Looking for some fun screen free activities for your tweens and teens? Here’s some amazing activities that are not only fun, but many of them teach your pre-teen or teenager a new skill or help them further develop a skill!
First things first. I’m not a strict “no screen time” mom.
I believe screen time in moderation can be beneficial. However, too much screen time can not only lead to grumpy kids, but can have some serious effects on your child’s health (Read more here).
If you have younger kids, be sure to check out 50 Screen Free Activities for Kids.
Alright! Let’s dive in. Here’s a list of 40 Screen Free Activities for Tweens and Teens!
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1) Let’s Build Something – Give your child the freedom to build. Allow him/her to use your tools and supplies. To keep the project inexpensive, I would encourage them start small and use items around the house or cheap supplies.
2) Make a Wreath – Maybe you have an old wreath that could use sprucing up or perhaps a new wreath is in order! It doesn’t have to be expensive. You can find beautiful flowers on Amazon or at any hobby store.
3) Painting Furniture or a Room – Give your tween or teen some guidance and supervision and this could be a win-win for the whole family! Allow him/her some freedom to pick a paint color and be creative. If he/she develops excellent painting skills, refinishing furniture or painting could be a great side job!
Arts/Crafts: Indoor Activities for Teens and Tweens
4) Jewelry making – There are so many amazing jewelry making options out there today! You can find jewelry making supplies at your local hobby store or even Walmart. Your child can create necklaces, rings, bracelets, or hand-stamped leather items.
5) Clay – There are a lot of cool clay supplies available. Some are perfect for molding and letting air dry while others are made to be fired in a kiln or oven baked.
6) Painting on Canvas or another medium – Allow your child the freedom to paint a picture on a canvas or maybe even on a wall in your home! Perhaps painting a t-shirt or shoes will appeal to your tween or teen.
7) Writing a Poem or a Book – If you have a writer in your home, give them a journal, special pens, a blank book, or just a quiet corner and let their imagination soar.
8) Build a Model – Building a model can be a really fun indoor activity for tweens and teens. There are all kinds of kits out there, for a variety of interests. This build your own marble run and this model airplane look intriguing! Here’s some more amazing model kits.
Fun in the Kitchen
9) Learn to Cook – My daughter has always worked alongside me in the kitchen stirring, adding items, etc. When she turned 8, I taught her to follow basic recipes. It’s so great to have another cook in the house and even though I still supervise and help with heavy pots or boiling hot items, she is learning so many valuable skills.
10) Baking – Teaching your child the basics of baking sets them up for success later in life! (Baking teaches measuring, following directions, and paying close attention to time and temperature.)
11) Cake Decorating – Allow your child to decorate a cake or cupcakes. All you need is a simple cake decorating kit and your child is on their way to developing a great life skill! Cake decorating skills can save you A LOT of money when you need a birthday cake or cupcakes for an event!
More Fun in the Kitchen
12) Grilling – This is another great skill to hone! Your teen could be the grill master of the family. What an amazing skill that would serve them well in the future!
13) Smoking meat – If you have a smoker, you can teach your older teen to build the fire, mix the seasonings, and smoke the meat.
14) Learn to use a kitchen gadget like a blender or an air fryer. The more kitchen skills your child develops, the better prepared for adulthood he/she will be! Teach your child to use a kitchen appliance and allow them to explore all the cool recipes they can create with that gadget!
Outdoor Fun – Screen Free Activities
15) Fly a Kite. There’s nothing more peaceful than flying a kite. It’s fun for people of all ages! Find the perfect open area and allow them the freedom to soar!
16) Fly a Drone – If you have a drone, this can be a fun way to get your tween/teen outside. Drones are surprisingly affordable these days. Depending on age and skill level, you may need to supervise closely.
17) Drive an R/C Car – Remote Control Cars are a great activity to get your child outdoors. Encourage them to build ramps, test theories, and use their imagination.
18) Ride a Bike – There’s nothing quite like a bicycle ride! Get them outside, moving, and getting some great exercise! Additionally, look into local trails you could enjoy as a family.
19) Walk the Dog. Walking is an easy form of exercise that builds healthy habits for later in life. Likewise, if they are walking the dog, the dog will benefit too! It’s a win-win!
More Fun Outside
20) Gardening (or house plants) – Allow your child to plan and plant a garden. Have them research tips on gardening, what plants do well next to each other, and which plants need full sun or some shade. Give them a section of your garden or perhaps a flower bed. If you don’t have a backyard consider allowing them to plant in pots on your deck or grow house plants.
21) Fairy Gardens – For tweens, a fairy garden can be a great deal of fun. You can find tiny houses and accessories and build a tiny fairy community in a flower pot or in a flower bed.
