Have you taken a look at your kids recently? Chances are, they’re growing up and you may not even realize it. With a high schooler, middle schooler and upper elementary student, we’re facing the reality that we no longer have little kids in our house. As they get taller and older, it’s time to upgrade some things in their lives as well. Here are a few things you may not have thought about that need to be upgraded or replaced now that they are becoming teens!
Things Teens Need to Upgrade
If your teen is still using the same comforter they had when they entered elementary school, it’s time for an upgrade. This is not something we think about much since we don’t spend as much time in their rooms as we did when they were little but it’s time to do an upgrade for sure. It may be time to ditch the character comforter and go with their favorite sports team, or just a new solid color.
When the teens go off on overnight adventures, are they using plastic baggies or their own toiletry bag? Maybe it’s time to buy a new leather overnight bag or a fun monogrammed zippered pouch that fits their style.
When we first got married, we received a set of sleeping bags as a wedding present. They have served us well for over 20 years and taken the kids on many overnight adventures. But in all honesty, now that the kids are teens, it’s time to upgrade and give them a bit more modern option to carry on trips. The ones we have are a bit more bulky and are starting to show their age just a bit.
There are some great sleeping bags that take up less space, offer more comfort and just look cooler than what we have.
When you decide to upgrade the sleeping bag, consider what conditions the bag will be needed for. Sure, you can purchase a sleeping bag at the local big box stores, but it may make more long term sense to purchase one that will hold up to their lifestyle over the next transitions. Do they have plans to go on overnight school trips, hiking adventures, road trips with friends, camping adventures to the mountains or beach?
The Cosmic down 20°F sleeping bag has been restyled for 2016 and now features the exceptional warmth of 600-fill hydrophobic DriDown™ for higher performance. That means more moisture defense and quicker drying in the cold and wet. Versatile enough to use in 3 seasons, with great features like a thermal comfort hood and top draft collar, it’s a no-brainer for backpackers who love to be outside in rain, snow or shine.
I love the fact that this sleeping bag has a much smaller profile than our older versions. It takes up less space in the back of the car and can be stuffed into the teens luggage without taking up the entire space needed for clothes.
One of the issues with our traditional sleeping bags is the zipper getting stuck when the teens are in a hurry to zip it up. The Kelty Cosmic 20 has an antisnag design on the zipper that should make life much easier.
When the kids are small, it’s fun for them to use a character backpack or even an extra suitcase that you have in the closet. But as they take on more sports and extracurricular activities, they need their own duffel. Take a look at what they are using and see if you need to step it up a notch.
Shoes & Boots:
What are your older kids wearing to games? Do they still have the same flip flops that they used at the beach? Do they have Spiderman snowboots? As they get older, it’s time to switch it out and buy some new slides, winter boots and gear for their feet.
My kids are all avid readers, which means we always have a lot of books in our house. But as they are growing, their tastes in books are changing as well. The holiday season is a great time to cycle through some of the books on the shelf and donate, recycle or sell back some of the books they have outgrown. Some books deserve a place in our personal stash of special books, but the rest can easily be moved out so we can replace them with books that are on their current level.
Gift idea tip:With the holidays getting closer, now is a good time to start shopping for some gifts for the kids. Start looking at what the other students in the same age group are carrying, wearing or taking on overnight school trips. Ask your child what they like. Do they have a preference for a brand name or style? Then start looking for deals and sales so you can have some fun gifts under the tree for items that also need to be upgraded! Win-Win!
Our kids have always loved their water bottles. When they were young, they each had their own character thermos but if we haven’t upgraded their water bottle since they were into cartoons, it’s time to do some planning. The Lifestraw Go is a great option that lets them drink filtered water and still do something good for the world around them.
What are some other things that need to be upgraded when the kids become teens? I’d love to hear your ideas!
Excerpts of this article first appeared in the print edition of the Danville Advocate Messenger.