Inside: When you want your teen to unplug, here are 50 screen-free activities your entire family will enjoy (or at least keep them busy for awhile.)
There is no reason to feel guilty for giving your teens a reasonable amount of screen-time. But many parents feel that between school and video games and social media our kids are wired all the time.
You might even be worrying that your kids have a screens or cell phone addiction and it might be time to get all this tech use and social media scrolling under control.
But your kids aren’t little anymore, and they may not think the fun activities they used to do willingly with Mom or Dad have the same appeal.
Sometimes we have to remind our big kids that it’s okay to still remain in their childhood.
You don’t need us to tell you about the dangers of too much screen time. While we think it’s fine for tweens and teenagers to play Fortnite or veg out on an ipad, they also need to function in living color.
If you’re needing a little inspiration to get your tweens and teens to unplug and spend some time on tech-free activities, the following suggestions might help.
Also, instead of constantly battling with your teens about their tech usage, involve them in the process. Plan time for a family meeting and have them talk with you about what they think is a reasonable amount of daily tech time.
You might even have them make a schedule. This is particularly useful in the summer months when there is more downtime.
So, keep this list handy for the whole family, and then when it’s time to turn the devices off, use it as a starting point. They may even forget and the Internet and electronics. Well, at least for a little bit.
50+ Screen-Free Activities for Tweens and Teens:
Harry Potter Origami (Harry Potter)Japanese Origami for Beginners Kit: 20 Classic Origami Models: Kit with 96-page Origami Book, 72 High-Quality Origami Papers and Instructional DVD: Great for Kids and Adults!Star Wars Origami: 36 Amazing Paper-folding Projects from a Galaxy Far, Far Away….
2. Grow something. This can be a great way for your tween/teen to develop a new skill and get some fresh air. Let them pick some decorative pots and decide what they want to plant, whether it’s edible or for show.
3. Cook or Bake something. Let them make a cake for a friend or cookies for a cause.
4. Build something. Remember when your kid used to play with legos for hours? There are now so many advanced sets and engineering projects that can keep hands busy for hours. You can also make a deal that they can watch a YouTube video with instructions so they actually feel like they still have access to their screen, but with purpose.
A Teen Guide to Eco-Gardening, Food, and Cooking (Eco Guides)The Cookbook for Teens: The Easy Teen Cookbook with 74 Fun & Delicious Recipes to TryWood Shop: Handy Skills and Creative Building Projects for Kids
5. Write Your Own Book or Comic Book. Consider self-publishing it and selling it on Amazon.
6. Read An Adventure Book, or go to a local library and let them pick out any book of their choice.
Spilling Ink: A Young Writer’s HandbookDare to Write: Creative Writing Prompts for Young People and Word Rebels EverywhereStan Lee’s How to Write Comics: From the Legendary Co-Creator of Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four, X-Men, and Iron Man
8. Color their hair with hair chalk
9. Practice Braiding Hair. Print out some new styles from Pinterest.
10. Learn how to give yourself a Mani/Pedi
Original Stationery: Hair Chalks Set for Girls, 10 Piece Temporary Hair Chalk ColorsThe New Braiding Handbook: 60 Modern Twists on the Classic HairstyleSpectacular Nail Art: A Step-by-Step Guide to 35 Gorgeous Designs
