Updated December 2020
If you have a 13, 14, or 15 year old you are probably in search of fun activities to keep them from getting bored. These fun activities for teens can be done alone, with friends. Some of them are even great ideas for parent-teen time or as a whole family. I’ve got you covered with ideas for when you need to social distance or under normal times rainy, wintery, or summer days.
A bored teen can be a dangerous thing. Bored teens need fun activities to keep them out of trouble.
As a single mom, boredom is one of the things I worried about. With only one adult in the home, it becomes more complicated to make sure a bored teen doesn’t turn to the wrong things to keep busy.
There are so many ways a bored teenager can go wrong. They can spend endless hours in front of a T.V., computer, or phone screen vegging out.
They can watch videos or play games that reinforce values you are totally against. It’s not too hard to find things online that devalue women, encourage violence, or even glamorize suicide.
Then there is the fact that too much screen time equals isolation and very little exercise. Studies show that too much screen time correlates with increased risk of depression in teens.
Of course, there are far worse uses of a teenager’s time than bingeing on screen time. They may be making babies. Maybe flirting with delinquent behavior is keeping them busy. They could be experimenting with alcohol and other drugs. What is a mom to do?
It is easier than you might think to limit their screen time. These activities will bust the boredom, keep teens off their screens, and give them healthier options than baby making or drug use.
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Things to Do for Bored Teens
Try a fun craft project. When a teen expresses his creativity not only is he not bored it also reduces anxiety and improves a depressed mood. There are lots of other indoor activities for teens to do besides craft projects for them to express their creativity, connect with other family members or friends.
Creative Activities for Teens and Tweens
Fun activities for teenagers to do when they are stuck at home.
- Write a story or start a novel
- Kiwi Crate-fun STEM projects
- Draw a picture
- Color free coloring sheets with watercolor pencils
- Make suncatchers and add a splash of color to your windows
- Learn to paint a picture
- Knit a hat, socks or a scarf
- Learn to play an instrument
- Make a music video
- Decorate your room
- Crochet a stylish neck warmer
- Make a Mosaic
12. Get a Craftsman Crate–a new project every month with all the tools you need to create it
Fun DIY Activities for Teens
When kids can’t leave the house these are some great ideas for them to have fun and stay busy instead of bored and crabby.
- Learn origami
- Make a tie blanket to use or donate to a homeless shelter
- Create frameable art with National Park Coloring Pages
- Make soap
- Sew cloth napkins
- Make candles
- Build something using wood (You can get free plans online to build almost anything: birdhouses, shelving, tool boxes, etc.)
- Assemble a model dragon
- Make paracord bracelets
- Make your own coffee table photo book think of the possibilities: a memoir of a beloved pet, a special family vacation, a book about extended family or even a family recipe book with pictures of the family.
Need even more ideas for crafts? Check out these easy Crafts to Make, Sell or Give.
Related: How to Have Amazing Conversations with Your Kids
Boredom Busters for Family When You are Stuck at Home (Especially Great for Single Parents)
What can a teenager do at home?
Try some of these fun indoor activities. These are interesting things to do a rainy or cold day when all you want to do is stay inside.
Fun Indoor Activities for Teens
Try some of these activities when tweens and teens are bored and need to stay in the house.
- Read a book
- Play a board game
- Hunt a Killer
- Make a pie
- Make cookies
- Prepare dinner for the family
- Bake bread
- Make a bucket list of 100 things to do in their lifetime
- Put together a jigsaw puzzle
- Learn to draw
- Paint a picture
- Try a wooden 3D puzzle
- Make a Lego creation
16. Read stories of people who will inspire you
If you are looking for productive activities for your teens 15 Productive Activities for Teens (Plus 1 Bonus Activity for High School Seniors is the answer for you.