22) Sports – Encourage your child to get outside and toss a ball around. Provide all kinds of sports equipment for your child to play with and don’t forget to go out and play a game or two (it’s great exercise for you too!)
More Non Screen Activities for Tweens and Teens!
23) Instruments – Have your child practice an instrument or learn to play an instrument. Sometimes motivation comes in the form of new music sheets or a new challenge.
24) Plan a Trip – Planning a family vacation? Put your tween or teen in charge of putting together a plan. Give them the budget, brochures, map, etc. and have them plan a vacation. Let them know that you might use their plan if it meets the budget and needs of the family!
25) Board Games – Break out the board games and play a few rounds with your kids. I love playing Lost Cities, Blokus, and Carcassonne with my kids! Here’s 12 of my favorite board games.
26) Read – There’s nothing better than snuggling up under a warm blanket with a good book! Be sure to provide your child with lots of good books and cozy blankets. Maybe a favorite treat to enjoy while they read will sweeten the deal.
27) Science Experiments – Whether it’s a science kit or something simple, there’s so much to learn. Your tween or teen is sure to love the excitement of a science experiment. Lots of fun ideas can be found on Simply Outrageous Youth.
Creating – Screen Free Activities
28) Sewing – This is a skill that will be helpful throughout your child’s life. Whether it’s sewing a button back onto a coat or repairing a favorite shirt, it will come in handy. I recommend starting with a simple project like creating a pillowcase.
29) Embroidery – I love the traditional aspect of this skill. It is fun to think that you are teaching your child a skill that has been handed down many generations. If you don’t know how to embroidery, a simple kit like this one is a great way to get started. Also, you could check out a YouTube Video.
30) Knitting – Learning to Knit is a great skill that is trendy as well. With a simple kit like this, allow your child to learn a new skill…or learn alongside them!
Start a Business – Fun Activities for Teens & Tweens
31) Dog walking – If you child loves dogs, starting a dog walking business could be perfect! It’s great exercise, encourages outdoor time, and they can make money!
32) Mow Lawns – If you teen has mastered mowing your lawn, allow them to create a lawn mowing business. Talk to neighbors or create flyers to advertise your child’s new job!
33) Yard Work – If you child is a go-getter, they could start a business! By doing yard work or odd jobs they may be able to make some extra cash!
34) Babysitting – If you teen loves taking care of kids, babysitting might be a great fit. Advertise for him/her on facebook with rates. I’m sure it wouldn’t take long at all to find their first gig!
35) Visit nursing homes – Encourage your child to visit elderly friends and family! Perhaps they could set up a regular coffee date or meal to enjoy together. Not only will they build inter-generational relationships, but they will bless the elderly person as well!
36) Help elderly neighbors or friends with odd jobs. Encourage your child to help others with work around their house or yard work. You might find that you can work together with your child. You may be able to bless someone else while deepening your own relationship with your child.
37) Help at a Soup Kitchen. Soup Kitchens and Food Pantries are often looking for helpers. Encourage your child to volunteer regularly. Work alongside each other for a bonding experience.
38) Start a Food Drive – All you need to start a food drive is a place to collect food and a way to get the news out! Encourage your child to take on a leadership role in collecting food for the hungry in your community.
39) Write Letters to Soldiers – Your child could be a great source of encouragement to our soldiers. Write letters together as a family to send to soldiers who are away from home and could use a boost of inspiration. Read more about it here.
40) Donate Clothing and Toys – Have your teen or tween look through their outgrown clothing and toys and find things to donate. Allow them to research where they would like to donate and give them control!
BONUS: Learn a New Skill
Ok, so these next 5 activities aren’t screen free. However, I wanted to mention them because they are definitely worthwhile uses of screens. They aren’t mind-numbing like just watching tv or playing video games.
1) Programming – My 9 year old loves to play on code.org where she can learn simple coding skills while having fun. I love that she is exploring coding as it may be a possible career path for her in the future!
2) Keyboarding/Typing Skills – Hone your child’s keyboarding skills with free programs like typing.com where learning to type is fun!
3) Learn a Foreign Language – With site like Duolingo, your child can learn a foreign language for free. What a great use of their free time!
More Skill Building Ideas
4) Playing with Graphic Design on a free program like Canva – I use Canva to create graphics and printables. My 10 year old loves to play around with the program, changing colors, fonts, adding text boxes and photos. Not only is it fun, but it lays the groundwork for graphic design skills.
5) Make a Video with a Go-Pro – This amazing video camera allows your child to take action packed videos hands free. This definitely requires some parenting on what is appropriate to share. However it’s a great way to get kids active, out of the house, using creativity and problem solving, and interacting with others.
That sums it up!
I hope that you can encourage your child to reduce their screen time. If they do engage in screen time, try make it a learning experience!
Which Screen Free Activities for Teens and Tweens will your child enjoy?