Wondering what productive activities for teenagers you can suggest when they’re on your last nerve?
Or maybe you’re a teenager yourself and wondering what productive things you can do, even if you can’t drive yet or are limited by certain things like school and other obligations?
Here’s a helpful guide to what to do as a teenager that’s actually productive, but before we get on to the list, don’t forget: being a teenager is still supposed to be fun, and you’ve got your whole life to be run off your feet with productivity, so make sure to pick activities that you’ll enjoy!
Best tools for Productivity
Don’t want to waste time reading? Check out my favorite resources here:
– this is the best daily planner for productivity and actually getting stuff done
– if you prefer virtual planning, use ClickUp
– struggle with procrastination? This book will change your life
Productive Things to Do at Home for Teenagers
If a teenager is stuck at home, it can be hard to find more productive things than playing video games or watching TikTok videos.
But it doesn’t have to be!
There’s so much that can be done from home as a teenager that’s actually productive, and here’s some of my best suggestions.
1. Start a Website
Starting a website is something that everyone can do, including teenagers!
Check out this guide on how to make money from a blog, but you don’t even have to start one to try and make money.
A teen can start a website all about their favorite hobby, sport, or a topic they’re interested in.
Learning how to publish articles, write for the website, manage the backend of the website, and take pictures is a great way to learn new skills and have something to focus on.
2. Organize their Room
Okay, it might not be the most thrilling thing to do, but teenagers can totally use their time to organize their room or organize their furniture in a new way.
Your space makes a huge difference in how happy you feel, and clutter all around them isn’t going to help a teen do well in school or in other areas of their life.
It also doesn’t take a ton of brain power to organize your room, which makes it an easy productive thing to do when a teen is otherwise exhausted.
3. Learn How to Cook
Learning how to cook is such an important thing for teens going off to college or wanting to have their independence in the future, so why not start now?
There are plenty of cooking tutorials on Youtube and other platforms – it doesn’t even have to be from a cookbook in this day and age!
If cooking isn’t up their alley just yet, a lot of teens also enjoy baking, whether that’s brownies, cookies, or cakes, as an introduction to the kitchen.
Much more fun to make something sweet than a vegetable-filled dinner, let’s be honest!
4. Take an Online Class in Something Interesting to Them
There are plenty of online classes in everything from Christmas light decorating to graphic design on platforms like Udemy.
Even if stuck at home, a teenager can be super productive by taking an online class in an area that interests them.
Often, people think of “classes” like school, but I’m not talking about that – a class teaching you how to decorate cookies engages your brain, shows you a new skill, and doesn’t feel like you’re stuck in math class!
5. Help Plan the Next Family Trip
Going somewhere for a graduation trip or future family vacation?
A teenager can get super involved in the planning, including figuring out where to go, making a list of things to do there, and researching costs and flights on how to get there.
This can be a great exercise in learning budgeting skills, as well as research skills and figuring out how to find the right information, and it’s always a good idea for teenagers to encourage their wanderlust ideals because travel is truly one of the best ways to gain an enhanced worldview and learn to get along with people who are different from you.
6. Try Some DIY
Whether it’s painting their bedroom or building a shelf, getting involved in some home renovations or DIY is a great thing to learn.
Not all productivity is just about sitting at the computer organizing things!
Teens should try their hand at DIY around the house, even if it’s for fun to repaint a room or to build something they never thought they could build.
7. Learn a Language
While the best way to learn a language is immersion, the internet makes it so easy now to try and learn a language from home.
There are apps like Babble, as well as interactive sites where you can communicate with a speaker of a foreign language and practice your own skills.
Again, this doesn’t have to be like school where you just choose from one of the couple of languages offered to you.
Learn something like Norwegian or Swedish or Welsh as a fun way to exercise your brain and build your skills.
Productive Things to Do when Bored as a Teenager
“I’m bored,” said every teenager ever at a certain point in time.
There’s no time to be bored in this life, there’s so much to do!
If they need some suggestions, here they are!
8. Get a Part-Time Job
Part-time jobs can not only be productive and help a teen earn some extra money, but it’s one of the best productive things for teenagers to do who are looking for a new social circle or to meet new people.
Often, jobs that teenagers are allowed to have part-time are also jobs that attract other teens and young adults, which means that so many people make friends with their similar aged coworkers at these jobs, whether it’s at Target or the local ice cream truck.