Related: Family Game Night Ideas for Tweens & Teens
Fun Summer Activities for Teens
Summer is a great time to have fun and be productive. Favorite summer activities for most teens are pursuing outdoor hobbies. Most outdoor activities are a fun way to get some exercise in the summer. Exercise improves your mood and reduces anxiety. No wonder most people like to play outside.
- Get a job! It can be fun to earn money and spend time with friends while working.
- Go to summer camp (There are camps for sports, music, and church to name a few.)
- Mow the lawn (This may or may not be fun for them, but it will be fun for you to have it done.)
- Go for a hike
- Go on a treasure hunt
- Go to a playground and pretend to be a little kid again
- Wash a car
- Play disk golf
- Grow vegetables in a home or community garden
- Volunteer for local charities
Related: Old Fashioned Fun Family Activities
Fun Group Activities for Teens in the Summer
- Capture the flag
- Play soccer
- Swimming at a lake or pool
- Sandcastle building competition
- Flag football
More ideas: 55 Fun Things for Teens to Do in the Summer
Group Activities for Teens in the Winter
- Ice skating
- X-country skiing
- Downhill skiing
- Building a snow fort or sculpture
- Learning to read the stories in the snow
- Making a snow angel
- Checking out activities at local state or national park
Things to Do on a Day Off From School
If your kids have taken the time to make a bucket list it will be much easier for them to come up with some ideas on how to spend their days off from school whether it is summer vacation or an unexpected day week or month of no school.
Time at home is a fantastic opportunity to develop creativity, build relationships, exercise or practice a skill. If your kids don’t have a bucket list challenge them to make one. Once they have a bucket list they can choose something on the list and take a step towards reaching that goal or dream.
Challenge Your Teen or Tween to Do a Bucket List
You probably don’t want to show your tweens or teenager this list of ideas. When a mom gives a teen an idea, its value is often reduced significantly, so don’t hand them over a list of ideas.
Instead, challenge them to come up with a list themselves. A fun activity is to come up with a bucket list of 100 things to do in your life. You might even do that yourself and then compare parts of your list or have a family goal-setting session.
Related: 25 Creative Journal Prompts for Self Discovery
The benefit of a 100 item bucket list is to get beyond the mundane and expected. It is a challenge to think about all the things you might like to do in your life.
Once it is written down, it becomes closer to a goal and you are more likely to focus on ways to make it happen or take advantage of opportunities that become available.
Related: What I Learned Parenting Teenage Boys
What to Do Next
Once the bucket list is written down, challenge your teen to take a step toward reaching that goal. Here are some ideas for a bucket list item and the first step:
- Run a marathon–Sign up for a 5K
- Compete in a triathlon–Bike 10 miles
- Eat Mexican food in Mexico–Use an app to start learning Spanish
- Read the Bible cover to cover–Try this plan
- Get your driver’s license–Study for the test
- Learn to play an instrument–Sign up for lessons & set a goal of 100 minutes of practice per week
- Write a book–Set a goal to write 500 words a day
- Hike the Pacific Crest Trail–Walk 3 miles a day
- Learn to cook or bake a favorite dish–Find a recipe and make a grocery list of ingredients
- Eat vegetarian for a year–Plan a trial month of vegetarian meals or plan 3 months of meatless Monday meals
- Organize your room–Start with one shelf or a hula-hoop-size area.
- Redecorate your room–Pick a new color for the walls.
It is good for everyone to dream about what is possible. If your teenagers are dreaming of writing a book, getting a PhD, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, or learning to make an exotic dish, it is much less likely they will be using their time getting into some sort of trouble.
If you need inspiration on how life-changing doing a bucket list can be for your teenager, check out John Goddard’s story here. He made what seemed to be an impossible list at the age of fifteen and accomplished most of it.
Make a Plan, Make a List
Thinking about what your teen likes to do, what will get them moving outdoors, and what will keep them occupied and out of trouble when they have to be indoors is a great start for making a plan to stave off teen boredom.
Having a plan is imperative because you don’t want kids to default to staring at screens, so sit down and discuss with your kids how they will use their free time.
