The teenage years are a formative time. They’re the years where a person discovers who they are. Friends, interests, career goals, there are all sorts of things a teen needs to figure out for themselves. And most importantly, teens need hobbies. From skills to friends to just plain fun, hobbies are central to a teen’s development. But how do you find new hobbies? Well, look no further, because we’ve created a master list of the best hobbies for teens.
Creative Hobbies For Teens
Origami is great because it does not require much to get started. Simply grab some paper, find a tutorial on YouTube to follow, and get to folding. If your teen likes puzzles, then origami is a perfect fit. It’s fun, relaxing, and helps teens flex those problem solving skills.
Everyone needs to learn how to cook for themselves sooner or later, but for many teens, cooking can be a great way to express their creativity and independence while they develop those essential cooking skills. Is your teen sick of your go-to recipes? Do they want to go vegetarian for a month? Let them cook for themselves, or even show off by cooking for the whole family. You can start them off with simple recipes like pasta or stir-fry and help them work their way up to more complex meals. And hey, if it takes an extra chore off your plate, who’s going to complain?
Cooking is an art, but baking is a science. If your teen loves sweets, have them try their hands at baking. You can start with simple recipes, like cookies or even the brownie mixes you can find at any grocery store, and then work your way up to more complex desserts like cakes or pastries. Baking fresh bread, too, can often be fun, relaxing, and rewarding.
Painting is a wonderful way to develop creativity and artistic skills. From watercolor to oil painting, there are all sorts of ways to put your creativity to the canvas. Help your teen set up a little studio, paper a table with newspaper, and let them run wild. From landscapes to portraits to everything in between, there’s nothing more therapeutic than getting messy with some paint and a paintbrush.
5. Rock Painting
Maybe you don’t have the space to let your teen set up a painting canvas. That doesn’t mean they can’t paint something else. Painting small items to decorate their space, like rocks or ceramics, is a great way to let them express their creativity on a smaller scale. Let them pencil in a fun design and then turn something small into something beautiful. Let them decorate a garden with their handmade ornaments. Have them create functional items, like coasters or mugs. There are all sorts of ways your teen can flex those creative muscles.
Drawing is another easy and inexpensive hobby for the creative teen. All you really need is a pencil, paper, and an idea in your head. If your teen has an artistic streak, try buying them a sketchbook and some colored pencils too. There are hundreds of drawing tutorials out there, from books to YouTube videos. Just be warned: once a teen has fallen in love with drawing, no child can resist the siren song of doodling on their homework.
7. Knitting or Crocheting
Knitting or crocheting is a great way for teens to create while also developing patience. What’s better than a fun, relaxing hobby that also gives you something you can wear or use when it’s finished? There are thousands of tutorials online and offline, and there are so many crafting communities out there that would welcome any newcomer with open arms.
Sewing is fun, creative, and practical. If your teen is constantly wearing through their clothes or ripping shirts, sewing is a great skill for them to learn. And once they understand the basics, they can start creating anything, like pillowcases, tote bags, or even their own clothes from scratch.
Is your teen into anime, videogames, or costumes? If so, they might like cosplaying. Cosplaying is the act of creating and wearing costumes of your favorite fictional characters, often for attending fan conventions. While cosplay can be expensive, many cosplay novices can create simple costumes with what they have on hand and just a little extra help from a fabric store. More experienced hobbyists often work their way up to more complex designs. Cosplay often combines all sorts of other creative hobbies, like sewing, crafting, designing outfits, and more.
Woodworking can be a fun and practical hobby for teens to pick up. While this may be a bit more of a financial commitment than other hobbies on this list, it can be very rewarding for many teens to end their crafting with a handmade birdhouse or other useful items. If you don’t have your own woodworking workshop (which seems unlikely), there are many spaces where you can create under supervised instruction, like a woodworking class in a high school.
11. Metalworking or Glassblowing
Let’s face it: at the end of the day, what teenage boy wouldn’t jump at the chance to make and own their own sword? This is a bigger financial commitment than other hobbies on this list, but no less rewarding. There are many places that would allow a teenager to design and create their own metalworking project under strict supervision. Statues, sculptures, jewelry, there are all sorts of things one can create with metal or glass.
