While staying at home, most of us are spending a lot more time on screens than usual! A lot of this added screentime is likely necessary for you and your teen in order to keep up with work and school. On top of that, video calling is the easiest option for connecting with others while social distancing, which is crucial both for maintaining relationships and for good mental health through times of stress. Still, it’s important to take regular breaks from screens. Here are a few fun off-screen activities your teen can do at home!
1. Try gardening
Lots of people are trying gardening right now, and for good reason! It’s inspiring to watch something grow day by day, and there are plants that need all levels of care, from cacti, which only need to be watered every few weeks, to orchids, which need very specific care to thrive. See if you can order some supplies online or pick some up at your local plant nursery next time you’re out. By doing this, you can support small businesses and start a new off-screen hobby at the same time! It may be especially fun to try vegetable gardening so that your teen can enjoy the extra-special flavor of homegrown veggies.
2. Paint rocks to leave around your community
If your child is artsy, this activity can take up a lot of their time! Some people have begun painting messages on rocks and leaving them around local walking paths and high-traffic areas to brighten the days of passersby. This is a great way to pour into your local community while respecting social distancing guidelines! Pick up some paint if you don’t have any around the house, gather some rocks from the yard, and get to painting. Whether your teen’s rocks have special messages, symbols, or simply some beautiful colors, they’re sure to bring some much-needed smiles to the people who see them.
3. Get out some games
While the first two are things your teen can probably do on their own, this one can get the whole family involved! Chances are, there are some board games and card games left in a closet somewhere in your home, and it may have been weeks (or even months) since you last played them. Don’t let those games keep collecting dust! Board games and card games are great ways to connect with the people in your household without using screens.
There’s nothing wrong with your teen using screens more than normal during these strange times. It’s to be expected! When it’s time for a break, though, these are some great off-screen activities for them to do instead.