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Fun Activities for Your Teens to Do During Coronavirus Lockdown

Activities for teenagers in lockdown. 

Parental Version

 Is your teenager grumbling they are bored, they have nothing to do or you are worried they are spending too much time gaming? Below are lots of fun activities that you can encourage your teen to participate in.

Lockdown activities for teens and tweens in self-isolation.

Take an online photography course: Now is the time to learn a new skill, and surprisingly there are tons of photography courses online. Ideally they’ll need a DSLR camera – luckily that’s one thing that hasn’t sold out on Amazon – but there are also courses in smartphone photography that focus on capturing interesting angles and concepts, and using natural light.

 Learn to touch type: Have you seen how kids type? That two-finger jab thing they do on the keyboard (or worse still, the iPad stabbing that makes me want to layer 72 screen protectors on their devices). Learning to touch type will speed up their essay work too, so they’ll stop claiming carpal tunnel syndrome as an excuse to avoid their English and History homework.

 Enrol in Stage School: It might sound strange but lockdown is the perfect time to start acting classes. Stage Academy are an established performing arts school, who like everyone else have had to temporarily stop live classes. But they’ve put together online versions that are so good they actually stand alone as a way of taking drama lessons on an ongoing basis.. They cover all ages from 4-18, it costs £10 a month (honestly SUCH good value for money), and you get a free 7 day trial – it’s a no-brainer for budding thespians.

Build a website: Why not learn to code? Code Academy offers free coding classes online. You could build your first ecommerce site, or start a blog!

Create an Anime: If your teenager is into graphic design,  Anime is a good way to use time and learn a new skill.

Write a letter: I know, I know it’s not cool. What a wonderful surprise for Grandparents who would love them even more. Failing that, a lot of nursing homes are looking for letters and drawings for their residents to read. (Check first that they’re accepting external post).

Start a podcast: If your teenager fancies having a YouTube channel but is too shy to put themself out there a podcast might be a good alternative. It’s super easy to get started, and podcasting is really taking off right now. There are lots of podcast hosting platforms, and most of them have really good idiot guides to explain how to do it. Podcast.co allows you to download a pretty comprehensive guide with no obligation to sign up. Only once you have a recording you want to put on the podcasting apps do you need to pay for an account. If you’ve never listened to a podcast, here’s mine – Teenage Kicks, a mental health podcast aimed at teens and their parents.

Simpler everyday activities for teens to do in the house.

Cook dinner: I’ve seen lots of parents say their teenagers are taking it in turns to cook dinner, and now is the perfect time. but they need to learn to cook more than beans before they leave home. I’m .going to I have one who loves to cook and one who hates it but even she is cooking up a storm at the moment.

Meal plan: Similarly, kids need to know how to budget and plan food for the week, so hand in hand with cooking, I ask mine to make a weekly meal plan together. This will either result in a chilled sandwiches, or us eating ravioli for an entire week.

Do the laundry: Again, something to teach them now, when we’re all at home. This will require supervision to ensure colour-sorting doesn’t lead to teen girl’s favourite top turning red.

Mow the lawn: Teenagers are guaranteed to love this responsibility. But again, you might want to supervise, and make sure the dog is inside the house.

Learn DIY skills: See above.

Wash the car: You’ll have to pay them by BACs transfer, obviously, as there’s nowhere for them to spend their cash right now.

Learn car maintenance: change the oil and water, and change a tyre under supervision.

Cleaning: dusting, vacuuming, floor mopping… I’m losing you here aren’t I? I’ll stop, but if you can convince your teenager to clean your house, I’d like to know your secret.

Academic activities for teens in lockdown.

Watch a TedED: From the makers of TED talks TedED offers brilliant educational talks, as well as a daily email of lesson plans for any age group.

BBC Bitesize: Revision activities for all subjects at all levels, plus daily online lessons coming from 20 April.

