The social distancing and self-quarantining orders are really tough on tweens and teens. Most tweens and teens are social creatures and are used to having busy schedules. All of a sudden time is stretching out in front of them and while it may have seemed fun for a few days…now they are bored. Here’s a list of ideas for things that tweens can do while stuck inside!
I will be adding to this as I hear about more ideas, so please pin and check back later! If you have more ideas for me, please comment below!
If you need some help organizing your tweens’ and teens’ days, please download my free printable daily planner for tweens and teens or for summer, I have a free printable summer weekly planner for tweens and teens.
Art and Craft Lessons
Disney Drawing Lessons
When we went to Disneyland last year, my son and I really enjoyed doing the Disney drawing lesson at California Adventure. We were taught how to draw Daisy Duck by a real Disney artist. Well, no one is going to Disneyland right now. Luckily, there are dozens of lessons online! This one is teaching how to draw Minnie Mouse:
And this one is teaching how to draw Jack Skellington:
Mo Willems, the author of Don’t Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus, the Elephant and Piggie series of books, and Knuffle Bunny, is doing his part to entertain kids at home by making daily videos. These videos are more for elementary school-aged children, but since so many of today’s tweens and teens grew up with his books, I think many of them would find it fun to watch, especially kids who are particularly interested in art and/or books.
To be honest, his videos start slow. But it’s fun to see him in his studio and get to know him. He’s a bit of a quirky guy (no surprise, there). So if your kids are quirky, check it out. He’s uploading a new episode on Youtube each day. Click to watch the first one:
How to Toon
How to Toon is a Youtube channel by Joe Wos. Joe Wos has been the visiting resident cartoonist of the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, CA for almost 20 years. He has been teaching cartooning for over 30 years.
Paint Nite is a company that normally helps people have fun painting and socializing with their friends. They host events at restaurants, bars, and other venues. Perhaps you’ve gone to an event like this to have a girls night out or celebrate a birthday?
Well, because of shelter-in-place orders, now Paint Nite has gone virtual! The great news about this is you are no longer limited to the events in your own area. These events do cost money, but you are supporting a fun business! Click here to learn about Paint Nite and search the upcoming events.
You’ll have to get supplies to paint at home. Michael’s art supply stores are offering curbside pick-up. You can place your order online and they will bring your order out to your car. Or you can order from Amazon and have art supplies shipped to you.
Another fun opportunity is AR Workshop. This is a crafting workshop with over 150 locations throughout the US that normally provides DIY craft lessons, similar to Paint Nite. But due to the shelter-in-place order, AR Workshop has gotten creative and is offering crafts to go! You can look at all the choices on their website, order online, and then pick-up your craft to do at home! Click here to check out AR Workshop.
Stay Active Indoors
Studio 8 Dance Classes
My daughter’s favorite activity is dance. She is super lucky to have a dance teacher who figured out how to move all of their dance classes online, so the kids can participate from home while they are stuck indoors! The Studio is offering free trial classes on Tuesdays. Tuesday at 4:30 pm PST they have a hip-hop class and at 5:30 they have a jazz class. Both are for ages 7+ including tweens and teens. If you’d like to participate, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn something new
As a former teacher, I learned to love the company Scholastic! They have tons of resources for teachers and parents. Now they also have an online Learn-at-Home program! Click here to access the homepage for the Scholastic Learn-at-Home program. Or click one of the links below to jump to the right grade level:
They also have a large free resource library that includes K-8 worksheets, science videos, and more!
Khan Academy is also a terrific resource for online learning. They have many lessons for different subjects and different levels. My family has used it over the years when my kids needed extra challenges. Now, Khan Academy has created a schedule to help parents teach their kids at home while schools are closed. Click here to access Khan Academy’s schedule resource.
Audible by Amazon is a way to listen to audiobooks. They are offering free memberships for kids while schools are closed. They have books for kids of all ages, including tweens and teens. Click here to learn more about Audible for free.
Want some book recommendations? Here are some lists of books that could help:
If your kids enjoy using a device to read, Kindle offers free trial memberships:Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans
California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco is a fantastic science museum. It’s closed while we are all hanging out at home…so they have changed their website into a cool collection of science learning that you can do online! They have videos, live cams, games, DIYs, and more. Click here to visit California Academy of Sciences virtually.
The Exploratorium is another great science museum in San Francisco. They, too, have some really interesting science to learn online. They have tons of lessons about viruses and the coronavirus in particular if you want to learn all about it! Click here to check out The Exploratorium’s online science lessons.
Have you heard about Netflix Party? You can stream a movie in sync with friends and there is a group chat feature included. My daughter tried it with her friends and they had a great time!
Hang out online
Modern kids have no problem meeting up with friends online, whether they are texting or using social media or whatever. But this has gotten strange even for those used to communicating online. I think it’s important for kids to have some time set-up to get together and actually see each other. Encourage your kid to plan ahead a bit.
Facetime is a good option, and another choice is Zoom. Tons of people are using Zoom to meet with teachers, clients, classes…why not use it to meet with your friends? Tweens could eat lunch together or study together…whatever!
Video Game Party
Jackbox Games has online games that kids can play together virtually. You can buy party packs of games and there are tons of choices!
Game Truck is a company that normally hosts video game parties. They have a new idea to do this virtually. This would be an especially good idea for birthday parties and other special events!
I hope you have found some of these ideas to be new, fresh, and fun!
Good luck to you and your family while you are stuck inside! Any more ideas for me? Comment below! And I will be updating this article, so pin it and check back next week!
If your tween or teen is feeling anxious during this time, read my article about calming activities for tweens and teens.
Interested in supporting businesses that are doing sales and good deals during the quarantine? Read my article about good deals and kind businesses.