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51 Fun Things to Do At Home for Bored Teens

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Are you trying to find fun ideas for your bored teens?

Then at some point you have probably heard the parenting school of thought that says, “It’s good to let your kids get bored.” You may have been convinced that boredom eventually turns into creativity.

That sounds pretty good, right?

But Simplicity Parenting author Kim John Payne has joked “the step between boredom and creativity is sibling torture.”

And we really don’t want that.

Plus, few things are more annoying than your child following you around as you try to get things done, telling you how they want to fall over from boredom.

So…it can be helpful to have some options for when you hear, “I’m bored.”

If your teens are bored, you can check out these 50 fun ideas they can do at home.

{This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.}

Teens Get Bored Too

So often, we see boredom-busting ideas for younger kids, but I have four teens, and I have certainly seen them get bored. 

So this post is for the teens (and for you) – to help you and your kids navigate the long, rainy days, the too-hot days, the snow days, and the times when nothing seems powerful enough to grab the attention of an out-of-sorts teenager. (I mean, besides scrolling TikTok and endless YouTube videos.) 😉

Trying some of these easy and fun ideas for bored teens can also be a great way for your child to find a new hobby or passion. Because I definitely know how hard it can be when your teen hasn’t found their passion and needs to try a variety of ideas.

50 Fun Things to Do At Home for Bored Teens

MAKE ART

A well-stocked art cabinet or drawer can go a long way, and so can a space to work on art, even if it’s just a card table.

Stock your art cabinet with:

Consider adding a couple of how-to-draw books that might excite or inspire your teens. Some great options for teens include:

If your teens need some art inspiration or a little more formal instruction, try one of these fantastic art courses that my teens enjoyed for years:

You Are An Artist Chalk Pastels Online High School Program

Masterpiece Society – Use the Code: Mary25 for an additional 25% off individual courses in the shop

BAKE SOMETHING

It’s easy to Google a recipe or look options up on Pinterest. If your teen is a beginner and chooses to Google, give them a tip to search, “chocolate chip cookie recipe simple” or “brownie recipe simple.”

This cookbook is great for beginners and has more than 100 recipes.

MAKE A SNACK STATION

Have your teen research some fun ways to make a snack station at home for everyone.

This is a great way for them to contribute something useful to the family while having fun. Best of all, they can select their own favorite snacks so they’ll be ready to go when they are hungry.

AT-HOME SPORTS

There are plenty of sports activities that your teen can do on their own, from shooting hoops, to practicing tennis returns against a garage door. Siblings or neighbors might want to get involved once they see your teen having fun.

Adventurous kids could even set up a mini golf course for the whole family.

LISTEN TO AUDIOBOOKS

Audiobooks are helpful because they are hands-free, so teens can pair them with other activities. Many of these are great on audio: https://www.maryhannawilson.com/books-read-with-teenager/

FIND A JOB

Even kids under 16 can get jobs – they can even be their own boss. Options like yard work, dog-walking, pet-sitting or babysitting can all be good options for your teens. These independent job ideas can help them build references for when they apply for future jobs.

Once they are 16 years old, teens can often find a job at local grocery stores, retail shops, and fast-food restaurants.

Teens can often find jobs even before they turn 16 to help with boredom.

OUTDOOR GAMES

Outdoor games can be a lot of fun and have the added benefits of exposing your teen to a little fresh air and Vitamin D.

Check out this fantastic list of 50 outdoor games!

TAKE A WALK (or RUN)

We all know that exercise has physical and mental benefits, so encourage your teen to take a walk (or run) with a friend, sibling, or dog if you have one.

Bonus – The next time you’re driving around your neighborhood, look to see if you have any Little Free Libraries. These libraries can serve as a destination for your teen’s walk, which helps it feel like even more of an accomplishment.

TAKE A BIKE RIDE (or SCOOTER or SKATEBOARD)

This is another great activity that combines the benefits of exercise, with the benefits of getting outside.

(This is often a great combo for your introverted teens who are feeling like they need a little break.)

PLAY GAMES

I don’t just mean the kind they play with friends online, although I do think there are benefits when our teens have a chance to connect with pals through online gaming.

There are many board, card, and dice games that still hold appeal for our big kids. Here are some of our family’s favorite games for teens.

One fun idea for bored teens is to play board, card, or dice games.

GRAPHIC NOVELS

Sometimes we all hit a reading slump, and picking up a doorstopper of a novel feels way too intimidating.

Graphic novels have a lower barrier to entry. Consider keeping a few great graphic novels on hand. Here are over 150 of our favorite graphic novels, including a section for teens.

