Are your kids stuck at home during the Covid 19 crisis? Are you having a hard time keeping them busy, or are you frustrated that they are just wasting their time?
I have a free printable planner to help teens and tweens organize their day’s activities so that they can be productive.
Why your teens need a planner
Having all the schools shut down all of a sudden was a shock. At first, many kids were excited at the thought of not having to go to school.
But the reality is different. Kids are stuck inside their homes. Their main responsibility – school – is missing. Some school districts have launched online programs already, while others are still scrambling. Thousands of kids are suddenly online learners, and many of them have never had to work that way before. Their routine is missing, but the work still needs to be done.
Other kids (like mine) are in school districts that haven’t yet figured out the online learning. So thousands of kids are left with no responsibilities. Sure, a long weekend is fun…but a long weekend without friends that goes on forever??? Not so fun.
Plus, extracurricular activities are also canceled. So all the time kids would spend playing sports, doing clubs, volunteering…it’s just empty. And friends are removed.
I am concerned about tweens and teens not only wasting time and being bored, but I’m worried about this already anxiety-filled generation’s mental health.
So I created this daily planner to help teens and tweens organize their life and make a plan! I want to help them be productive, have a purpose, and enjoy life. It’s not just for getting school work done. It’s also for making sure they make time every day to have some fun and connect with people.
How to use the teen planner
The planner is divided into sections to help teens organize their thoughts before planning their day.
I’m going to switch my tone here, mom. This planner is for teens and tweens – so I’m going to explain it to them.
First of all, write the day or date at the top of your planner.
This section is for your top three goals of the day. The things that you really want to make sure you get done today. Some days you wake up and know right away which are the most important things you need to do. If that’s the case, go ahead and fill them in. Maybe you have an assignment from school that’s due today, or maybe you promised a friend you’d play Xbox Live today. If you already have some ideas, go ahead and write them in.
But other days you don’t really know what you want to do. That’s okay – start with the other sections and come back to this one.
The everyday section is just that – the stuff you need to do every day. I filled in part of it for you. Check them off when you’re done.
- Exercise – Everyone needs daily exercise to feel good. PE and after school sports have been canceled. But if you don’t move your body, you’re going to feel bad. So walk the dog, ride your bike, jump on the trampoline, play catch with your sibling, or do a Youtube yoga lesson like this one: Yoga with Adriene for teens or find a different kind of exercise online. My daughter is doing online dance classes with her teacher! If you want, write in the space what you did.
- Reading – Read every day. It’s good for you. You and your family can decide how many minutes to have for a goal. Our family is doing 30 minutes. Write it in.
- Check school online/Email – Hopefully your teachers are already assigning lessons to you. Whether that’s happened yet or not, you need to check each day and see what’s up at school. Get in the habit of checking your email each day, too. School or other activities might be using it to communicate – or maybe Grandma is using it. So check it. And if your school uses Schoolloop or something similar, check that too.
- Chores – If your family already has a daily system for doing chores, great! Do that. If not, it’s time to step in and help. You’re home, so you have time to help your mom and dad sort and fold laundry, vacuum, unload the dishwasher….use this space to write what you’re supposed to do. Then do it and check it off. It feels good to check it off!
- I left you two more spaces in case there is something else you need to be doing every day. Maybe you have an instrument to practice. Or maybe you want to write in a chore you do every day, like making your bed. Or leave it blank.
This section is for you to brainstorm everything you can think of that you should do today. When you set up your planner tomorrow, you can start by moving whatever didn’t get checked off today to tomorrow’s list.
Even though your life has been rearranged for you, you still need to have fun! Every day! Maybe it’s not exciting fun, but there needs to be some pleasant time in which you’re doing something you enjoy.
If you want, you might want to start the first day by grabbing a blank piece of paper or making a Google Doc and brainstorming all the things you’d like to do for fun. Let me help a bit to get you started:
- Hobbies you already have – art, crafts, singing, building, cooking, etc.
- Activities you love to do – video games, TikTok, watching movies, etc.
- Friends you aren’t getting to see in person. Normally your life naturally provides you with social time, such as lunchtime at school, doing clubs and sports together, or just hanging out. Well, now you need to plan for friend time. So put your friends on your list, and think about how to include them in your new weird life. Texting, Facetiming, etc. Maybe you could Facetime a friend while you’re both drawing. Or get on Xbox Live. Or play together on a Minecraft server, or play together in Roblox or another online game. If you have more ideas for me, please comment below!
- Family – Some of your family is stuck inside with you. Anything in particular you’d want to do with them? Board games? Puzzles? Binge-watch something? Write it on your list. And you probably have more family that doesn’t live with you – maybe grandparents? Cousins? Think about what you can do to connect with them. Facetiming, phone calls, emails…this is an especially hard time for our elderly family members. Think about what you could do to make their lives more pleasant and connect with them. We play Words With Friends on our phones with our grandparents – maybe you could do something like that.
- Need more ideas for activities? Read my article about what to do if you’re bored.
All right, now that you’ve brainstormed fun things, write some on your daily planner. Pick 1-3 things that you want to do today. Maybe add some more to your Should Do section.
So once you have an idea of what you want to do today, you’re ready to fill in the schedule. Write in anything that is connected to a certain time, first. Don’t forget meals!
Then sketch out when to do what. It’s not set in stone, it’s just a guideline to help you out so things don’t get forgotten.
End of the day
I made three sections for you to reflect at the end of the day.
Best part of today
We’re trying to stay positive even though life is weird right now. So what was the best thing that happened today? Write it down.
I’m grateful for
Think of something. Some days this is easy, some days it’s hard. If everyone in your family is healthy, you could start with that.
Tomorrow I should
What did you not get done today that you wish you did? Or did you have a fun idea that you don’t want to forget? Write it down.
All right! That’s it! I hope you find this teen planner helpful. If you have more ideas, I’d love to hear them! You can email me or comment below. Please share!
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