Online Lessons: Mr Azfar on YouTube is an utter genius in my opinion. Not only has he uploaded lessons on specific topics including Physics, English Lit, and Maths, he also livestreams lessons every day on his channel Lockdown Lessons. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still Maths and Physics, but if your teenager has specific GCSE problems to work on they might find the answers here. Also, it means I don’t have to do Physics with my kids. Which is good because I gave up Physics when I was 13.

Learn a new word from the dictionary: Quick daily English activity.

Learn about Art: Google Arts and Culture has a huge rabbit hole of art, architecture and cultural nuggets to fall down. So much to learn!

Keep on top of the news: The Day is offering their daily newsletter subscription (usually priced at £120 a year for a family membership) free of charge during lockdown. It has a readership of mostly teenagers, and covers quirky reviews and academic updates as well as keeping on top of what our politi, cians are doing. Ask your teenagers to read it and report back to you, recalling the funny memes, and debating today’s news.

Learn a language: try a new language on Duolingo. 

Activities to improve teens health during lockdown

Mention PE with Joe Wicks in front of my lot and their selective hearing kicks in. Great at first but losing its appeal 5 weeks in.. So I’ve had to be a bit inventive. Here are some things that they will condescend to do:

Just Dance: To be fair, my daughter will happily spend 2 hours exercising if it’s on Just Dance. Her younger brother will join in too, although we’ve had to buy the latest version, because she was beating him hands down on our 2014 version. And you don’t want yet another reason for a sibling meltdown.

Free live Personal Training: live workouts with a personal trainer. A reason for teens to join Facebook if ever there was one.

Yoga with Adriene: Free online course, surprisingly engaging to teen girls. Also to stressed out mums.

Headspace: I know, they’re going to roll their eyes, but make them do it. I bet by the end of a week of Headspace meditation they’ll enjoy it (although they probably won’t admit it to your face). It’s seriously good for changing how you think about things, including coronavirus anxiety.

Take a course with the OLLIE foundation: A fabulous teen mental health charity, the OLLIE offer online courses to help teenagers understand their own anxiety, and cope with feeling overwhelmed during this very difficult time.

Take Ballet lessons: English Youth Ballet are live streaming classes on Instagram. Also see this post on how to get your ballet fix in lockdown for real dance enthusiasts.

Strava a bike ride: Encourage them to use that expensive bike they wanted that’s been sat in the garage or shed for the past two years. Taking their bike out and trying to improve their distance on Strava. Can be achieved even with lockdown rules.

Fun stuff for teens to do in lockdown

Go to the theatre: Every Thursday at 7pm National Theatre are showing free full length productions of their best shows such as One Man Two Guvnors with James Corden,

See a ballet: Likewise, the Royal Ballet is uploading full productions to its YouTube page. Try Peter and the Wolf, and see where you go from there.

Online Quiz Night: The teenager version of the virtual quiz night that’s had so much success on Facebook. I would try and get mine to join in as a family. Lots of fun.

Camp out: One for siblings that actually get on well, given they can’t invite their friends.

Make cake pops: I know, it’s just baking, but seriously, have you ever tried to make cake pops? Very fiddly, very time-consuming, very addictive once you have all the sprinkles and melted chocolate buttons to play with. Guaranteed to keep them occupied for a whole afternoon. Any baking is fun to do right!

Crack the Rubik’s Cube: Remember doing that as a teenager? I think there was a book in place of the internet instructions our teenagers have. Bet you can’t do it now though.

Create bespoke art for their rooms: You can still buy spray paint and a giant canvas on Amazon, then let them loose in the garden to come up with their own design.

Spin a basketball on your fingertip: Wouldn’t it be so cool to be able to do that in a TikTok?

Make a photo book: You know all those family holiday photos you’ve been meaning to put into an album..? Alternatively, let them design a photobook of their own – maybe even a Year Book if they’ve just left school more abruptly than they were intending!

Learn to Juggle: Careful with this one. Mine are not happy with me as I hold the family record, 15 seconds with three  so far J, this has turned competitive.