CHORES

Don’t stop reading. Believe it or not, some teens actually like certain chores.

You can also incentivize teens to take on household duties that you and your partner don’t particularly like – organizing the spice cabinet, for instance.

Make a list for the fridge that includes help you’d appreciate, and tack on a dollar amount for each task. You may be surprised!

Venmo and CashApp make it so you don’t even have to keep small bills on hand anymore.

PUZZLES

There are puzzle people and non-puzzle people. And then there are those who like certain types of puzzles.

So if you have tried helping your teen enjoy puzzles in the past without luck, consider:

(Puzzles are great paired with an audiobook).

SELF-CARE 

Sometimes boredom can mean you just have time to pamper yourself a bit. A few ideas for your teen to try:

  • manicure or pedicure (or both)
  • hair mask
  • face mask
  • Try a new makeup look

LEARN A LITTLE MAGIC

Not every teen wants to become the next Penn or Teller, but this card trick book is a great, affordable starting point for a teen who wants to learn a few tricks.

Just add a deck of playing cards.

TAKE A CLASS

Many community colleges, community centers, museums, zoos and even places like ceramics studios offer classes.

Do a little digging online, or better yet, have your teen look for options that interest them.

Outschool is a great place to find online classes. While many classes are educational, you’ll also find gaming classes, social groups, D&D, and more!

TAKE CARE OF A PLANT

Taking care of a plant can also give teens a mood boost, and help shift their focus from their worries to a focused activity.

If your teen has a particularly green thumb, they might enjoy expanding plant care into a bigger hobby – planting and maintaining a flower box or window box, a container garden or even a flower or vegetable patch. This book offers some fun container garden ideas.

TAKE CARE OF A PET

If boredom tends to make your teen feel a little blue, taking care of a pet can help. According to nih.gov, animals can “reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and boost your mood.”

So brushing a pet, playing with it, tidying their space, or just snuggling with an animal friend can help keep boredom from bringing your teen’s mood down. Even taking your pet on a hike or walk can help fill the time and improve your teen’s mood.

Taking a pet on a walk or hike is a great activity for a bored teen.

Ambitious teens can even bake pet treats using a cookbook such as this one.

JOURNAL

Journaling is a great practice to help teens process their feelings. Sometimes, boredom brings up other emotions, so “when in doubt, journal it out.”

Bullet Journaling is a particular journaling format that includes planning, so starting a bullet journal may help your teen plan their day, and keep boredom at bay.

KNIT OR CROCHET

Knitting or crocheting can be very calming, and it’s a skill that your teen can continue to build upon over time.

YouTube is a great source for starter how-to videos and free patterns. TikTok, Pinterest and Instagram are great places to look for inspiration.

These popular Wobble Kits are excellent crochet kits for beginners to make cute little stuffed toys.

PAINT (with BOB ROSS!)

Speaking of calm activities, Painter Bob Ross is so relaxing, that the Calm meditation app has created meditations from his teaching tutorials.

You can stream Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting on Hulu. Some episodes can also be found on YouTube.

Bob tends to use the same paint colors and supplies, so it’s easy to get started with a Bob Ross painting kit.

(Your family can also now play “Pin the Squirrel on Bob Ross!”) 😂

RELAXING COLORING BOOKS

There has been quite an explosion in coloring books for relaxation during the past decade or so. You can find coloring books to ease anxiety and promote mindfulness, books to help your teen laugh, and books on just about any special interest.

https://www.amazon.com/Sneaker-Coloring-Book-Classic-Sneakers/dp/B0BPMV2V5D/ref=sr_1_17?crid=2OCSWTSTG570&keywords=coloring+books+teen+boys&qid=1692995017&sprefix=coloring+books+tee%2Caps%2C116&sr=8-17

Don’t forget some colored pencils or markers.

CALL OR VISIT SOMEONE

Encourage your teen to call or visit a grandparent, aunt, or uncle – especially someone who may be a little lonely. This is a great reminder to our teens who sometimes forget they aren’t the only ones dealing with boredom.

If they need a few conversation starters:

  • How did you meet your spouse?
  • What was your wedding like?
  • What was my mom/dad like when they were my age?
  • What’s your favorite meal of all time?
  • What’s your best advice for a person my age?

TAKE A BATH OR SHOWER

I’ve seen it with my teens – a shower can be a total reset.

A bath, on the other hand, can give teens a chance to unwind. We may have forgotten what it’s like to be their age, but teens deal with stress and a hot bath can be an excellent way to relax.

So keep some shower steamers or bath bombs on hand. These items are also a ton of fun for your teen to make on their own.

