10 activities for teenagers

Inspired ideas to keep older kids and teenagers happy… and busy!

1. Geocaching
Geocaching is a free outdoor treasure hunt open to anyone at any time. Use a smartphone or GPS to track down hidden containers. It’s devised so you can start your trail from your own postcode, wherever you are. A brilliant outdoor activity for intrepid teenagers. www.geocaching.com

2. Freecycle gift making
Teenagers are always looking for ways to stretch their budgets. At uk.freecycle.org they [inArticleBanner]can find local people giving away all kinds of great stuff. Items like old mirrors or treasure boxes sanded down and repainted can make  great personalised presents for  friends or relatives.

3. DIY spa day
Perhaps this is a more ‘girly’ experience… Your teenage daughter can create a serene ‘spa’ vibe in her bedroom and invite friends over for a pamper session where they can give each other manicures and apply face masks. Check out how to Host your own pamper party.

4. Hybrid games
If they’re bored of the same old games inspire your teenagers to come up with inventive new ones. EG: ‘FRisk’ – a combination of the world domination boardgame Risk and FIFA computer game. Instead of throwing a dice to win a ‘battle’, they play those countries against each other in a football match! Or Mariopoly – you have to complete a level of a Super Mario game to get freed if you get sent to jail in Monopoly.

5. Music festival
Get your teenager to invite friends round with any musical instruments they have, for an informal jam session. Even a bit of singing or tambourine will do, or intersperse the playing with ‘DJ’ sets of iPod playlists. Get the creative ones to ‘dress’ the garden or their room with homemade flags or backdrops (maybe paper flowers thread on strings) for a music festival finish – DIY Latitude!

6. Swishing
Is your teenager looking for fun things to do with mates? Why not suggest that your teenager reinvents (his or) her wardrobe and throws a swishing party with mates. Check out our feature on How to hold a swap party.

7. Grandma’s portrait
A lovely way for your teenager to spend time with grandparents – get them to paint, draw or simply photograph granddad or grandma, thinking about setting and how they want to capture their subject. Frame the results.

8. Fit club
Get your teenager to create a home health retreat, researching their own day’s nutritious diet, plan in a couple of sporty outdoor activities and find out more about how to monitor their heart rate etc. Great for sporty girls and boys. There are some inspiring ideas for aerobic exercise and muscle strength workouts especially suited to children and young people, on the NHS Livewell website.

9. Discover who they are
Heritage and family trees are really popular now, could your teenager uncover some intriguing ancestors? Start the search with free info on the National Archives website.

10. Learn a lifeskill
They’re nearly adults now! From negotiating techniques to basic DIY, help your teenager find one new skill they can develop and turn into a project. You might even find your local council runs a day course they can go on, encourage your son or daughter to have a look at things to do in the local area.