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83 Non-Screen Things For Teens To Do While in Quarantine

First thing to throw out at the prospect of a long-term family quarantine? The usual screentime rules, of course. Nothing’s normal, and we can’t pretend it is. Still, we know that approximately 23 hours of screens a day isn’t good for any of us. Yeah, we know they are technically doing school, but that’s online, too. Everyone needs a break. When you’re sick of seeing your kid staring at a screen, or—gasp!—they actually get tired of it themselves, here’s a list of non-screen pastimes to pass the time. What’s on your list? Of course, please follow all CDC recommendations regarding social distancing before you indulge.

Things To Do While Social Distancing

  1. Bake something new from a cookbook. 
  2. Find something in your room that 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.
  7. Call a grandparent (you’ll make their day).
  8. Do a crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or word find.
  9. Ride a bike, skateboard, or scooter. (depending on recommendations from CDC)
  10. Write in a journal.
  11. Write fanfic based on your favorite book or movie.
  12. Shoot hoops. (depending on recommendations from CDC)
  13. Have a bath.
  14. Make slime.
  15. Do origami.
  16. Play darts, ping pong, or air hockey.
  17. Have a Nerf gun war.
  18. Try to figure out how to fix something broken in your home.
  19. Read. Find a book in your house you’ve never read before.
  20. Cuddle with or play with a pet. Teach them a new trick.
  21. Play with siblings.
  22. Go for a run or walk. (depending on recommendations from CDC)
  23. Paint your nails.
  24. Go to the park. (depending on recommendations from CDC)
  25. Go sledding or have a snowball fight. (depending on recommendations from CDC)
  26. Start or tend a garden.
  27. Brainstorm business ideas.
  28. Nap.
  29. Create an obstacle course or scavenger hunt.
  30. Do a jigsaw puzzle.
  31. Ask if there are extra chores you can do for cash.
  32. Knit, crochet, or rainbow loom.
  33. Think of one adulting thing you don’t know how to do, and find out how to do it.
  34. Practice or learn an instrument.
  35. Try to identify the birds in your neighborhood.
  36. See if you can set a record at something.
  37. Find or create a geocache (yes, we know there is minor screen involvement).
  38. Plan one dinner you’d like to try making.
  39. Now that you’ve planned a dinner, make it.
  40. Paint a room.
  41. Take your mom’s grocery list and buy everything. (depending on recommendations from CDC)
  42. Create a compelling argument about why you should get to use technology.
  43. Make a bucket list.
  44. Bake cookies.
  45. Go through your drawers and make a pile of clothes that you want to donate.
  46. Write a short story.
  47. Build something with toothpicks.
  48. Build houses with playing cards.
  49. Teach yourself a new card game.
  50. Learn how to do an updo.
  51. Practice yoga.
  52. Try to stand on your head or do a cartwheel.
  53. Tour the house looking at all the things on the walls and tables like you’re at a museum.
  54. Teach yourself cursive/calligraphy.
  55. Make a scrapbook of your last year’s adventures.
  56. Teach yourself to whistle using your fingers.
  57. If it’s snowy, build a snowman or snow fort.
  58. Clean your room and argue for an allowance.
  59. Play croquet
  60. Get a book out about trees and learn to Identify them.
  61. Go for a hike. (depending on recommendations from CDC)
  62. Practice your free throw.
  63. Give yourself a facial mask.
  64. Learn how to juggle.
  65. Design a family crest.
  66. Look through family photo albums.
  67. Make a photo collage for your room.
  68. Play with sidewalk chalk.
  69. Alphabetize the spices in your kitchen.
  70. Organize your shoes.
  71. Learn how to make a perfect cat eye with eyeliner.
  72. Make homemade ice cream.
  73. String lights across the ceiling in your room. 
  74. Learn to write your name in calligraphy.
  75. Make a friendship bracelet.
  76. Become an expert in some obscure trivia.
  77. Drive around town to explore. (depending on recommendations from CDC)
  78. Ask your grandparents about their childhood.
  79. Ask your parents about their first date.
  80. Learn how to do henna designs.
  81. Read a magazine or newspaper you have never read before.
  82. Dream about where you’d like to be in five, 10, or even 20 years.
  83. Do an extra chore and surprise your parents.

Love that extra chore one, am I right? Especially now, when everyone at home means multiplied messes—and more time to teach them the chores we maybe should have insisted on long ago. (No more excuses of extracurriculars and long school days!) Whether it’s a must-do or a fun-to-do, the time is now is get creative and (at some point) get off those screens.

What’s on your list?

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