Teens love spending time on their phones and playing video games. However, excessive screen time can cause teenagers several problems, including depression, anxiety, sleep issues, and behavioral issues.
Thus, you can engage them in the real world with things they are passionate about. They only need a nudge in the right direction to indulge in their passions. When a teenager is involved in an activity they like, they could be without screens for quite some time.
We have made a list of some fun activities for teens. These activities are designed to engage their minds and make them more productive.
25 Fun Activities For Teens
Teens are usually reticent about voicing their interests to their parents. Often, you will need to observe them to learn their likes and dislikes. Here are some fun activities for teens you can try.
1. Jigsaw puzzles
Jigsaw puzzles require concentration and patience. Picking up each piece and deciding where it should go needs logical thinking and tactical skills. Gift your teen a jigsaw puzzle and let them solve it with their friends or by themselves. As they gain mastery, you can opt for more complex jigsaws with more pieces.
Baking is a fun activity to do with children of any age group. Teens love baking as it gives them the freedom to experiment with recipes and come up with unique ones. As a bonus, they get freshly baked cookies, cakes, or bread to eat after every baking session. If they are interested, they could even try baking pizzas and muffins. Baking is a skill that will be useful for them later in life too.
Just like baking, cooking is an immersive experience. Teens like to play around with ingredients to make things that they like. You can make it exciting by pulling out the stuff you have in your refrigerator and asking them to come up with a dish using only those ingredients. This way, your teen will also learn the importance of taste and smell, which is essential to cooking.
4. Planning the menu
Teens love being included in family matters. Menu planning is an important part of every household. If you ask your teen’s opinion on the week’s menu, they are sure to put in their thoughts according to their likes and dislikes. If they prefer junk food, you can explain the advantages of healthy food and throw in the junk food option once or twice a week. This will make your teen feel heard and boost their self-confidence.
Writing is a peaceful activity. It helps a person purge their mind of all stressful thoughts. Creating a to-do list for the day can make a teen feel in control of their life, and writing in a diary can help them analyze their feelings and behavior. They could start a blog to document things they are passionate about, and you could also engage them in some creative writing games and activities.
6. Board games
As children, they may have loved snakes and ladders and Ludo, but their brains need more stimulation as they grow older. Teens may play these games once in a while, but if you want your teen to spend some time off-screen, you must look for board games that will allow them to think and make decisions. Monopoly, Pandemic, Ticket to Ride, Scrabble, Settlers of Catan, Dungeons and Dragons, etc., are great board games for teens. They involve strategy and teamwork as well.
Candle-making is an excellent way to keep your teen engaged in something productive. Candle-making kits come with instructions that are fairly easy to follow, and your teen can make a variety of candles. You can find several resources for candle-making online as well. Your teenager can develop their own scent by experimenting with different essential oils. Moreover, handmade scented candles make excellent gifts for almost every occasion.
Bowling is one of the best games for family nights. When your teens cannot go outside, let them assemble some “pins” made of household items and start bowling right at home. You can use different items every time. Empty plastic bottles are the usual choice, though you can use soft toys, cartons, or even balls as bowling pins. Use balls, cushions, or cardboard boxes as balls. Change the setup for each round to see who can make the most difficult lane.
9. Writing a letter
Writing a letter is one of the best ways to communicate with people and is a great way to improve their writing skills. Although electronic texts and emails have taken over the communication world, your teen can communicate more effectively using an old-fashioned pen and paper. If they are not sure who to write to, they can write a letter to themselves outlining their dreams and aspirations. Then, store it somewhere safe for them to read after a decade or after they have reached a certain milestone in their life.
10. Reading books
There is nothing quite as satisfying as escaping your world and living in a utopian world. If your teen already loves reading, you can encourage them to read new genres or different formats. If they do not like reading, you can set it up as a parent-teen challenge to see who finishes reading a book first. Set up debates and discussions on the selected book, or try some of these reading games and activities.
Jewelry-making is not only about creating pretty necklaces and bracelets; it could well turn out to be quite a lucrative hobby for your teen. Depending on your teen’s preferences, they can make jewelry for themselves and their friends and family. There are quite a lot of people who make fandom jewelry as well. If your teen is into a fandom, they can attempt making jewelry related to it.
