Stuck Indoors with an Energetic Teen? We Can Help
Summer’s here and so are some fantastic titles for teen listeners
There’s nothing more rewarding than spending time with our kids. It’s one of life’s unique joys. Whether we’re making cardboard swords and acting out favourite scenes from fantasy stories together, harmonizing to the best songs in the Disney canon or constructing a fort out of the living room cushions to recreate King Arthur’s court, sharing imaginative voyages with our children is a special experience.
Eventually children grow into teens, many of which are no longer interested in building forts and make-believe. Finding appealing ways to keep their minds active requires new ideas.
Studying throughout the school year is a natural outlet for your teen’s energy, but now that summer is here, you’re probably wondering, “School’s out. Now what?”
In a typical summer, kids take this energy outdoors and expend it running around outside, playing pickup games and riding their bikes across the neighbourhood. This summer, many parents will be dealing with that energy indoors. For those parents who will be working throughout the summer, this makes keeping teen minds actively engaged an even trickier challenge.
Luckily, we have some answers for how to keep your teen occupied this summer, in the form of some fun activities and the best action audiobooks your teenager will love.
One great way to keep children and young teens inspired and engaged is through active games. This will not only help them spend a lot of that stored-up energy, but it will also help them clock vital exercise time. It might take some convincing to get your teenager to come out of their shell and play, but games are good for teens and adults alike. In fact, why not round up the whole family at the end of an afternoon for a water balloon fight in the backyard? It’s a great way to get outdoors and cool off now that summer’s here.
Got older teens at home? A creative way to get them engaged is to encourage them to turn screen time into a more active hobby. Party game apps like Jackbox offer teenagers the chance to connect with friends, and they’ll be laughing for hours thanks to hilarious games like Quiplash or Civic Doodle. The best part is that these games actively require participants to put their knowledge or drawing skills to the test, which is a much better use of their time than simply streaming another TV show.
Another fantastic way to channel your teen’s energy is to give them entertainment options beyond the screen. We’ve talked before about keeping the kids entertained at home, and we firmly believe listening to stories not only captures your teen’s imagination, but it also provides inspiration long after the tale wraps up.
This summer, you can tap into the power of listening to help keep your teen’s mind active even when there’s no schoolwork in sight. Here are some of our favourite audiobooks for teens to help get you started.
Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski
If your teen loves The Witcher series (either through the massively popular video games or the recent Netflix show), they’ll love the original series that launched the entire franchise. Blood of Elves is the first title and has spellbound many listeners young and old with its swords-and-sorcery tale of intrigue and betrayal, featuring everyone’s favourite monster-hunter Geralt of Rivia, along with his friends Dandelion the bard and Triss the sorceress.
If your teen loves to explore epic fantasy titles, Audible has you covered with many great fantasy series just like this one, promising hours of screen-free entertainment.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Everyone loves adventure stories narrated by celebrities and your teen is likely no different. Join Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tony-award winning actor, writer and voice of Ducktales’ Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera, as he narrates the story of Aristotle and Dante, two high-schoolers and unlikely friends who make some big discoveries together. This listen emphasizes the importance of friendship, especially for teenagers, where the complications of life can sometimes feel as big as the whole universe. Miranda brings depth and thoughtful narration to Saenz’s remarkable story, mixing two terrific ingredients into one heady audiobook brew.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
It would be impossible to offer up a list of the best audiobook recommendations for teens without mentioning the incredible Hunger Games series. Your teen might start with the Special Edition of the first title, but before long, they will want to dive right into the whole series, following heroine Katniss Everdeen on her quest to represent her District in the titular Hunger Games while also shrewdly working to bring down the evil empire of Coriolanus Snow. If your teen still wants to know more about the incredible world of Panem, they won’t have to wait long, as the hotly-anticipated prequel, A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, is just around the corner.
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
If your teen loves to learn while listening, there’s no better title than Norse Mythology. Narrated by the author himself, this title serves as a whopper of an introduction to the world of Norse mythology by presenting some of its best stories in easy-to-grasp language. Follow the action-packed adventures of the mighty Thor, the scheming Loki and the wise Odin, as they battle trolls and dragons and even fight amongst themselves.
The Children’s Homer by Padraic Colum
If your younger teen wants to study other mythologies as well, they should check out The Children’s Homer. They’ll learn about the heroes of Homer’s classic stories, told in approachable yet exciting language. Teens who are quickly growing into students of history will learn about the Greek pantheon, including Zeus, god of lightning and ruler of Mount Olympus, Poseidon, god of the seas and Athena, goddess of courage and strength. Once they finish listening, they’ll be acting out the stories in no time.
With the right games and activities, and the right action-packed audiobooks at hand, you’ll be able to keep even the wildest teen imaginations occupied this summer — and who knows, you may even buy yourself some much-needed alone time.