5 Ways to Get Your Teen Off Their Screens
By Rayyan El-Baf
Do you have bored teenagers roaming around the house? Without other activities like sports and clubs that normally keep them busy, their go-to boredom beater is probably being on their phones or playing video games. And, let’s be honest, we are likely on our phones more than we should be ourselves, simply because we are bored too. So what else can teenagers do to beat those boredom blues? For some inspiration, here are five activities that your teens (and you) can enjoy without looking at a screen.
Learn a new Skill
Teenagers typically run on a very specific schedule between school, extracurriculars, homework, socializing and hobbies. Amid the heavy schedule of their lives, it may be difficult for teens to engage in current or new hobbies. The pandemic and lockdowns have given everyone a lot of newfound free time; so why not learn a new skill? Hobbies that don’t include screen time could vary from painting, drawing, learning how to play an instrument, knitting, cooking, or learning a new language. Learning a new skill is a great way to engage your teens’ minds while stuck at home.
Complete a puzzle
Puzzles are great for the sake of passing time. Lockdowns may make the day seem laboriously long and completing a puzzle is a great way to make time fly and activate your critical thinking skills. These puzzles can be done individually or together as a family if you want to make a day out of it. Family members can also complete different puzzles and then compare them after completion. Puzzles can vary from classic 1000-piece jigsaw-themed puzzles or Rubik’s puzzles.
If you have access to a front yard or a backyard, this is an excellent opportunity for teens to get exercise with outdoor sports and activities. Shooting basketballs or kicking a soccer ball is a fun activity to get their bodies moving. Other sports such as football and softball can be played among siblings or between parent and teen. If your teen doesn’t feel like exerting themselves, why not do some chalk art on the pavement!
Being in lockdowns creates a strong sense of loneliness and isolation. Engaging as a family to play board games, card games, and other family games is a fun way to pass time, socialize, and curb the cycle of isolation. You can engage in classic card games and other family games such as: What do you Meme, Sushi-Go, Exploding Kittens, Cards Against Humanity Family Edition, and Throw, Throw Burrito. Classic games like Jenga, Monopoly, and Pictionary are also great to get some laughs or table tosses.
Gardening is a rewarding activity that allows your teen to create something as well as get some fresh air. The garden can be started in the backyard or in a tray near a window. Whether it’s flowers, potted greenery plants, or fruits and vegetables, there is something for everyone to get their hands dirty with. This activity is a great way to pass the time, care for something, and create consistent daily routines.
There are definitely more activities that teens can engage in when they are feeling bored. However, moving away from our screens, even if just for a little bit, and engaging with something else physically can definitely make a more interesting day for your teen.