Skip to main content

Bored on break? Some fun ideas for teens

Teens look forward to those school breaks. It’s a welcome respite from the daily stresses of school, homework, and extracurriculars. However, it doesn’t take long for boredom to creep in and teens to descend into the rabbit hole of smartphones, video games, and streaming services.

Parents navigate a slippery slope by trying to keep teenagers actively engaged on long breaks. While you want them to be able to kick back and chill, you don’t necessarily want them to spend the entire vacation texting, posting, gaming, and binging on their favorite shows. Of course, they are teens, so it will take a bit of creativity and patience to get them to disconnect, but it’s possible. There are many fun things to do on break with your teen that will bring smiles and laughs instead of eye rolls.

Roll the dice

Family game nights are not cliché. Playing games as a family is not an activity to engage in when kids are younger. Everyday life gets hectic when kids hit their teen years, which makes playing games during vacations ideal because you have the time. Board games are a perfect way to get teens talking and laughing. There also isn’t a shortage of fun games to play. Pictionary, Monopoly, Scrabble, and Trivial Pursuit are enduring classics, while Do You Really Know Your Family? and What Do You Meme? are newer ones to bring to the table.

Family playing board game in kitchen
Moneky Business Images/Shutterstock

Head outdoors

A good way to get teens to turn away from social media and put the game controllers down is to plan a day out. Most teens wouldn’t want to stroll around the neighborhood with the entire family even if the dog is in tow, which is why you should take them someplace new. Plan a family road trip and get them moving during scenic stops, or else head over to a hiking trail. A hike is a great activity to get teens outside and exercising. Hiking trails vary according to difficulty, and most states have plenty of beginner to intermediate trails that are inviting and picturesque. The quiet and scenery will help both parents and teens unwind a little on break. If the hike is a success, dust off the bikes, ensure the tires have enough air and take a ride on a path if the weather and temperature cooperate.

Get cooking

When schedules get busy, dinners are typically rushed, but there is more time to experiment in the kitchen when break rolls around. Vacations are ideal to try new meals and desserts. Involve teens in meal prep, starting with the menu. Teens will usually be more attentive to an activity if they have a say in what’s going on. So, let your teen choose a dish they would like to cook. Head out on a shopping trip to purchase the ingredients and get cooking.

Not only is this a lively and tasty endeavor, knowing how to plan, shop for, and cook a meal is an important life skill your teen will need when college rolls around. Baking is another undertaking that can be fun for adults and teens. If you’ve never made a cake from scratch, invite your teen into the kitchen to get baking.

Teen girls making a meal with mom
michaeljung / Shutterstock

Puzzle time

Jigsaw puzzles are good for the brain and a stress reliever. If you’re looking for an engaging family activity to involve your teens in, try clearing off table space and opening up a jigsaw puzzle. Working on a jigsaw puzzle helps to beat break boredom and gets the whole family involved.

Get painting

Time off on break is a perfect opportunity to try something new. Sign up for a virtual or in-person painting session. Art studios let participants pick the design and take you through the process step by step. Supplies are included in the price. If your teen is more comfortable painting at home, go the virtual route, and clear some space. Links can typically be shared with multiple participants, so you can even get grandma involved and have a family-wide virtual painting party.

Everyone looks forward to breaks but having extra downtime sometimes leads to boredom, especially for teens. With these boredom busters on your agenda, you and your teen can take a step away from screen time, share laughs, and make new memories.

Editors' Recommendations

Dawn Miller
Dawn Miller began her professional life as an elementary school teacher before returning to her first love, writing. In…
The best Halloween costumes for a family of 4 that are simple to find or create
Halloween themes for your crew of four
Family of four dressed in Halloween costumes.

Dressing up for Halloween as a family is a bonding experience your kids will remember forever. Plus, it might get you guys the good candy for being the cutest family out trick-or-treating. Whether you have little ones or older kids, there are a variety of group costume ideas to get the whole family in the spooky spirit. Check out some of the best Halloween costumes for a family of four that will make your crew the neighborhood celebrities on All Hallows' Eve.

Dress up as your favorite animated or movie family
Use being a family of four to your advantage by looking up families that feature four or more members, then each family member could pick their favorite character and bring the beloved show or movie to life. Let the little kids pick out their favorite show or see if the parents want to throw it back to a movie they grew up with.
Iconic animated families to recreate

Read more
7 fun outdoor fall games kids can play
Get your children outside to play these fall games and enjoy the cooler weather
Kids playing outside In leaves.

Even if the autumn season still brings the occasional warm, sunny day where you live, fall brings plenty of crisp, fresh air that's perfect for outdoor games. It's a season that so many people love because of the cooler temperatures and the beauty of the changing leaves. It's the perfect time to throw on a sweater and get the kids off the couch and out of the house to play fun fall games.

Kids love to be outside, especially if there are awesome games for them to play. If you've been looking for outdoor games for your kids to play this fall, check out these creative ideas. And parents, you are more than welcome to join the kiddos in any of these outdoor games to make beautiful autumn memories.

Read more
10 fun fall activities the whole family will enjoy
Embrace the fall season with these family-friendly, fun activities
Boy laying in a pile of leaves

Although many of us are sad when summer finally comes to an end, we quickly get excited when we realize that fall has finally arrived! After all, autumn is such a fantastic season. Pumpkins line the outdoor displays of stores, Halloween merchandise starts to fill the shelves, and it's the perfect time to bring out those comfy sweaters that had been packed away all summer. Let's not forget that it's finally pumpkin spice season once again, too! It's also a wonderful time of the year to engage in some good old-fashioned fun with the whole family.

Fall gives families so many activities that can be done indoors and out. From pumpkin picking to bobbing for apples, there is quite an array of activities for fall. Here are some of our favorite family fall activities you can try with your own family.

Read more