12. Model Building
Once again, if your teen is a fan of puzzles, then your teen may love model building. There are all sorts of model kits out there, big and small. There are starter kits for airplanes and cars, or the more complex crafts like ships in a bottle.
There is no age limit on Legos. While there are many Lego projects aimed at kids under the age of ten, you’d be surprised how many Lego projects there are out there for teens and adults that can take days to complete and create huge complex structures. If your teen likes model building, then Legos are a great hobby to take up.
14. D&D/Game Minis
Dungeons and Dragons has swept across the country, and more and more teens have been playing. But what many parents don’t know is that there’s also a huge market for creating and painting game minis for these roleplaying games. From pre-made characters you can buy at any game store to websites where you can design your own figure, your teen can bring their fantasy character to life. There are also plenty of other game minis, from D&D monsters to complex sci-fi mechs to realistic war figures.
Maybe your creative kid isn’t much in the way of visual arts. In that case, let them try their hand at writing. If your teen loves to read or play games with sprawling stories, they should try their hands at writing for themselves. Plus, there are many writing communities and creative writing clubs that they can get involved in.
Does your teen have neat handwriting? Maybe calligraphy is the way to go. Calligraphy can help them hone their artistic side and their attention to detail, and there are plenty of online tutorials out there.
Turn your teen’s love of selfies into a passion worth pursuing. Your teen can use their iPhone to take photos, or maybe they’d like a camera of some kind. Many kids are into using old fashioned polaroids, and other kids love photo editing on photoshop. There are all sorts of ways to turn those selfies and frappuccino pics into works of art.
18. 3D Printing
3D printing is a great skill to have and an amazing way to encourage a love of engineering and thinking in 3D spaces. 3D printers have become pretty affordable in recent years. You can buy a decent 3D printer for around $150. After you’ve acquired a printer, it’s easy to find YouTube tutorials for getting it set up. Your teen can create anything they can imagine, from figurines to contraptions of all shapes and sizes.
Outdoor Hobbies for Teens
19. Bike Riding
Biking is great because it can be a hobby and a form of transportation. They can bike around the neighborhood or on bike paths around town. Plus, if your teen isn’t into sports, biking is a great way to get cardio in.
Skateboarding is another great way to let your teen have fun while transporting themselves from place to place. Your teen can start by learning to cruise around and then move on to doing tricks. Skateboarding is a great way to get your teen active and moving, and there are plenty of skateboard parks to let them practice safely.
One of the best ways to stay active and improve your endurance is running. Your teens can start with simple jogs around your neighborhood and work their way up to more challenging distances and terrains. Running can be a fun and rewarding hobby that can help improve your physical health and mental resilience, and all you need is a pair of running shoes.
If you live near the mountains, snowboarding is a great way to stay active during the winter, and improve your balance and coordination. Your teens can start with simple bunny hills and work their way up to more challenging slopes.
23. Rock Climbing
If you live near a rock climbing gym, rock climbing and bouldering can be a great hobby to pick up. Plus there are plenty of safe outdoor rock climbing spaces. Maybe someday your teen will be climbing mountains.
Your teen can use their surroundings as a hobby with parkour. There are all sorts of YouTube tutorials out there on how to get started. (Just be sure that they’re doing it safely.)
Kids these days often struggle wayfinding without their technology in hand. Maybe geocaching is the perfect hobby to help them develop their navigation and problem-solving skills. There are millions of geocaching spots around the world, and you’d be surprised how many may be near you.
The best part of bird watching is that all you need is your own two eyes and a window. Maybe this option can be a bit too ‘boring’ for your teen, but there are plenty of ways to spice it up. Get your backyard a bird feeder (or use the birdfeeder your teen built from their new woodworking hobby), a bird guide, and a pair of binoculars. Once your teen starts keeping track, they may realize they’re finding rarer birds than they thought.
Astronomy is a great way to get your kid interested in science. There are dozens of free constellation apps that can get them started identifying astral bodies and satellites. There are also telescopes you can purchase or borrow to help your kid get a close up view. Who knows, maybe you have a future astronaut in your midst.
