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“Go outside and get some fresh air!” We’ve all said it and no doubt it will be a popular refrain once more these coming school holidays. This week on School Stream we’ve put together a handy guide packed full of low-cost, screen-free fun for teenagers. Consider this list your answer to the perennial question “What can I dooooooo?”

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Activities for Teenagers

Teenagers might feel like the most challenging group to pry away from their screens and direct towards other activities but, if our list here is anything to go by, there are plenty of options to keep them entertained and engaged. All of these activities were sourced via teen-approved places like Teen Vogue and Frankie Magazine, so you know they’re going to be genuinely good fun.

  • Farmers markets, flea markets or thrifting in a new area.

Despite the lure of phones, tech and other screen-based fun, there is no substitute for an IRL shopping experience with your mates. Farmers markets, flea markets or thrifting in a new part of town allows teenagers to exercise a taste of sweet independence, manage money and be with their friends. The experience might even lead to an entrepreneurial moment…

  • Declutter and have a garage sale.

The rise in popularity of online marketplaces like Depop means that teens are genuinely receptive to the idea of both buying and selling their clothes for a few extra bucks or to offset future purchases. The fact that a decluttered space is considered ‘so aesthetic’ doesn’t hurt either.

  • Fly a drone.

With drones, coding and other STEM-forward subjects now part of the curriculum, teenagers tend to be receptive to the idea of flying a drone. The key thing to note is safety and the local guidelines on where it’s possible to fly in your local area. As most teenagers are new to piloting drones, a ‘fail safe’ mechanism is advised.

  • Games night

For the social butterflies, game nights are an easy and low-cost way to bring together friends and fun. If you have a clear table, snacks, a games night playlist and, of course, a game, you’re ready to go! Don’t just take our word for it. Ever discerning Teen Vogue has given game nights their tick of approval!

  • Plan a picnic with friends.

Planning a ‘potluck’ style picnic is an accessible project that marries fun, friends and independence. Which leads us to our next activity…

  • Learn to bake something new.

Whether your teen considers themselves a foodie or not, they are sure to have seen cooks of all ages whipping up treats and meals on social media. So break out the mixing bowls and avert your eyes from the inevitable mess!

  • Fishing

It might be surprising to learn that teenagers really enjoy fishing, but the data doesn’t lie. The hashtag ‘teenagers fishing’ has in excess of 15 billion views on TikTok and it turns out teenagers all over the world enjoy sitting by a body of water and casting a line out.

  • Ride a bike, rock climb, kayak.

There is plenty on offer for the action-inclined, too. Activities like rock climbing, kayaking or biking that get the heart rate up are a good opportunity for teenagers to blow off some steam in a healthy, productive way while developing a new skill at the same time.

  • Read in a park.

Anyone can read at home on the couch, but reading a book in the park and taking a photo of it for the socials is a much bigger flex for teens these days. There is an absolute treasure trove on offer for YA (Young Adult) readers) these days, and thanks to the prevalence of BookTok, there is sure to be something at the local library they simply “have to read”.

  • Build an at-home darkroom.

For the creatively inclined teenager in your life, an at-home darkroom is a project that will keep on giving. You can find a detailed guide on how to set it all up in Frankie Magazine. (Don’t worry, it’s not as resource-demanding as it initially sounds).

  • Make a short film.

While technically not a screen-free activity, making a short film either with friends or alone is a multi-pronged activity in which teenagers are active participants. Making a short film requires a range of different skill sets and is an immersive project for young creatives. More than one hit film has been created on a mobile phone. You can access free storyboarding templates online, which is the first step in bringing a film to life.

  • Learn an iconic dance routine.

With movies and series routinely inserting dance routines that are designed to go viral, there is plenty to choose from when it comes to choosing a dance routine to learn. There are plenty of tutorials online for old-school classics like Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’, more contemporary offerings like the infamous Wednesday prom routine from 2022 and just about anything else you can think of. Let’s boogie.

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