice and plentiful in the region, and will get teens active – crucial for avoiding sedentary habits when school activities have come to a close. There are plenty of non-sporting camps, too. The trick is to ensure your teen is enrolled on a course that’s right for her, and that means ensuring the theme and age group are appropriate. Encourage your teen to explore something new and challenging, but be sensitive to their interests and preferences. Here’s our pick of some great camps and workshops:
Salon Educators Summer Hair Camp: This camp is split into two age groups; 14 to 16 years old and 16 plus, and is open to anyone wanting to learn more about hairdressing – be it simply for fun or for more professional aspirations. No experience is required and the timing is incredibly flexible. Courses can last just a day or go for an entire week. From AED 43.75 per hour.
Al Boom Diving and Watersports Camp: Run by the self-proclaim No.1 dive center in the UAE, the Al Boom Diving and Watersports Camp offers a range of options for teens including Junior Rescue Diver and Open Water Diver, all taught by highly qualified PADI instructors. Located at the Al Boom Atlantis Dive Centre at The Palm, Dubai, courses in watersports and diving are available for ages eight to 18 years. From AED 1,650.
Metamindz: For a unique summer experience, Metamindz offers project-based courses ideal for teens who respond well to a little cerebral stimulus. Students can opt for a robotics program that involves lots of hands-on, experiment-based learning and introduces the concepts of how to design, build and program robots. Budding entrepreneurs may prefer a financial literacy program such as MetaBiz Movie, which aims to teach 10- to14-year-olds about the movie production business, how to raise capital and make an actual animated movie, and then how to market and sell tickets to create revenues. All programs aim to introduce real world concepts in a fun and uniquely stimulating way.
Saadiyat Cultural District Teen Programs: Abu Dhabi is pitching itself as the arts and culture hub for the Middle East region, and the excellent Saadiyat Cultural District plays host this summer to an ever-changing calendar of day workshops for creative minded teens. Offerings include classes on specific skills as well as seminars examining the techniques of well-known artists. Programs vary but are fees usually around a very reasonable AED 50.
Cartoon Art Gallery: If your teen is a dedicated gamer, don’t fight it. Instead, enroll her in an animation workshop at Cartoon Art Gallery to channel that passion in a positive way. Themes vary according to the week but include an animation class as well as Manga Power! in which teens can learn more about anime and Manga. AED 150 per 2-hour workshop.
Start a Band
If your teen plays an instrument and has some like-minded friends, why not encourage them to form a band? If you have space (and easy-going neighbors) you could offer to give your teens a dedicated practice zone. Encourage them to go for a local open mike night or to aim for a real gig.
Volunteering and Charity Work
Volunteering can be a worthwhile - and eye opening - experience, but one that should be considered carefully. Charity work is incredibly rewarding but also challenging, and it’s important that your child understands the background of any project so that they can fully engage and appreciate the value of their contribution and what they, in turn, can take from it.
The group Volunteer In UAE has a number of opportunities including Helping Hands, a project that brings in volunteers to a local care home for children and adults with special needs, in order to help out with household chores and preparing meals.
GYEM is a unique youth organization started by a group of young people that wanted to give something back to the community through “sustainable social ventures that develop their communities and themselves.” They run events and offer two-day intensive self discovery workshops that cultivate an “appreciation for our society coupled with a renewed sense of hope for our future and a new look at the meaning of service and how to do it.” Members attend follow-up sessions that develop practical and professional skills such as project management and presentation techniques.
Turn Off the TV
The teenage years can be confusing, but through the written word teens can find helpful advice on growing up. The bestselling book by Sean Covey entitled “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” can help young people improve their self-image, build friendships, handle peer pressure, achieve goals and - crucially - get along with parents. The book contains inspiring real-life stories with amusing cartoons to keep things relevant and light, and while it might not have all the answers, it provides plenty of opportunities for parents and teens to talk more.
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