Indoor or outdoor, gardening is a great way to get your kid off the couch. There are plenty of simple starter sets with herbs and succulents, or you can have your teen help out with the landscaping or grow their own vegetables. Gardening can be fun and relaxing, and what teen wouldn’t love basking in the ‘fruits’ of their labors?
If you’re close enough to a hiking trail, then hiking is a great hobby for your teen to pick up. Many hiking trails are completely free and easy to find. Let your kid discover a love of nature and adventure through hiking.
30. Creek Walking
Similar to hiking, creek walking is a great way to get some exercise while scratching that adventuring itch. There are plenty of creeks to be found, and all your teen needs is some good water shoes.
If your teen was always the last child to be wrangled out of the local pool, maybe swimming is the hobby for them. Many towns have at least one pool that is either free or easy to get access as a local resident.
32. Stand-up Paddleboarding
Paddleboarding is a great hobby for teens to get into. If you’re near a large enough body of water, paddleboarding is a great way to stay in shape and enjoy the great outdoors. Plenty of places offer paddleboarding rentals, or you can buy your own.
33. Scuba Diving
Yes, scuba diving. While this may be a bit more expensive of a hobby for your teen to take up, exploring underwater can be a great way to get your teen interested in marine life. If scuba diving sounds a bit too dangerous/expensive, snorkeling is also a fun alternative.
34. Martial Arts
Your teen can exercise and learn self defense at the same time! Martial arts is a great way not only to get your teen active, but help them boost their confidence as well. There are plenty of gyms all over the country that offer different types of martial arts classes, from taekwondo to karate to kickboxing to aikido.
Archery is thousands of years old, and it’s an olympic sport. It’s another great way to help boost your teen’s self confidence and get them out of the house. There are plenty of ways to learn archery, from gyms to setting up targets in your backyard and letting them use YouTube tutorials.
In addition to being great exercise, yoga is constantly cited as a great way to lower stress and promote relaxation. And let’s face it, what teen doesn’t need to lower stress and promote relaxation? There are even plenty of free online yoga resources if you don’t want to pay for your teen’s classes.
Remember when roller skating was all the rage? Well, there are still plenty of rinks out there with rentable skates for your teen to use. Or, for something a little more uncommon, your teen could easily replace that bike with skates when traveling around the neighborhood.
38. Ice skating
While ice rinks are a little harder to come by than roller rinks, there are still plenty of them out there. Your teen may love the thrill of cutting through the ice. There are all sorts of ways to develop a love of skating, like hockey and figure skating, but your teen may also simply like gliding around the rink.
Maybe fencing isn’t as common, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to find classes or gyms dedicated to teaching fencing. Does your teen seem like they’d enjoy wielding a sword? Sign your kid up for a class.
40. Magic Tricks
Magic tricks make for great party tricks. You don’t need much equipment, you can get started with just a deck of cards. There are plenty of online tutorials and books your teen could utilize to become a master of illusion.
41. Stand-up Comedy
Is your kid a riot? Does your kid constantly leave a room in stitches? Maybe they’d be great at stand-up comedy! Let your teen hone that humor and gain the self confidence to perform in front of a crowd. There are plenty of classes your teen could enroll in, online and in person. Let them learn from a master, and they may be a comic for life.
42. Improv Comedy
Similarly to stand-up comedy, improv is a great way to build your teen’s self confidence. While it’s a very different skillset, there are plenty of classes out there that can help your teen learn the ins and outs of improv. And the best part, since improv usually needs a group, improv is a great way to help your teen find their people.
43. Playing an Instrument
Your teen doesn’t have to be in band to find joy in playing an instrument, although school bands and orchestras are a great gateway into the world of music. If your teen isn’t interested in marching band, they may still love piano lessons or learning guitar. There are plenty of teachers and tutors out there, for both classical and more modern music. Plus, once they’ve improved enough to play competently, performing is a great way to build their self confidence, whether it’s busking, marching in a band, or playing in a battle of the bands.
Most schools have choirs, but there are plenty of other ways to get your kid singing. Karaoke, school musicals, show choirs, or even more uncommon routes like barbershop quartets are a great way for your teen to perform and make lifelong friends.
