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What ARE We Going To Do This Summer [During COVID-19]?!

The idea of school being out and having a Summer break looks different this year.  Area teens have been schooling online since mid-March and so may already be ‘over it’ re staying home, especially away from friends.  Summer jobs and Summer vacation plans may be on hold indefinitely.  Many parents have been working from home and some may continue to do so during Summertime.  The days have been beginning to all look the same, like the “Groundhog Day” movie.  Thus I thought it timely to compile this list of ideas for Summer.  Some are teen specific (eg, building a resume!) but most are ideas for everyone.  I’ve categorized the ideas into sections: educational, resume building, social, etc, and I hope you’ll consider doing a mix of things. 

If you do have teens at home, it can be helpful to do the following:

  • Discuss your teen’s plans and expectations for the Summer
  • Discuss YOUR expectations for what your teen will be doing/ not doing
  • Get their buy-in on ideas you have (like the ones in today’s blog)
  • Let them make their own schedule, whenever possible
  • Give them some freedom and autonomy, when possible and safe
  • Recognize their need for socialization (but in a safe way due to COVID-19)
  • Show them this blog entry, chocked full of ideas

Ok, now on to the categorized list of Summer ideas…..


Although this Summer will certainly be different in terms of safe job opportunities for teens, as many day camps are cancelled and unemployment is at an all time high, Teens can still benefit from using their downtime productively in a way that builds a resume for college applications and future jobs

  • Make a LinkedIn account – this will help with getting a job, building a network, even getting in to college.  Have a friend over to do a social distancing photo shoot to take a professional looking picture for your account.  Students who have a LinkedIn account have a better chance of standing out from their peers.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamarruda/2017/07/18/why-parents-should-help-their-teens-use-linkedin/#3cc37ff041e1
  • Build a physical resume on the computer – take stock of your experiences and do online searches for design ideas. 
  • Volunteer – check out these websites for local opportunities for teens: www.volunteersac.org and www.handsonsacto.org.  Think of any family friends who own their own small business and might be able to use your help.  Volunteering now can get you good experience and turn into paid positions later.  
  • Babysit – many parents with younger children are fretting about how to entertain them this Summer, what with so many usual options different this year.  See who might want to hire some part-time help to entertain some local kids while parents are at work



  • Host or attend a small social distancing picnic, neighborhood gathering, etc
  • Host or attend an outdoor/ backyard movie night
  • Join or start a group online – try meetup.com for existing clubs that are meeting online
  • Join or start a book club online – Two popular online book groups are Goodreads and The Reddit Book Club. Even better if you can make sure you meet on video conferencing to discuss the book
  • Take an online class from the local community college – even high school aged teens are eligible, and you might meet other locals
  • Join a Facebook group
  • Be active in your local neighborhood on the nextdoor.com app
  • Find more ideas here: https://simply2moms.com/quaranteened-100-social-distancing-ideas-for-teens/


  • Teaching your teens life skills – cooking, laundry, grocery shopping, budgeting
  • Make a list of projects to do around the house/ that need to be done
  • Clean and organize your bedroom (teens, this is for you) – clean, redo your room, paint, move your bed, weed-out things you don’t need or use anymore, donate or sell on facebook exchange or ebay (parents, you might consider incentivizing your teens for managing selling household cast offs)
  • Cooking – learning new recipes, trying different ingredients, maybe subscribe to a meal kit delivery service like https://try.blueapron.com/ps_md_60off/


  • Each member of the family writes down ideas in these three categories, and then rotate them around so you have some family time each week: local restaurant to get take-out from, a boardgame to play together, a movie you’d like to watch together
  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Plan for the future/ future trips you’d like to take – research places to go
  • Do any ideas I’ve listed in the above Social or Educational sections together as a family




  • Find volunteer opportunities locally on sites like handsonsacto.org
  • Check out your neighborhood NextDoor app to stay connected to your local community and help others in need – you may have a local senior citizen or parent of young children or person quarantining in need of something you can provide (running an errand, dropping off toilet paper, babysitting shares, etc).  A new map feature allows members to sign up if they are willing to help neighbors with everything from errands and groceries to check-ins. Neighbors in need can then private message willing participants for help when needed.  If you’re not already familiar with it/ connected, enter in your zipcode to join your neighborhood at  www.nextdoor.com 

NEED MORE?/ Therapy with Sue:

If you are a California resident and would like to talk with me about how counseling for yourself or your teen can work, please contact me, I’d love to hear from you. I have a psychotherapy office in midtown Sacramento, an office in El Dorado Hills, or I can provide tele-health through a secured platform. I can be reached at https://hopeintherapy.com/contact/ or (916) 764-8360.