Talk about goals, experiences, and, perhaps most importantly, fun! As good as the teenage mind is at finding undesirable pastimes to fill dull moments, I think you’ll find that it’s also good at accomplishing remarkable things.
Related: Professional Advice for Single Moms Raising Sons
Hi, I’m Tamara the creator of Empowered Single Moms, a single mom, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and the author of Thriving a Single Mom’s Guide to a Happy, Positive Life and Thriving a Single Mom Journal. I have a solo private psychotherapy practice where I treat anxiety, depression, and relationship issues.
As a member of the Empowered Single Moms community, I believe you can stop carrying the weight of the world alone and build a life you love. Join my mailing list and get 5 Keys to Single Mom Success.
Yes i am not single i have a beautiful husband and 6 beautiful daughters and 2 of them are in the tween/ teenage years and its very hard to keep them from being bored, they love to move around and when they do everything they find to do its either eating or sleeping. They are slightly boycrazy and can get hype about them but i had to do something. They don’t go out on dates yet or make out or anything of that sort but I need to have something for the older ones to do that are old enough for them but not too old. They are at the point where they don’t like watching specific things that are considered babyish or childish, but i like to look over stuff so that its child- appropriate for them too. I want my kids to have freedom but not so much freedom where they lose their innocence and virginity at such a young age. I love my children and its very hard to find stuff that they are interested in but this website is the best! I love Empoweredsinglemoms.com, I recommend this website for other single moms as well
Thank you so much for your kind words.
As a teen and the situation right now i was so bored and looked up what to do when you were bored so i did that and it had so many varieties of ideas that i was having so much fun just reading them now i can crochet and knit a wearable scarf, beanie and jumper myself i have made one for my whole family this separated me from my digital technology thank u sooooo much.
In this difficult time, I am so glad I could help.
Look, as a teen, these are not things we want to do (excluding summer activities). Knitting? Setting goals? Really? A teen’s definition of fun is none of this. Please don’t force your teen into doing this.
I am glad you found the summer activities fun. Goal-setting might turn out to be more fun than you think.
I am a teen and currently in quarantine with my brother, this website helped us find a fun activity to do thank you very much.
Abigail, I am so glad the ideas were helpful to you and your brother.
I am in quarantine right now and I am looking for things to do while here and I think these are great and I need something to do but I am just missing something and I really need help picking up a new hobby so thank you very much just wanted to say keep doing what you are doing I think it is great
Thank you Teagan
Since the corona virus is going around I wanted to say the this site really helped my daughter find something to do at home.
I am so glad it was helpful for her.
i’m in quarantine rn and am so bored and depressed
but thx for the advice😢😢
I know it is hard but this too shall pass.
I’m a teen in quarantine and I don’t really want to do any of this as it is not something teens actually want to do.
I hope you are able to find something fun to do.
I am a teenager living in KSA… amid the coronavirus, all over the kingdom the curfew is from afternoon-to-dawn, like 15 hours and don’t know what to do instead I found this website and helped me do indoor activities .
Thank you very much!
I am glad it helped you it is hard to be stuck inside.
I am a teen and I found a lot of these ideas useful as I am stuck in quarantine. I needed something to entertain me as my brother makes weird noises when he is playing video games so I am glad that I found so many good ideas to keep me away from him. You are helping so many teens at the moment, keep doing what you’re doing. Thanks for all the ideas.
Thank you so much for your kind words. It means so much to me that you took the time to let me know the ideas helped you.
I am a teen and I was going through the list I was just excited reading it but I can’t get any of the materials I need due to the COVID pandemic but I want to say thank you for creating this list.
You are so welcome
This list has helped me a lot. Being a teen myself, things can get boring fast. The list that you have provided is very helpful. A lot of these things sound like fun. Already making a list of what I should do over the COVID break. Thank you for creating this list.
I am so glad you found some ideas.