You’d be surprised how many shy teens thrive on the stage. Plus, drama clubs and theater productions are a great way to forge a sense of community for many teens. There are plenty of places that could use fresh talent. If your teen is hesitant to try out for the school play, try community theater. Note: if your teen is still a bit too shy for the limelight, stagehands and set builders can feel just as rewarded.
Gaming Hobbies for Teens
Shockingly enough, chess has become very popular among teens in recent years. Of course, there have always been chess clubs that teens can join, but there are also plenty of online games and competitions that can get your teen strategizing. If your teen needs a challenge and likes to think creatively, try getting them into chess.
47. Magic: The Gathering
Magic the gathering is a popular trading card game among nerds everywhere. It has a huge fanbase, and has groups that meet and play all over the country. You should be able to find Magic groups at just about any local game store. It’s a great way for teens to have fun, meet new people, and develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
48. Playing Board Games
Yes, we all know Monopoly and Sorry and Life. But did you know there are thousands more obscure games out there just waiting for your teen to fall in love with? Plus, everyone knows family game nights are a great way to bond. Let your teen take the lead in finding games for the whole family and they’ll happily start talking to you again. Need help finding a game? Here’s a list of games your teen will love.
49. Playing Video Games
Yes, I know it’s the bane of every parent’s existence, but there are all sorts of reasons video gaming could be a great hobby for teens. For one thing, hand-eye coordination and problem solving skills are nothing to sneeze at. For another, games are a great way for teens to find their people. From online to offline, so many teens connect over their love of games. If you don’t like the idea of your teen talking to strangers online, have them set up online gaming chatrooms with just their friends, or even better, have them invite some kids over for a game night.
Dungeons and Dragons has made a huge comeback in recent years, thanks to D&D shows and podcasts. If your teen loves fantasy, video games or improv, tabletop role playing games are a perfect fit for a hobby. If fantasy isn’t their speed, try a sci-fi game, or a game styled after the mystery solving of Scooby Doo. Your teen will have fun and make lifelong friends in the process.
Experiential Hobbies for Teens
Many people have gotten into genealogy in recent years, and it can be a fun way for a teen not only to learn more about their families, but about history as well. If you don’t want your teen using the DNA tracing sites, there are plenty of other genealogy sites that your teen could utilize in their search.
Volunteering is a great way to get your teen out of the house while doing good in the world. There is plenty of research that volunteering can raise a teen’s self esteem and self confidence. Help them find a cause they’re truly passionate about, like feeding the hungry or caring for animals, and let them find the value of giving back to the community.
Of course, reading is a wonderful way for your teen to expand their worlds and worldviews. Fiction, non fiction, poetry, there are so many different books out there that anyone can find something they love. If your teen doesn’t like reading traditional books, try comic books or books on tape. If you want your teen to meet new people, try having them join a book club. And of course, if you want your teen to try something new, have them pick up a library book at the local library.
Every teen has something that they’d love to start collecting. Vinyl records, Funko Pops, snow globes, pins, starting a collection is a great way for a teen to find their passions, show off their unique styles, and decorate their living spaces.
While this may be tough for a newly-licenced teen, your child may still love traveling as a hobby. If family vacations aren’t enough to satiate your teen’s wanderlust, let them try traveling to nearby cities and landmarks by themselves or with friends. Wayfinding and other travel necessities are a great skill for any teen to perfect before they hit eighteen and get to travel the wide world without parental supervision.
56. Learning a New Language
Whether it’s to meet new people, connect with your family heritage, or watch foreign television without subtitles, learning a new language is an incredibly rewarding hobby. There are plenty of online learning tools for learning languages, and plenty of books as well. Plus learning languages makes traveling to another country easier and more rewarding.
If there’s one thing about teenagers, it’s that they love thrift shopping. There are plenty of thrift stores all over the country selling unique items that will help bolster your teen’s sense of discovery. Plus, thrifting is a great way for your teen to expand their wardrobe without breaking the bank.
These are just a few examples of hobbies that your teen can try to develop new skills, passions, and friendships. Whatever hobby they choose, make sure it’s something that they enjoy and that challenges them in some way. Maybe it will only last for a few weeks, or maybe it’ll stick with them for life, but no matter what, every teen can and should take the time to find something they’re passionate about.