25+ Fun Activities For Teens To Keep Them Engaged

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Teens are always hooked to their phones for entertainment, and they love playing video games. Thus, if you are looking for fun activities for teens to distract them from their screens, we’ve got you covered.

Excessive screen time can cause teenagers several problems such as depression, anxiety, and sleep and behavioral issues. Thus, you can engage them with things they are passionate about. They only need a nudge in the right direction to indulge in their passions.

We have made a list of some fun activities for teens—activities that are designed to engage their minds and make them more productive. So, read on and engage them in one.

In This Article

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.

protip_icon Did you know?
With over 40,000 pieces, ‘Memorable Disney Moments’ holds the Guinness World Record for the largest commercially made puzzle in the world, both in the number of pieces and overall size.

2. Baking

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.

3. Cooking

Teens like to play around with ingredients to make things that they like.

Image: IStock

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.

5. Writing

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 and can help them in socializing with others better.

7. Candle-making

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.

protip_icon Trivia
Candles have been used as a source of light and to illuminate celebrations for more than 5,000 years. The earliest use of candles is often attributed to the Ancient Egyptians (1).

8. Bowling

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, cartoons, 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.

protip_icon Quick fact
The most important letter in history is said to be the letter from Birmingham Jail, composed by civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King Jr. The text has been recognized as the 20th century’s most influential letter about civil disobedience(2).

10.  Reading books

If your teen already loves reading, you can encourage them to read new genres or different formats.

Image: Shutterstock

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.

Uchenna Umeh (aka Dr. Lulu), a Pediatrician and mother, says, “As an avid reader, this is one activity I don’t compromise on… As a rule, I require that my sons read for two hours daily for every two hours of video games they play! They absolutely hate this, but they still do it. What I often do is, take them along with me to the library or make them go to the library for two hours daily. It ends up being fun for them, but not before they have complained a lot… Finally, they have to do a book report on the books they have read, and we have a day or two set aside to discuss the books. Once in a while, they want to re-read their old favorites, and I allow them, as long as they read (i).”

11.  Jewelry-making

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.

13.  Biking

Biking lets them explore

Image: IStock

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.

14.  Swimming

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.

15.  Coding

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.

19.  Dancing

Sometimes, just moving your body to music is a good way to relax.

Image: IStock

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.

protip_icon Did you know?
Violins are one of the most difficult instruments to master after the oboe. The violin we play today was developed nearly five centuries ago by famous luthiers Andrea Amati, Antonio Stradivari, and Giuseppe Guarneri.

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.

24.  Photography

You can invest in a good-quality camera for better picture quality and a better learning curve.

Image: IStock

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.

25.  Hairstyling

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.

26. Go camping

Camping offers a fantastic way for teens to stay busy and have fun. It gets them outdoors, engaging in activities like hiking or fishing. When they camp with friends or family, it becomes a teamwork adventure. Setting up tents, cooking together, and simply enjoying each other’s company make the trip even more joyful and productive. In addition to having fun, they learn essential skills, tackle problems, and become more independent. Camping serves as a break from phones and screens, allowing them to immerse themselves in nature and stay active. Beyond the physical aspects, camping also leads to an appreciation for nature, offering teens an enjoyable and enriching experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why do teens need activities?

Teenagers can have fun, socialize, make friends, and develop overall. They can explore their interests, learn new skills, and gain confidence by participating in different sporting events and getting along with their friends.

2. How do I engage teens in activities?

Encourage them to do things that interest them, give them an opportunity, offer support and encouragement, and make sure these activities are enjoyable to hold their interest.

3. How much activity does a teenager need?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teenagers should engage in 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical exercise each day (1).

Recreation exercises are important for teens so introduce them to games and activities that keep them away from the screen and help hone their creative skills and learn new things. This list of fun activities for teens could be a hit among your teen and their friends. And not only will they enjoy being involved in these, but they will also learn new skills that will help as they grow into an adult. Besides the above activities, you may explore other fun activities such as surfing, Go-Kart Racing, and water sports adventures. You could also join them in these activities or invite their friends over for a lovely time together and strengthen the bond.

Infographic: Popular Activities Teens Must Try

The teen years are some of the golden years that pass by flash. So while it’s good to be spontaneous sometimes, a list of must-do activities is something every teenager should have. This infographic lists popular must-do activities teenagers should try with their friends during vacations.

activities teens must try (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Experimenting with recipes can be a super fun activity if your teenagers enjoy cooking or baking.
  • If your teen already enjoys reading, encourage them to expand into new genres or forms.
  • Dancing and listening to music might help your teen relax and have a good time.
  • Learning a new skill, such as an instrument or a language, will be educational and enjoyable for teenagers.
Fun Activities For Teens_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team

Personal Experience: Source

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Physical Activity Guidelines for School-Aged Children and Adolescents.
    https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/physicalactivity/guidelines.htm
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Elisa Yi
Elisa YiEarly childhood educator
Elisa has 17 years of experience in early childhood education as a teacher and a director. With a passion to work with young kids, she did her post graduation in Education and received her online teaching certificate from California State University, East Bay.

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Nisha Bharatan is a writer with six years of experience. After completing her engineering from Savitribai Phule Pune University, she did content marketing courses to complement her interest in writing. Nisha discovered her passion for writing in 2016 when she started documenting her journey into motherhood.

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Harshita Makvana
Harshita MakvanaB.Com, PG Dip
Harshita is a graduate in commerce and holds a PG Diploma in Patent and Copyrights Law from NALSAR University. She has also pursued CA and has more than three years of internship experience in auditing. Her love for travelling has taken her to various parts of the world, and writing the travelogues was what brought out her love for content writing.

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Trisha worked as a schoolteacher for three years before taking up professional writing in 2021. She completed her masters in English from the University of Calcutta and bachelors in Education from the University of Burdwan.

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