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“Mom, I’m Bored!” 100 Activities Antsy Teens Can Do Without Screens

For millennia, young people have been able to pass their days engaged and entertained—without the aid of an electronic screen. And they’ve even enjoyed themselves. So how do you find things for bored teenagers to do at home and on the go? Where do you find things to do without technology? The Your Teen staff has gathered 100 ideas for fun activities that teenagers can do without a phone, PC, PS4, or television. Pssst—they work for adults, too!

What Do When You’re Bored

When you feel bored, it is easy to pick up your phone and scroll for hours. However, many of us feel like we spend too much time a day looking at screens.  One of the best ways to reduce screen time is to replace screen time with entertaining activities. According to Jennifer Casarella, MD , “Boredom is an emotion or signal that lets you know that you are doing something that doesn’t give you satisfaction.” The best thing to do when you’re bored is to find an activity that gives you satisfaction. Our list of things to do when you’re bored includes satisfying activities such as making origami, doing puzzles, and going to the zoo.

100 Things Teenagers Can Do Without Screens

  1. Bake something new from a cookbook. 
  2. Find something in your room that you enjoyed when you were younger and try it again, just for fun.
  3. Figure out what’s a mile or less from your home, and walk to one interesting place.
  4. Play a board game.
  5. Color, draw, or paint.
  6. Walk a dog (yours or a neighbor’s).
  7. Think of someone you know who might be lonely, and what you could do for them.
  8. Call a grandparent (you’ll make their day).
  9. Do a crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or word find.
  10. Ride a bike, skateboard, or scooter.
  11. Write in a journal.
  12. Write fanfic based on your favorite book or movie.
  13. Shoot hoops.
  14. Have a bath.
  15. Make slime.
  16. Do origami.
  17. Visit a friend or invite one over.
  18. Play darts, ping pong, or air hockey.
  19. Have a Nerf gun war.
  20. Try to figure out how to fix something broken in your home.
  21. Read. Find a book in your house you’ve never read before.
  22. Cuddle with or play with a pet. Teach them a new trick.
  23. Play with siblings.
  24. Go for a run or walk.
  25. Paint your nails.
  26. Go to the park.
  27. Play frisbee or catch.
  28. Go sledding or have a snowball fight.
  29. Look for a job—even if it’s babysitting or dog walking.
  30. Start or tend a garden.
  31. Brainstorm business ideas.
  32. Nap.
  33. Find a volunteer position.
  34. Create an obstacle course or scavenger hunt.
  35. Do a jigsaw puzzle.
  36. Ask if there are extra chores you can do for cash.
  37. Knit, crochet, or rainbow loom.
  38. Think of one adulting thing you don’t know how to do, and find out how to do it.
  39. Practice or learn an instrument.
  40. Try to identify the birds in your neighborhood.
  41. See if you can set a record at something.
  42. Find or create a geocache (yes, we know there is minor screen involvement).
  43. Plan one dinner you’d like to try making.
  44. Now that you’ve planned a dinner, make it.
  45. Paint a room.
  46. Take your mom’s grocery list and buy everything.
  47. Create a compelling argument about why you should get to use technology.
  48. Make a bucket list.
  49. Bake cookies and give them to the local fire department.
  50. Visit the Humane Society to play with the animals.
  51. Go to the zoo.
  52. Get the neighborhood kids together for a game of tag football.
  53. Go through your drawers and make a pile of clothes that you want to donate.
  54. Serve a meal at a soup kitchen.
  55. Write a short story.
  56. Build something with toothpicks.
  57. Build houses with playing cards.
  58. Teach yourself a new card game.
  59. Learn how to do an updo.
  60. Practice yoga.
  61. Try to stand on your head or do a cartwheel.
  62. Tour the house looking at all the things on the walls and tables like you’re at a museum.
  63. Teach yourself cursive/calligraphy.
  64. Make a scrapbook of your last year’s adventures.
  65. Teach yourself to whistle using your fingers.
  66. Go to the library.
  67. If it’s snowy, build a snowman or snow fort.
  68. Clean your room and argue for an allowance.
  69. Play croquet
  70. Get a book out about trees and learn to Identify them.
  71. Go for a hike.
  72. Be a tourist in your own hometown.
  73. Walk around a local cemetery and read the headstones.
  74. Practice your free throw.
  75. Give yourself a facial mask.
  76. Learn how to juggle.
  77. Design a family crest.
  78. Look through family photo albums.
  79. Make a photo collage for your room.
  80. Play with sidewalk chalk.
  81. Alphabetize the spices in your kitchen.
  82. Organize your shoes.
  83. Learn how to make a perfect cat eye with eyeliner.
  84. Make homemade ice cream.
  85. String lights across the ceiling in your room. 
  86. Learn to write your name in calligraphy.
  87. Make a friendship bracelet.
  88. Become an expert in some obscure trivia.
  89. Drive around town to explore.
  90. Ask your grandparents about their childhood.
  91. Shadow your parents at work.
  92. Ask your parents about their first date.
  93. Ask someone on a date and plan it.
  94. Learn how to do henna designs.
  95. Read a magazine or newspaper you have never read before.
  96. Dream about where you’d like to be in five, 10, or even 20 years.
  97. Do an extra chore and surprise your parents.
  98. See if you have enough money saved to go to a trampoline park, rock climbing gym, bowling alley, museum, concert, roller rink, escape room, etc.
  99. Bike to the town pool.
  100. Hang out in a coffee shop to do homework or talk with friends.
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