MAKE A FUN COFFEE, TEA, OR HOT COCOA

If your teen has a favorite order at Starbucks, you can often Google the drink and “copycat recipe” to find out how to recreate your go-to drink at home.

Tip: Sprinkles and or whipped cream make most drinks better.

HOME REPAIR AND IMPROVEMENT

Encourage your handy teen to fix something around the house. YouTube can show how to make many simple repairs and teens can even order parts online.

(Of course, use caution and your best judgment before letting your teen take on a home improvement project.)

One of my teens recently replaced the burned-out lightbulb in our fridge, saving us a visit from the repair man.

Teenagers who like building things might enjoy Eureka Crates or Tinker Crates from Kiwi Co (recommended for ages 12 – 100).

Bored teens will have a gerat time using TinkerCrate from KiwiCo.

WORK ON/LEARN A LIFE SKILL 

Our teens will need all kinds of life skills as they get ready to head out into the adult world. 

Some places to start:

  • Learn to cook a simple meal
  • Learn to check oil and tire pressure on a car
  • Prepare to set up a savings or checking account.

There are tons of books with more ideas like this one.

ORGANIZE SOMETHING

Organizing a space can not only bust boredom, it can give a sense of accomplishment and even momentum to keep organizing.

The key is to start small – one shelf or drawer. Encourage your teen to set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes, but they may decide to keep going.

This book can help break big spaces up into smaller jobs.

VOLUNTEER

Volunteer work looks great on a resume or college application, and can even lead to job opportunities.

Have your teen do some searching, looking at local organizations that allow teens to volunteer – they may find something that really speaks to them, like being a junior camp counselor or helping out at an animal shelter.

Check local senior centers, food pantries, Special Olympics, Senior Olympics, and clothing donation centers.

BUILD A (HOME) LIBRARY

OK, teens don’t need to actually construct a building, but one of the keys to reading more is to have easy access to books, and know what you have.

Your teen can organize their own books or organize for the whole family.

Some great first steps are:

  • begin by separating fiction and non-fiction
  • Fiction works best organized alphabetically by author
  • Non-fiction can be grouped by subjects like history, art, science, pop culture, humor, cookbooks, etc.

To make it extra fun, add a label maker or use a library kit, especially if your family likes to swap books with friends.

YOGA

It’s simple to start a home yoga practice. All teens need is a yoga mat, blanket or towel to get going.

A couple of great YouTube options are Yoga with Adrienne and Sarah Beth Yoga. Keep a thick, comfy yoga mat handy.

Yoga is a great activity for teens to do at home.

TRY MEDITATION

Like yoga, meditation can help with relaxation and focus, and can even elevate your mood. Apps like Calm and Headspace are great places to start.

Even 5 minutes of meditation can help with boredom and the negative feelings that sometimes come with it.

HELP A NEIGHBOR

A fantastic way to stop feeling bored and shift your mood is to help someone. 

Like chores, you can create a list of little tasks that need to be done, but keep getting pushed off, like dropping off donations (if your teen can drive), or ordering prints of photos stuck on your camera roll.

Neighbors might appreciate help as well. Your teen can offer to:  

  •  mow the lawn
  •  rake leaves
  • shovel snow

Or anything else that would benefit from a helping hand.

WORK ON HAND LETTERING

Hand lettering is a fun skill that combines penmanship with art. Even learning a few hand lettering styles can help your teens create fun signs, journal entries or notes for friends.

Practicing hand lettering is also a great way to improve overall penmanship since teens write a lot less by hand than they used to.

To get started, make sure your teen has access to:

SEW

Sewing is a useful skill, even if your teen just learns how to reattach a button.

But sewing can also be a fun hobby, and there are lots of resources out there for beginners.

Sewing can also mean hobbies like embroidery. Cozy, Blue Handmade is a great place to start to find kits, tools, patterns, and resources.

MAKE A SCRAPBOOK OR PHOTO COLLAGE

We take so many photos, but we rarely print them or display them.

Give teens an empty scrapbook, photo holders, or even some fun washi tape to make their own wall collage. They will feel less bored, surrounded by friends, family, and pets. This will also give them an opportunity to exercise some creativity.

PLAN A THEMED DINNER

It can take a bit of fortitude to turn your kitchen over to your teen, but they can learn so many skills by planning and cooking a meal, from grocery budgeting to all kinds of culinary how-tos.

(This might be an activity that requires some supervision, or doing together before giving your kids free rein. You know your family best.)