12. Attending a game
If your teen has a keen interest in sports and spends time watching baseball or soccer on TV, you can get them to watch a live match happening in your city. It could be an inter-school match or a bigger one. Let your teen attend a live match to absorb the vibe of the place and interact with the players if they can. It will be an entertaining and even life-changing experience for your teen.
This is an activity that teens usually prefer doing because it allows them to go out on their own. You can challenge them to ride a certain distance or visit a certain place. Biking is a great activity to go outdoors and get some exercise and ample fresh air. They can also explore new places with their friends and take this opportunity to learn traffic rules.
Swimming is another activity that will take your teen out of the house and make them happy. They can practice different strokes and experiment with diving as well. Once they are well-prepared, they can hold a pool party with their friends where they can show off their cool swimming and diving skills.
With the rapid advancements in computer technologies, having a grip over programming can give your teen an edge over others. It is a skill that will hold them in good stead, no matter what field they pursue. So, encourage them to spend some time coding and learn to think logically and solve problems.
16. Movie night
Teens love watching movies. Get some of their favorite movies and arrange a movie night with either friends or family. You could ask your teen and others to dress up as the characters in the movies they are planning to watch or make a list of movies that have been adapted from books. Discuss the movies with them–what do they think could have been done differently? Would some other actor be substituted for the ones in the movie? How is the movie different from the book?
17. Museum trips
How often do you overlook local attractions because you feel your teens wouldn’t be interested in them? Let your teen absorb your culture by visiting the local museum. They can share pictures on Instagram and tell the world about the place. You could also arrange a scavenger hunt and let them visit the museum and click pictures of obscure items there.
18. Drawing or painting
Drawing is an excellent way for teens to express their feelings and spark their creativity. If your teen loves drawing or painting, encourage them to carry a small sketchbook wherever they go. This practice can teach them to observe their surroundings and notice the little things they might otherwise miss. At the end of each day, ask them if they have drawn or painted anything and discuss the art with them.
Dancing is an activity that will instantly put your teen in good spirits. If they wish, you can enroll them in professional training for various dance forms. Sometimes, just moving your body to music is a good way to relax. Serotonin, or the happy hormone, is released in your body when you dance, which leads to a good mood and general mental well-being.
20. Listening to music
Listening to music is a good way to calm your nerves. Some people prefer listening to calm music, while others prefer loud music to tune out the world. Encourage your teen to listen to more music by setting up a karaoke bar right in your home. They can sing along to their heart’s content with their favorite artists.
21. Learning a new language
Multilingual children are known to be good at social communication. You could encourage your teen to learn a new language. Find free applications from which your teen can learn languages. You can also learn along with them so that they are motivated. Pick your favorite languages and get started.
22. Learning an instrument
You can find several YouTube tutorials or apps that teach musical instruments. Let your child choose any instrument that they think will interest them and start learning the basics. This is a great workout for their brains, and they will be off screens for quite a while. If they seem interested, you could enroll them in classes.
23. Making stop-motion videos
Stop-motion videos are fun to watch. Check out some popular stop-motion videos on the Internet that your teen could use to make their own characters and backgrounds for a stop-motion video. It takes some practice, but once they master it, they can post these videos online as well.
Photography is a good way of training young minds to think out of the box and see a view that a person sees daily with a different eye. Mobile phones come with good cameras these days, but you can invest in a good-quality camera for better picture quality and a better learning curve. Photographers often hold workshops and send newsletters so that you can learn more about the nuances of photography– explore them with your teen.
If your teen is fond of following the latest trends in hair fashion, they might be interested in hairstyling. Start by designating one day for hairstyling, which means that the teen has to look up various hairstyles and cuts and experiment on you. Encourage them to look up safe hair coloring and straightening practices as well. The more they practice, the more confidence they will gain.
These fun activities for teens are easy to execute and extremely enjoyable. Most of them will be very useful for your teens in their adult life as well. Use these ideas to keep your teen engaged and away from screens for quite some time or to teach them a new skill.
- Is your phone making you feel anxious or depressed?
- Samantha P. Fan et al. (2015). The exposure advantage: Early exposure to a multilingual environment promotes effective communication.
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