11. Draw or Sketch
12. Try Painting with Watercolors
13. Go old school and learn how to hand letter.
Drawing Set – Sketching and Charcoal Pencils – 100 Page Drawing Pad, Kneaded Eraser. Art Kit and Supplies for Kids, Teens and Adults, Sketch SetCohotek Watercolor Paint Set with 36 Vivid Colors, Travel Watercolor Pan Set with Water Brush Pen, Watercolor Brush Set, Palette, Watercolor Papers etc. Watercolor Kit for Adults, Students, BeginnersHappy Hand Lettering: An Inspirational Guide for Creating Beautiful Words of Life
14. Try A Sudoku puzzle
15. Solve A Mystery Puzzle
16. Figure Out A Logic Puzzle
17. Gaze at the Stars
18. Go Geocaching
19. Take A Hike
Hiking Logbook: Hiking Journal With Prompts To Write In, Trail Log Book, Hiker’s Journal, Hiking Journal, Hiking Log Book, Hiking Gifts, 6100 Things to See in the Night Sky: From Planets and Satellites to Meteors and Constellations, Your Guide to StargazingOumoda Telescope, Travel Scope, 90 X Refractor Telescope, Astronomy Telescope Tabletop Nature Exploration Gifts Toys for Kids, Adults Sky Star Gazing, Birds Watching
20. Learn To Knit/Crochet/Needlepoint
21. Make A Craft
22. Build A Model
Learn Crochet! KitRock Art Handbook: Techniques and Projects for Painting, Coloring, and Transforming Stones (Fox Chapel Publishing) Over 30 Step-by-Step Tutorials using Paints, Chalk, Art Pens, Glitter Glue & MoreNifeliz Racing Car Veno MOC Building Blocks and Engineering Toy, Adult Collectible Model Cars Set to Build, 1:8 Scale Silver Race Car Model (3427 Pcs)
24. Play Outdoor Games with the neighbors like kickball or Capture the Flag
25. Play Pool Games
27. Go Through Your Stuff And Donate Gently Used Items To Charity
28. Organize A Service Project or Create A Charity
101 Small Ways to Change the World (Lonely Planet Kids)The Kid’s Guide to Service Projects: Over 500 Service Ideas for Young People Who Want to Make a Difference (Self-Help for Kids Series)The Kid’s Guide to Service Projects: Over 500 Service Ideas for Young People Who Want to Make a Difference
29. Draw In An Adult Coloring Book
30. Learn to Draw Anime
31. Create Your Own Jewelry
Adult Coloring Book : Stress Relieving Designs Animals, Mandalas, Flowers, Paisley Patterns And So Much More: Coloring Book For AdultsThe Master Guide to Drawing Anime: How to Draw Original Characters from Simple Templates (Volume 1)Stamped Metal Jewelry: Creative Techniques and Designs for Making Custom Jewelry
32. Do Yoga
33. Learn meditation.
34. Start A Journal
36. Wash The Car/Deck/Windows (Be Helpful)
37. Get Ready for The PSAT/ACT/SAT
Life Skills: 100 Things Every Kid Needs To Know Before Leaving HomeThe Official ACT Prep Guide 2020 – 2021, (Book + 5 Practice Tests + Bonus Online Content)Princeton Review SAT Premium Prep, 2021: 8 Practice Tests + Review & Techniques + Online Tools (College Test Preparation)
38. Organize and Rearrange Your Room
39. Take Photos with A Polaroid And Create a Polaroid Wall
40. Make A Scrap Book
Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera (White) with ZINK Zero Ink Printing Technology20 LED Photos Clips String Lights (10ft. Warm White) AOSTAR Battery Operated Fairy String Lights for bedroom Hanging Photos, Cards and ArtworksFaCraft Scrapbook Kit for Teenage Girls (8×8
Build Your Own Chain Reaction Machines: How to Make Crazy Contraptions Using Everyday Stuff–Creative Kid-Powered Projects!EXIT: The Secret LabExit: The Sinister Mansion | Exit: The Game – A Kosmos Game | Family-Friendly, Card-Based at-Home Escape Room Experience for 1 to 4 Players, Ages 12+
44. Have A Nerf Gun War
45. Have A Water Balloon Fight
46. Have A Water Gun Battle
NERF Ultra One Motorized Blaster — 25 Ultra Darts — Farthest Flying Darts Ever — Compatible Only Ultra One Dartsheytech 2 Pack Super Water Gun Water Blaster 1200CC High Capacity Water Soaker Blaster Squirt Toy Swimming Pool Beach Sand Water Fighting ToyZuru Bunch O Balloons Instant 100 Self-Sealing Water Balloons Complete Gift Set Bundle, 3 Piece (300 Balloons Total)
47. Play Darts
48. Try Hacky Sack
49. Work On Your Balance
Barrington Bristle Dartboard Cabinet Set: Professional Hanging Classic Sisal Dartboard with Self Healing Bristles and AccessoriesSet of 6 Hacky Sacks – Multicolor DesignRaise Your Game Balance Board Trainer Agility Set, Wooden Wobble Roller for Exercise Sports, Training Equipment for Balance Stability and Fitness, with Free Workout Guide
50. Bike, Shoot Hoops, Walk/Run The Neighborhood, Jump Rope, Dance To A Favorite Playlist, Kayak, Paddleboard, Skateboard, Practice an Instrument, Juggle A Soccer Ball, Fish, Fly a Kite, Swim Laps, hit a tennis ball against the garage.
51. Learn a new language.
52. Get a part time job.
52. Start your own business, such as pet sitting, dog walking, lawn mowing, or babysitting.
Parenting Teens and Tweens is Hard, but maybe these popular posts onterh parents found helpful will make it a little easier.