Living in the digital age brings a lot of benefits, but it also has its downsides. One of them is how much time teenagers spend playing all kinds of video games or browsing through social media. This is true not just in the United States but all over the world.
With most teens, if you try to get them to decrease their screen time, you’ll likely hear complaints about how boring everything is or how they have nothing to do. No worries, though — there are plenty of fun teen activities to keep them from getting bored.
If your teens are looking for exciting new activities to try, here are a few to get you started.
Play Board Games
We’re not talking about Scrabble, Monopoly, or Chutes and Ladders. Though those might still have some retro appeal, your teens might prefer more fast-paced, intricate, and exciting board games.
Board games can offer hours of fun — or even days, in the case of tabletop role-playing games. They’re also great family activities.
If you need some suggestions for a fun board game marathon, try Pandemic Legacy, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, or Betrayal at House on the Hill. For more immersive role-playing, there’s the classic Dungeons and Dragons or Gloomhaven.
Bring Out the Card Games
New card games are basically on the same level as board games in terms of fun. There is still some fun to be had with classic card games like Solitaire, rummy, and Uno. However, if your teens want something new and exciting, then modern card games are the way to go.
A few fast-paced but casual games you may want to check out for your teens are Exploding Kittens, Taco vs. Burrito, Joking Hazard, and Dungeon Mayhem. Card games are often easier to understand than board games, which makes it easier to play with younger siblings or cousins.
Grow a Garden
Starting a garden and caring for it is a great activity not only for teens but for the whole family. Moreover, it doesn’t necessarily require a lot of space. Your teen can start with a window-sill herb garden or a small flower patch in your yard.
They can also try growing a small vegetable garden. Snap peas, carrots, radishes, and potatoes are fairly easy to grow. Additionally, harvesting the veggies they grow can give teens a huge sense of accomplishment.
Let’s Get Physical
There are plenty of recreational activities teens can try to get their blood pumping and their boredom out of the way. More importantly, engaging in physical activities is a great way to maintain healthy living.
There are plenty of teen sports programs they can sign up for, ranging from basketball to soccer and football. If organized youth sports aren’t their thing, then maybe something more casual like frisbee, biking, or swimming is more their style.
Other fun activities for bored teenagers to try outdoors include parkour, roller skating or skateboarding, rock climbing, or ice skating.
Learn How To Cook or Bake
Help your teens unlock new and incredibly useful life skills by having them learn how to cook or bake. Learning how to cook is the most fun when done in your own home with the whole family.
You can even turn it into a competition; split yourselves into small teams to see who can make the best dish or even an entire three-course menu for your family dinner.
If you don’t have the time, there are plenty of affordable teen classes for baking and cooking that can do the job.
Get Crafting With DIY Projects
Making something with your own hands can be a big serotonin boost. It’s also a great bonding activity for you and your teens. DIY crafting projects are particularly great to do during the holidays when you can display and use the things you made around the house or give them as gifts to loved ones.
There are a lot of DIY and craft projects teens would love. These can range from simple ones — like making a tie-dye shirt or bag and origami cranes — to more ambitious projects, such as making their own scents or custom perfumes, candles, and knitting or crocheting a water bottle cozy.
Solve an Escape Room
Escape rooms have become one of the most popular leisure activities for large groups in recent years — and for good reason! It’s a good way to build teamwork, leadership skills, observational skills, and problem-solving skills. Doing escape rooms can also help with memory, improve communication, and foster stronger relationships.
As such, not only are escape rooms popular with teen friend groups; but they’re also great activities to try with family members and work teammates.
Schedule Weekly Movie Nights
If you and your teens are looking for affordable and effortless but still fun things to do, then you can’t go wrong with having weekly movie nights. Sunday nights are a good night to do this, as a last “hurrah” of the weekend before your teen’s Monday – Friday grind at school.
Watch your favorite movies together or watch movies you wouldn’t have checked out otherwise on your own — the choice is yours. Your teens can also host movie night parties with their friends, complete with popcorn, candy, soda, and comfy pillows to lounge in.
Explore the City (or State)
Acting like a tourist in your own city or state is a great way to discover new places and learn more about local history. It’s like taking your teens on weekly or monthly field trips! Go hiking or backpacking, take them to a baseball game, visit local museums, and see all the sites your city has to offer.
You don’t have to plan a large family trip for this. Sometimes, it’s the little things that can make a bigger impact. Teens are usually fully updated on social media, so ask them about the latest trends and if there are any trendy places you can check out.
Renovate Their Bedroom
How long has your teenager’s bedroom looked the same? If your answer is anywhere between several years and since they were kids, then the room is long overdue for a change. This can be as simple as cleaning, repainting, and redecorating the room or as in-depth as a complete renovation.
Having their own room reflect who they are today is important for any teenager. After all, their bedrooms are not just where they sleep or study — it’s also their own personal space.
Visit an Amusement Park
Who doesn’t love amusement parks? Teens may seem so grown-up at times, but we’re positive they will still be all smiles when they meet their favorite Disney character.
Here in the U.S., you can find a lot of amusement parks in each state. We’re not just talking about Disneyland, either. There are also water parks, activity centers, and other well-known theme parks like Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags, Universal Studios, and much more.
Organize Fun Weekends With Friends
If there’s one thing teens love aside from their gadgets and the Internet, it’s their friends. Why not let your teens host fun parties and events? Whether it’s a summer pool party, an autumn scavenger hunt, or a winter ice skating party, we’re sure your teen and their friends will not be bored at all.
These types of special events can be a huge hit during holidays when they don’t see their friends as often since school is out. Simple things they can do on the weekends are also great. If you’ve got your own pool table or even just a backyard and some great food, then you’ve already got what it takes for your teens to have a great time with their friends.
Learn Valuable Life Skills
There are many nonprofit teen programs that offer cheap or even free classes. Learning more life skills not only helps teens beef up their resumes but also allows them to hone their job skills in a positive environment. Making new friends with other teen center members means they also get to practice their social skills.
Some high schools and colleges offer affordable summer school programs on cooking, sewing, self-defense, and more. Local government programs and healthcare institutions may offer first-aid courses, as well. Some even offer late-night programs for those busy with studies and work during the day.
Online government portals and social media pages can be a great resource for upcoming classes teens can sign up for. You can also call the front desk of your local community center.
Creative Digital Pursuits
With how popular social media platforms like TikTok and YouTube are today, many teens are taking an interest in pursuing a career either in the digital creative industry or as an influencer.
Learning the basics of video production and video and photo editing would be useful in both careers. Some high schools and colleges have clubs or programs that allow students to use computer labs during the summer to hone their skills.
They teach a variety of creative digital courses, such as basic video editing, how to make stop-motion videos, photo editing, web design, and more.
Volunteer and Pay It Forward
Teens may spend a lot of time on their gadgets or online, but teens today can also be extremely passionate about a lot of social causes. Volunteer opportunities and other forms of civic engagement give teens a way to expend extra energy while also serving their community.
A few ways to do this are through community involvement or community service hours, offering homework help or tutoring to middle school and elementary school students, or walking dogs in the local park. Teens can also visit the community center to take part in local youth development programs.