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'Sprwinter' Fun for Tweens and Teens

Looking for some boredom-busting activities to get you and your family through the late winter and early Spring months? After all, Spring in Calgary isn’t always about April Showers and May Flowers. But take heart, spring and summer are right around the corner. Here are a few family-fun activities to get you and your family through to warmer weather.

1. The stairs challenge - If you have athletic t(w)eens who love a challenge, consider a boot-camp style activity at the wooden staircases throughout
 Calgary. The river valleys and hills in our city offer great inclines and beautiful views at the top. You can find
 these huge wooden staircases 
at Battalion Park, Sandy Beach Park, and the McHugh Bluff Park Stairs on Memorial 
Drive. I’ve tried counting
 and there is at least 100
 stairs in each set. Bring a stopwatch, make a game of it, and see how many flights of stairs you and the kids 
can do. Don’t forget to pack some water bottles and stay hydrated. Plan a fun outing or reward after the workout.

2. Closet cleanout and
cash-in - Did someone say Spring
cleaning? Encourage the kids to go through
their closets and weed out items that are too big, too small, or just not in style anymore. You can donate the items to a local charity or a thrift store. If your t(w)eens need a little extra motivation to get the job done, perhaps they could return recyclables or empty the family piggybank and keep the profits.

3. Plant an indoor succulent garden - If your family is itching to get planting but there’s still snow on the ground, consider making your own succulent garden. These little plants can be bought individually and can be planted in rocks or pebbles. They don’t require soil and that keeps the indoor planting session mess-free! Just be sure to soak your succulents once a week in water and trim any little roots and shoots that grow out from the bottom. Hit up Pinterest or Google for tons of ideas!

4. Watch a related sport - Take an afternoon to check out a different, but related, sport to what your child normally plays. If your dancer has spent all winter dancing, consider watching a synchronized swimming practice or show so they can see how dance is done in the water. Take your hockey player to a speed skating event, so they can see the technique and skill involved in that sport. Perhaps your baseball player would be amazed at the gripping and throwing techniques of water polo? Encourage them to try a new sport if it piques their interest.

5. Cooking 101 - Your t(w)een may or may not love to help you with cooking family meals, but cooking is an essential life skill. As we prepare to send our kids off to live independently, basic kitchen skills are a must. After all, after they move out of the family home, wouldn’t we prefer they make a homemade grilled cheese sandwich rather than spending money on dinner out? Take an afternoon (or a few) and spend time with your t(w)eens in the kitchen. Teach them some basic ‘lifesaving’ recipes such as spaghetti dinner, scrambled eggs, and how to marinate a boneless, skinless chicken breast. Help them cook one of the recipes and watch them beam with pride as the family enjoys the fruits of their labor.

Happy t(w)eening!

Michelle is a freelance writer based in Calgary, and a mom of three. She writes for numerous publications, and explores the challenges of parenting tweens and teens on her personal blog,




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