Plan a holiday: Give them a budget then set them loose on the internet to plan the perfect family holiday.

Do a virtual dive or space trip: Watch 3D underwater videos or space

exploration on YouTube for a bit of escapism.

Search Rollercoaster POV: Rollercoaster videos from the perspective of the person in the front row.

Visit a museum: art galleries and museums are putting some of their collections online, so there’s an unprecedented amount of things you can now see up close without the queues! Take a look at the Natural History Museum‘s fossil exhibition – it’s very cool.

Learn an instrument: Ukeleles or harmonicas are inexpensive, or give them spoons and put in your ear plugs, and they can start to learn online.

Have a Nerf gun battle: Also doubles as exercise.

Check out the Scouts website: There are fun things for all ages including older teens.

Have a virtual film night with friends: Netflix Party allows them to watch a film with friends – and the upside is that this time no one else can hog the popcorn. Advise parental control.

Play Dungeons & Dragons: You can play D&D online.

Useful things for teens to do in lockdown.

Learn to read a map: One of those things you never really do with the advent of Google Maps on your phone, but fascinating once you get started. If your teenager has taken you up on the holiday planning activity this could work well alongside it. Get them to plan routes, and work out places of interest you could get to from your resort for a day trip.

Learn to sew: If you have a sewing machine they can pick up basic sewing techniques through YouTube videos. Once they’ve done that, they can create scrubs, bags and facemasks for NHS staff – how cool is that?

Learn First Aid: a brilliant general life skill.

Learn to change a lightbulb, change a plug: Another life skill. Your babies won’t be living with you forever (is that a cheer I hear J).

Sew on a button, learn to iron: Similarly, this is a task everyone should learn to do for themselves before leaving home.

KS4. Plan a career: research jobs you might find interesting, from pay scales and promotion paths to what’s needed at entry level.

Make a business plan: If you have a good business idea now is an ideal time to get stuck into the planning. You can find free business planning templates to guide you on the government business website.

KS4. Start a LinkedIn profile: it’s the most successful platform for building a network and finding new jobs, so you’ll need one at some point. It might as well be now.

KS4. Join a careers workshop: If you’ve no idea what you want to do with your life don’t worry. None of your parents did either when they were your age. A careers workshop might help you rule things out or in.

Whole family activities during lockdown.

Play Come Dine with Me: Everyone hosts a night, everyone gives a score, and the winner gets… a cooked meal of choice and a satisfaction of a job well done? I’m being totally honest here, my son just may get top prize.

Complete an Escape Room: Teenagers love an escape room, and now it’s possible to do it virtually. Have a look at Durham Escape Rooms for their online challenge. A must as a family. So much fun.

Decorate a room: Now’s the time with the extra hands.

Play a board game: Add your own spin to it to make it your family experience.

Make a Time Capsule: There’s no doubt about it – now is an unprecedented time in their lives, and having something tangible to look back at in the future will be both fascinating and iconic. You’ll find some tips on how to make a time capsule worthy of the Coronavirus lockdown here.

Do a jigsaw: Have a dig around the house – there’s bound to be at least one. If not Amazon have some great ones.

Make your own quiz: Have a look at the Virtual Pub Quiz for ideas. This is a regular fixture in our house.  So we decided that to keep the quiz bug going, we’d create our own. Each member of the family chooses their own specialist subject and makes 10 questions for the rest of us. This could take on all sorts of angles – how well do you know your teenage daughter? What pranks did your Dad pull as a teen himself? How goody two-shoes really was mum? The possibilities are endless!

Things for teens to do in lockdown that will blow their minds;

Clean windows with newspaper and vinegar: .Here’s hoping it works with yours! Who can resist ink fingers! And if you manage to find a trick that excites them about bringing cups, glasses and bottles down from their rooms please share with us.

Make giant bubbles: Traditionally an activity for small kids, but I defy anyone not to love a giant bubble.

Lots of activities that don’t involve Fifa, Fortnite or Call of Duty, Have fun and enjoy.