Some days, for the Social Director of this life cruise we call Family Life, the inspiration for activities just isn’t there… Here, Carrie Lauth of InsteadOf comes to the rescue with a quick list of ideas to keep a bored teenager busy in a productive way — super-useful for when you’ve banned the television and internet as part of your kid getting grounded, or maybe just in one of those occasional efforts to try to build character…

22 Activities You Never Thought Of For Teens (Instead of Watching TV)

by Carrie Lauth

Encouraging your preteen or tweenager to watch less TV? Try giving him this list of ideas to get him off the couch. Anytime you hear the “B” word (bored), remind him how fun life can be when you live it yourself instead of watching it on television.

• Play guitar. If you don’t know how, it’s time you learned!

• Read a good book. Dust off that library card! Get your reluctant reader inspired with something by Lemony Snicket:

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• Write a letter to a friend. Yes, the snail mail type.

• Bored? Play a board game. Star Wars Monopoly anyone?

• Practice juggling

• Do 20 pushups

• Help do laundry

• Write a poem

• Play Mad Libs

• Find change under the couch cushions

• Have an arm wrestle

• Put vinegar in baking soda and stand back

• Start a blog. Do it for free at

• Get a parakeet and teach him vocabulary words

• Learn how to make espresso, cappucino and regular coffee

• Make a lego movie! This is where you run your Lego men through fantastic adventures and capture it all on videotape.

• Make a permanent artificial sand castle with a paste made from sawdust
and glue

• Make a treasure hunt

• Put a mushroom cap on some paper, wait a day, and find a ring of spores

• Climb a tree and act like a nut

• Make your own soda

And now, for the 22nd, most important thing to do instead of watch TV….

• Have a burping contest

Have fun!– your family’s resource for a ton of fun without the tube. Join our email list for 101 Things to Do Tonight Instead of Watching TV.

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