At 16, there are some part time jobs a teen can have, but as they turn 18, the last teenage years, that widens and there are so many different positions to check out.
9. Learn a New Instrument
Whether you want to learn how to play your favorite songs or you want to exercise your brain, learning an instrument is a great way to fill the time.
You can learn from a professional, or you can try and teach yourself with plenty of online tutorials that help make learning an instrument fun by showing you how to read music in interesting and fun ways.
Learning an instrument isn’t all boring scales and foundations – it can be totally fun and a freeing way to express yourself.
10. Learn How to Draw
Drawing is something that so many people want to do, but don’t take the time to learn because they think that it’s something you can only have as an innate gift.
When a teen is bored, buying some learn-to-draw books and sketch paper can really be a way to encourage new creative expression, especially when the weather is bad or there isn’t much else to do where they are.
They can escape in their own little world on paper.
11. Do Some Creative Writing
Another creative thing to do when a teen is bored is to engage in creative expression is to do some creative writing when they’re bored.
Whether it’s a short story, poetry, or a full-scale novel (check out the November challenge, NaNoWriMo, where you try and write an entire novel in one month!), creative writing is a wonderful way thing to do when bored.
12. Try Some Wacky Science Experiments
Love math and science?
Use your time when you’re bored as a teenager to go ahead and practice some fun science experiments.
This isn’t your chemistry class, you don’t have to sit there with a book and read through the pages.
Get out there and start experimenting (legally and without danger) with the hundreds of home science experiments you can find online.
Doing these experiments is going to help you learn way faster than staring at a book, anyway.
13. Offer Help to a Local Business on Social Media
What do teens know more than social media?
Social media marketing, actually, is a genuine career choice in today’s day and age.
Teens can offer to help local businesses with their social media as a fantastic productive thing to do when they’re bored.
Find a local business that you support, whether it’s the local gaming shop or a local playground that you loved as a kid, and see if they need help on social media, including social media like TikTok or Instagram that they might not be up to date on.
Productive Activities for Teenagers for Free
Some things take money, like being able to afford an online class or buying ingredients for batch cooking or paying for instrument lessons.
Other productive activities for teenagers are completely free, and won’t cost a penny while still being a great extracurricular or way to spend their time.
14. Volunteer at an Animal Shelter
Want to cuddle puppies all day?
You totally can!
Teens with interest in animal care and who have a heart for animals can offer to volunteer at an animal shelter, which will definitely involve some unsavory tasks, but has the benefit of being able to cuddle the cute animals all day as they wait for homes or are rehabilitated.
Future vets should definitely consider this, as well as any teen looking to give back in a way that celebrates the love and joy that a pet can bring.
15. Get an Internship
It costs nothing to intern (well, it shouldn’t, anyway), and is a great way to get work experience and feel like you’re adding productive things to your resume.
Some internships have really stringent application processes, while others might be as simple as networking around to see who has parents that work at a company that would hire you as an intern to come help out and learn on the job.
16. Help with Yard Work
Got an interest in gardening or landscaping?
Teens can totally start to learn how to tend to plants, how to mow the lawn, and how to design landscaping for your house.
It burns off energy, is a great way to get fresh air, and might just spark the next botanist in the family!
17. Learn about Investing
Whether it’s bitcoin or traditional investing in stocks, a financially minded teen will find it really productive to learn all about investing and what it entails.
Investing, of course, is not free, but learning about it is, and is a great way to be prepared for the future when you do have money coming in that can be invested.
There are plenty of books that teach this, but also lots of Youtube tutorials and investment gurus online.
Just be sure to make sure that the information is coming from a legitimate source.
18. Study for Upcoming SATs, AP Tests, etc
Not the most thrilling use of productive time in the world, but necessary!
Teens can get so bogged down in studying for tests in school that they overlook studying for those big tests that might loom at the end of the year or their high school career.
From SAT prep to studying for this year’s AP test, doing some studying for these tests that can potentially change their college chances is a must-do.
19. Practice Graphic Design
The world is increasingly more visual, and knowing good graphic design skills (as well as video editing) can really put you ahead in today’s world.
Teens looking for productive things to do can download free software or use the free software on their computer to practice their graphic design skills.
Design flyers for local businesses, social media graphics for your favorite club at school, or whatever else you want.
Just practice the art of design and using colors online to make people buy, subscribe, or read more, as these skills will always be useful whether you find yourself an entrepreneur or a 9 to 5er.