I am a teen and were in quarantine and this really help i’m so thankful for u we need more people like you thank soooooo much!!!
Aww that is so sweet of you
chovid 19 stuff to do
I feel you.
I’m a tween and a lot of the ideas helped. Thank you so much!
You are so welcome
Thanks so much! I am turning 13 this Friday, and this really helped me get through my boredom. Now I always have something to do. Quarantine or no quarantine.
I am so glad it gave you some ideas.
I looked at your list and it helped, but I already did most of the stuff on it. The other stuff like knitting isn’t what I like to do, and I am still soooo bored. Are there any other things I can during this quarantine?
Dawn, Try learning something new or starting a new hobby. One example of something new is learning a new language there are a lot of free resources for learning a different language. My son highly recommended Duolingo. You could also try doing something to cheer up someone else. A friend said her grandma is in the nursing home, struggling with social isolation during quarantine, but was cheered by letters from kids and coloring pages that gave her something relaxing to do.
i’m a teen with access to limited resources
most of this stuff is for tweens
a lot of it we can’t do now
like the outdoor ones
but it helped my with my sister
can you recommend some things to do that you don’t need to spend time or resources on or something braindead
I’m a tween, and this stuff really helped. thanks for the ideas!
I’m a tween, thanks for the advice, I will definitely try these things. Please keep updating things to do. I get bored a lot, and I mostly read, but these ideas will definitely help! Thank you so much!
You are so welcome
I always search up what to do when bored and people always give good ideas but I find I just read them I don’t actually do them but this website, because it’s updated and not something that suggests things that may not be an option or available anymore makes this whole situation so much easier and gives me ideas that I actually do. Thank you for coming up with things to do that are creative and take me away from my phone and are beneficial. I never thought I would fine such a good website and such good ideas from anyone, so thank you for your wonderful suggestions
This is really good
Hi, I’m a tween and this helped but a lot of these things, like the group activities, I sadly can’t do because of covid. I also don’t have a lot of the resources for these things and would rather not have to go out and buy a bunch of stuff. Can you recommend any simple but still time consuming activities that don’t require many resources to do in quarantine?
Reading is something you can do for free if you get books from the library, writing only takes a pencil or pen and paper. Drawing only takes a pencil and paper and there are many videos on YouTube to learn. My grandmother created beautiful quilts with scraps of fabric or by cutting up clothes that the children outgrew or partly worn clothes. You can use this same technique to create pillow covers or wall hangings.
There are also many exercise videos on YouTube or Amazon Prime for everything from yoga to Zumba.
I am a tween and I love galaxies thx!
Thank you so much! my cousin is a teen and I’m a tween and we hang outr almost every day and don’t have any idea what to do. This list is one of the only lists that I’ve searched that is this helpful to me.
I am a tween and I love galaxies thx!
Oh! can you make stuff on galaxy projects soon? Or just random crafts? I also LOVE art and so does my cousin! Music ideas would also be gr8! ( We sing and play stuff a lot too!) My cousin plays the sax, the uke, and the piano. I’m working on piano, percussion, uke, guitar, and I want to play something in our school band soon… just don’t have any idea what!!!
I originally had my name I am a tween and I love galaxies thx, but now i'm putting it as one of my fav names, rain.
just to change the name of my thing… lol.
Could u pls make more? I luv luv luv infinity love this list but i want some more ideas. here are a few art ideas that i got from my fav youtube channel which is Moriah Elizabeth’s i totes recommend!!! its sups awesome and i have most of her merch on my christmas list!!! here are ideas:
Redo an old art piece
Organize your room
Shop- Target, Michaels, Dollar Tree, Hobby Lobby, Online, clothing stores, art stores etc…
Finish an art piece
Look in some art books
Test out rarely used supplies
Watch your videos
Paint a phone case
Create a book
Customize a clipboard
draw anything in a different form
make custom labels
men casual thick thermal jacket
Wonderful post it is very inspiring