It can be fun to create a theme meal or “restaurant” at home. Let kids use their imaginations. We once had a Harry Potter birthday party (July 31), using recipes from this Harry Potter cookbook.

WOODWORKING

Teens might really enjoy the satisfaction of building something, and there are kits for all levels of builders, from making a simple birdhouse to building a Little Free Library for your front yard.

CREATE A NEW SPOTIFY PLAYLIST

Music can be a great way to boost your mood. Creating a new, themed playlist is a way to focus some energy and get a sense of completion once the list is ready to go.

If your teens need ideas, they can try creating lists for:

  • Studying
  • Exercising
  • Cleaning 
  • A BFF
  • A family member
  • A grandparents’ day List – ask for a few of their favorite songs
  • Theme dinner music (idea from above)

WATCH A SHOW OR MOVIE WITH FRIENDS

Many streaming services offer the opportunity to create watch parties for a friend or even a small group. Watching a show or movie and being able to chat about it feels so much more fun (and of course less boring!) than just watching on your own.

Have your teen try Netflix’s Teleparty, which allows synchronization and chatting or a Watch Party through Amazon.

WASH THE CAR

Buffing and shining up a car can be a great activity on a sunny day, and there’s even a kit for that! Teens who drive can even take the car through a car wash to get a little outside-of-the-house break.

Many cities and towns now have places where you can wash the car yourself, but they provide all of the materials and equipment, making the whole process so much easier. Your teen will have access to a vacuum as well!

This is a great option to pitch in the care of a family car or to take responsibility over their own!

CROSSWORDS, SUDOKU, OR WORDSEARCHES

If your teen likes crosswords and is looking for a challenge, the New York Times has a crossword puzzle book just for teens, with puzzles created by the famed Will Shortz.

Or grab a puzzle book that contains a little bit of everything.

EXPLORE COLLEGES

During the pandemic, many colleges created online tours and quickly realized how handy they were for prospective students.

boring days are a great time for teens to research colleges, take an online college tour, learn more about majors they might enjoy, and check out the city where the college is located.

BIRDWATCH

The standard birdwatcher isn’t usually a teen, but the Merlin Bird ID App has made birdwatching a little techy (and fun). The Merlin App will help figure out what types of birds are visiting based on photos or recording audio of their bird calls.

Using a Bird ID App is a fun activity for bored teenagers.

It can help to add a bird feeder to attract birds to your yard. 

WRITE A LETTER

Not to sound old, but letters are so rare now that they are novel again.

Set your teens up with some stamps and a card or stationery set. The Dollar General store is also a great place to allow your teens to purchase cards for friends and family.

ORIGAMI

Origami is pretty easy to start, and there are so many fun options for paper. Your teens can look up tutorials online, or purchase kits that include paper and a guidebook.

PHOTOGRAPHY

The cameras on our phones are so much better than most “starter cameras,” and your teen might love to experiment with a program like Photoshop to take their photos to the next level.

Community colleges and local photographers may offer classes, and there are lots of great options online to learn more about photography, like the ones offered through Outschool.

WORKOUT: GET HEALTHY AND BUILD MUSCLE

Lifting weights is a great way to build muscle and increase fitness levels. It can also increase endorphins, which can help keep boredom from spinning out.

YouTube has tons of tutorials, and your teen can usually begin working out with a pair of soup cans or some beginner hand weights.

NATURE JOURNAL 

Nature journaling combines science (studying the natural world) and art, and can become a great hobby for curious teens that also helps them get outside.

To start, they’ll need:

The “Anatomy” series of books by Julia Rothman are great for getting started, even if the weather outside isn’t so great.

LEARN ABOUT CONSTELLATIONS

If your teens are like mine, they are night people! So help set them up with an evening activity like stargazing. We purchased a telescope and my teen daughter loves to look at the moon and planets.

There are some great free apps for this Like SkySafari, NightSky and Sky Tonight. You can also purchase a useful book about the night sky.

CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSET AND DONATE ITEMS

My teens love thrifting. They love the thrill of finding just the right item and buying something that maybe wouldn’t if it was full price (yes – a jacket with an embroidered tiger or the back, or red corduroys!)

If your teen loves thrifting too, have them go through their closets and drawers to see if they have old items to donate.

Then, when they drop off the old items, they’ve already made space for something new. 

Additional Resources for Teens

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Online Classes for Teens

Fantastic Fall-Themed Art Projects Your Teens Will Enjoy

Fantastic Live Online Book Clubs for Kids and Teens

The Very Best Board Games You and Your Teens will Love

Over 30 of the Best Activities for Teens (and their parents!)

Find plenty of great ideas for bored teens.
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