For Parents

Productive Activities For Your Teenager At Home

Teenager up to no good? Get them doing something productive around the house!


Tired of seeing your teenager in bed all day or spending endless hours scrolling through Tik Tok? With so many mindless distractions, motivating your teen to get up and do something productive is tough.

We’re all in the same boat. That’s why we rounded up some of the best activities for you to share with your teen. Perfect for young adult lifestyles, these ideas are guaranteed to spark excitement and productivity while keeping your teenager out of trouble – and if you’re lucky, they won’t even roll their eyes at you when you offer these suggestions.

The Benefits of Teen Productivity

Remember when you were 16? How easy was it to fall into the trap of procrastination and lose sight of your goals? In the age of social media and smartphones, it’s even easier.

That’s why it’s so important for parents to help their kids build productive habits. Your teenager might grunt about it today, but you know they’ll thank you in the future. The long-term benefits of motivating your teenager can include the following:

  • Improved time management
  • Better mental health
  • Improved academic performance
  • Increased confidence in adulthood

Even if it’s challenging to get your teen up and running, this is the time for you to motivate them and set the foundation for success as an adult. From at-home projects to outdoor pastimes, the options are endless, and the benefits are even greater!

At-Home Activities for Teens

If your teen is a homebody who loves staying in, we’ve got you covered. Check out these fun and educational at-home activities for teens of all interests. We’ve added something for everyone here to help your teenager get motivated.

Financial Tasks Teens Can Do at Home

With college quickly approaching, it’s important for teens to learn financial lessons that they’ll carry into adulthood. And home is the perfect place to get started. 

Let’s explore a few activities that will help your teenager become financially savvy and on their way to independence:

  1. Create a budget: Teens can start with a budget that includes their income and expenses. They can use a spreadsheet or a budgeting app to track their spending, set goals, and identify areas where they can cut back.
  2. Kickstart a savings plan: Savings plan can encourage your teen to set goals and develop a roadmap to achieve them. A great place to start is by saving a portion of their allowance or earnings from a part-time job.
  3. Open a paper trading account: Although teens may not have a lot of money to invest, they can start learning about investing by researching stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Then, they can gain investment experience without risking their money through a paper trading account or stock market games.
  4. Help around the house: Picking up extra chores at home can be a great source of income for your teenager. Especially when they have downtime, getting cash for doing things beyond their regular home duties is helpful to the entire family and helps your teenager value their contributions.
  5. Start an online business: Encourage your teen to explore their entrepreneurial spirit by starting a small business, such as selling homemade crafts on any of the many platforms or becoming a graphic designer. These activities can teach your teenager valuable lessons about money management, marketing, and customer service.

Rewarding Hobbies Teens Can Practice from Home

There are many rewarding activities that teens can do from home. Especially with the rise of technology and online resources, these are some of our favorite hobbies:

  1. Volunteer online: Teach teens the importance of giving back by encouraging them to volunteer online. From donating a portion of their earnings to charity to sending supportive texts to peers in crisis, virtual volunteering is a great way for teens to use their spare time.
  2. Explore with art: Drawing, painting, or writing can help your teen unleash their imagination and develop their creative skills. They can experiment with different forms of artistic expression as a way to relax and connect with themselves.
  3. Cook a meal for the family: Teens can learn to cook and bake by trying out new recipes and sharing them with the rest of the family. They can also develop their own recipes, try new ingredients, or cook with younger siblings as a way to bond and have fun.
  4. Create a workout routine: Staying in shape from home is easier than ever, with apps and videos to guide your teen. The best thing about creating a personalized workout routine is that your teenager can take it at their own pace and find the exercises they enjoy most.
  5. Build an online community: Perfect for introverted teens who prefer online interactions, social media can be a great way to connect with others. Whether your teen likes to make videos, write blogs, or take pictures, this tool can help them interact with other people who have similar interests.

Personal Growth Projects for Teens to Do at Home

Personal growth projects can help teens develop new skills and improve their overall well-being. With many teens spending more time at home, there are many opportunities for projects that promote personal growth:

  1. Learn a new language: Teens can use online learning platforms or mobile apps to learn a new language. This can help them communicate with people from different cultures and expand their career or travel opportunities in the future.
  2. Make a resume: It’s never too early for your teen to start building a resume. This can help with their college planning, job applications, and professional projects. Plus, it’s a fantastic way for your teenager to get a clear picture of their accomplishments and the skills that they’ve built over time.
  3. Begin a meditation practice: Practicing mindfulness and meditation can help your teenager reduce stress and anxiety. It also improves their focus and concentration, while building resilience. To get started, your teenager can download a mobile app or do online research to learn the techniques to help them develop a daily meditation practice.
  4. Start a journal: Journaling is a tool that aids in your child’s personal development. While some teenagers like to start with a gratitude journal, others prefer a free-form practice where they express their emotions. No matter what your teenager chooses, journaling is a habit that builds self-confidence and can also improve their communication skills.
  5. Prioritize self-care: This can be taking a long bath, applying a face mask, lighting a candle, or simply stretching on a yoga mat. The key is for your teenager to listen to their body, identify their emotional needs, and put their well-being first.

