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Additional Programming Ideas – Teen

Read on for more brief ideas for 2017 Summer Learning Programming!


  • Snacks around the World – Visit some world cuisine groceries and pick up a variety of snacks eaten around the world. Try to get ones with the original language on the package!
  • Life Hack Testing – Look up a bunch of life hacks and test them out!
  • Art Workshop Series – Have a local artist come in and teach different techniques: different brushes, mixed media, lettering styles, etc.
  • Road Trip Reading Challenge – Challenge your teens to read books set in different states and countries. Set a group goal and track on a map in the teen area. Celebrate when the group reaches their goal.
  • Tech Discovery – Dig out some old computers or other technology and let the teens tear them apart and try to put them back together.
  • Would You Rather? – Play the game at a kickoff party
  • Music around the World – Find music videos of current pop songs from different countries. Play them for the teens and talk about the differences.
  • Geocaching – Set up some geocaches in your town and put the clues on a geocaching website. Give small prizes for teens who find them all.


  • Noodle King – Use a pool noodle and blind fold to play Marco Polo on dry land. Basic rules: Blind fold the student in the middle (“it.”) “It” calls out “marco” while the other players reply “polo”. “It” must follow the sound of their voices and try to hit someone with a pool noodle. Once someone gets hit, that person is now “it” and the previous “it” joins the rest of the group.
  • Egg Head Battle – Tape raw eggs onto baseball helmets and have teens try to smash them using pool noodles.
  • Life Size Games – Jenga with 12-pack boxes, Life-Size PacMan, Giant Twister, Crab Soccer, Q-Tip War, etc.
  • Emoji Locker Magnets – Paint button magnets yellow and use paint pens to make them into emojis
  • Breakout/Escape Room – Create a puzzle room for teens to break out of before their time runs out! (Try Googling Breakout EDU for some plans.)


  • DIY Solar Oven – build a solar oven using a pizza box & try some s’mores. Instructions
  • Painted Stones – Using only dots, paint smooth ocean stones Examples
  • Paint Scrape Notecards – Using old credit cards, make paint scrape notecards Example
  • Build-Your-Own-Sundae Bar – Get a variety of toppings & let them go crazy!
  • Design Your Own Board Game – Have the teens design a game from scratch or hack an old one


  • Shapeshifters – Have the teens draw their animal from a hat. They need to describe the challenges and benefits of shapeshifting into such an animal. Avoid wolves and add unusual animals like bunnies. Alternatively, have them find their Patronus.
  • Net Stress Ball – Make cool stress balls with homemade slime, balloons, and fishnets.
  • Meme/Gif Workshop – Have a make-a-meme or gif workshop and show teens the tools for making memes and/or gifs.
  • Tangrams – Post tangram challenges or have teens make their own
  • Ice Cream in a Bag
Published inProgrammingSummer Reading