Bored?!? Things for tweens to do while stuck inside

Bored tween stuck inside
Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

Most tweens and tweens prefer to be out doing something fun with their friends. But sometimes tweens and teens are stuck inside. Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s just circumstances, and since 2020…maybe they are stuck isolating or quarantining.

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! What do you like to do when you are bored indoors? If you have some fun indoor activity 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

The last time we went to Disneyland, my teenage 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, not everyone can get to Disneyland. 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

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 created 16 episodes on Youtube for kids. 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.

Learn something new


Outschool is a company that offers virtual classes in tons of subjects for kids of all ages. They have real teachers and tutors who meet with your kids online. They offer school subjects, tutoring, electives, and more. Some of the classes meet weekly or daily, others are a one-time opportunity. They even have online clubs! You will be amazed at all the choices for kids who are stuck at home.

Discover why 500K+ kids enjoy Outschool classes. Find 150K+ topics for ages 3-18.
Outschool has all kinds of classes and clubs for kids online

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a terrific free 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. When the schools were first closed in the spring of 2020, Khan Academy created a schedule to help parents teach their kids at home. If you have a kid who is going to be at home for a while, you might want to take a look. Click here to access Khan Academy’s schedule resource.

I’ve used Khan Academy in my homeschool to teach art history. Your teen can use their time at home to prep for the SAT or an AP exam such as AP Computer Science.

Foreign Languages

Being stuck at home is a great opportunity for trying a new language. Duolingo is a fun app and website. Rosetta Stone is the one my son used to get through high school German. Outschool also offers foreign languages:

Browse all world language classes


California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco is a fantastic science museum. It was closed in 2020 while we were 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.

More Arts and Crafts for tweens that are isolating

Coloring pages

Coloring pages are a simple choice that you can have instant access to without having to leave your house! I sell some in my Etsy shop, and you can have this cute sea turtle coloring page for free! Just click here to download it and print it out at home.

sea turtle coloring page

Fave Crafts

Fave Crafts is a company that offers free lessons for knitting, crocheting, and other craft ideas.

Paint Nite

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, when shelter-in-place orders took effect, Paint Nite went 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. In-person events have resumed, but there are lots of virtual events, too.

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.

AR Workshop

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 just like Paint Nite, AR Workshop got creative and now offers 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.

Amazon crafts and activities

There are lots of craft books and kits that you can find online as well. Here are some choices from Amazon:

Books for Tweens and Teens

If you want to motivate your tweens and teens to read more, my Free Summer Reading Challenge could be a fun activity.

Want some book recommendations? Here are some lists of books that could help:

Exciting Books for Tweens

Quirky Books for Tweens

Books for Tweens Who Love Harry Potter

Science Fiction Books for Tweens

If your kids enjoy using a device to read, Kindle offers free trial memberships:

Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans

Audio Books

Audible by Amazon is a popular way to listen to audiobooks.

I’ve also found Librivox, which is a free resource for audiobooks. It has many classics. My daughter used it when we read Little Women.

Be social…differently

Netflix Party

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!

Looking for even more activities for tweens and teens? Read my article about calming activities for tweens and teens.

Wondering if in-person school is the right choice for the next school year? Click here to get help figuring it out.

Things for bored tweens to do while stuck inside

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