Out and About Activities for Teens

If your teenager is a social butterfly, there are many ways to stay productive while hanging out with friends. This list can serve as a quick go-to for the next time your teen’s looking for something to do:

Financial Tasks Teens Can Do Outside of Home

As kids grow up, finances become a bigger part of their lives. The teenage years are the best time to master these skills before they go off to college. Wondering where to start? Check out these ideas:

  1. Open a bank account: Teens can visit a local bank or credit union to open a savings or checking account. This can help them learn about the different types of accounts, interest rates, and fees associated with each of them.
  2. Get a part-time job: Teens can apply for a part-time job in their community and start making money outside the home. Some popular teenager jobs include retail stores, restaurants, or movie theaters. These are all great ways for your child to earn their own money, develop new skills, and learn about work responsibilities.
  3. Participate in a financial education program: Many community organizations and schools offer financial literacy programs for teenagers. They cover topics such as budgeting, saving, investing, and credit – all of which will come in very handy as your teenager goes out into the world.
  4. Start a small business: If your child prefers to create their own work opportunities, they can start their own babysitting, mowing, or car washing business. Your teenager might even surprise themselves when they realize how much the community is willing to support young entrepreneurs, or when their friends ask if they can give them work!
  5. Join a financial mentorship program: Teens can participate in financial mentorship programs that pair them with volunteers in the community. This is a great way to receive guidance and support on financial topics that teenagers may not learn at school.

Rewarding Hobbies Teens Can Practice Anywhere

Productive activities can also be super fun for your teen. Keep it casual and exciting with these fresh ideas that are easy to pick up and perfect for teenagers to enjoy:

  1. Join a new school club: What better way to dive into a new activity than with schoolmates? The great thing about school clubs is that they take place right after classes, so your teenager doesn’t need to worry about transportation or logistics. Plus, they’re an easy way to connect with other kids and make new friends.
  2. Pick up a new sport: Whether your child prefers an indoor basketball court, a grass soccer field, or an outdoor swimming pool, there are many sports out there for them to try. New athletic activities are a fun way to keep your teenager active and help them develop a healthy lifestyle.
  3. Spend more time in nature: The options here are also endless. Some teens pick up gardening, others enjoy hiking, and some prefer camping. Spending time outdoors can provide numerous benefits for teenagers to improve their physical health, mental well-being, social development, and appreciation for nature.
  4. Build a photography portfolio: Teens can explore the art of photography using their smartphones or digital cameras. They can take pictures of nature, people, buildings and more to capture their unique perspectives and express their creativity.
  5. Take music lessons: Music helps your teenager improve their focus and discipline, while inspiring them to experiment with sound. Whether your teenager is into guitar, drums, or digital audio tools, musical lessons are a fun way for teenagers to explore their passion for music.

Personal Growth Projects for Teens to Do Outside of Home

Looking for some bigger ideas? Give your teen these self-growth suggestions that are sure to make them feel accomplished and wanting more:

  1. Community service projects abroad: Volunteering in another country is a popular way for teens to give back to the global community. They can make a positive impact by helping build homes or teaching English while also developing their own empathy and social awareness.
  2. Get an internship: Internships are excellent personal growth opportunities that provide teens with real-world experience, exposure to professional environments, and opportunities to network. With online job boards, career fairs, and school resources, it’s easier than ever for teenagers to use these career exploration opportunities for personal growth.
  3. Travel: Whether your teen travels locally or internationally, getting outside their everyday environment can be a transformative experience. It exposes teenagers to new cultures, develops independence, and broadens your child’s horizons. Teens who travel can plan and organize their itinerary, manage budgets, navigate new environments, and learn to appreciate diversity.
  4. Attending workshops or seminars: If there’s a particular topic that interests your teenager, why not look for a workshop near you? This could be geared towards leadership, entrepreneurship, public speaking, or anything else that encourages your child to learn more.
  5. Participating in competitions or challenges: Teens can participate in competitions or challenges related to their hobbies or interests. This can include academic competitions, sports races, or creative challenges that help develop your teenager’s skills and their competitive spirit.

Getting Active

As parents, we want our teenagers to be successful, happy, and fulfilled individuals – but we can’t do the work for them. What we can do is encourage a productive lifestyle that inspires our teenagers to achieve their goals and grow as people. By instilling good habits early on, we can set our children up for success.

Remember, it’s important for teens to prioritize their safety and well-being when pursuing these activities. They should always seek proper guidance, support, and permission from parents or guardians. This will help ensure that the activities your teenager chooses align with your family values as well your parenting style and your child’s personal interests.

Related Reading For You and Your Kids

About the Author

Lucia Caldera

Lucia Caldera is a writer who specializes in personal finance. Her goal is to create approachable content that sparks financial wellness and unlocks personal growth. Lucia's work reflects her passion for financial education as the key to reducing the wealth gap for future generations.

Last updated on: August 28, 2023