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Kids/Teenagers getting addicted to internet/watching too much TV - 30 Other Things To Do at Home ALONE when bored

Updated on February 3, 2015

“I’m bored!”

If we parents had a penny for every time we heard our teenagers say this, we’d have enough to take them on an action packed adventure holiday! Now the reasons for teenagers being stuck at home at a loose end can be multifarious. It may be their friends are not available, perhaps vacationing with their parents for example. Maybe your teenager has no siblings or cousins of a similar age living nearby to spend time with. It may be that we, their parents, are busy working all day.

Even if your teen has made efforts to find a paid part-time job or voluntary work, there still may be times when they are sitting at home alone and just plain bored. On non-school days, the temptation may be to lie in late, eventually get up and watch TV, eat their way through the store cupboard and/or go on the internet - which for many is the obvious choice for whiling away the hours. Whilst the internet has many educational, social and communication advantages, like mamma used to say “you can have too much of a good thing!” and we need to strive to strike the right balance.

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With special thanks to my

DARLING DAUGHTER

for contributing ideas for this list.

Disadvantages of teens spending too much time on internet

There’s a range of reasons why teenage internet addition should be avoided. Health issues associated with too much time spent in front of a computer screen include Repetitive Strain Injury/painful hands and wrists RSI, eye fatigue or back/neck ache. In addition they may become withdrawn, anti-social and isolated. Weight issues, and depression can also arise. In addition are issues such as unhealthy cyber relationships, pornography or gambling to worry about.

Teenagers may have outgrown old hobbies they enjoyed as a young child but, thankfully, there are lots of things a bored teenager can do at home on their own without sitting in front of a computer screen risking internet addiction.

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30 Things to do at home ALONE- instead of going on the internet

  • Here's a list you could printout and give to your daughter or son.

  • Related (pictured) items from Amazon are also worth a look.

1. Songwriting – you can write new lyrics to an existing song or melody or invent your own tune with your own lyrics. Maybe use a tape-recorder to record your masterpieces.

2. Learn magic tricks/card tricks – entertain and amaze your friends when you next see them. There are lots of books on the market which reveal all.

3. Read – if you are a teen who is not too keen on book reading you might find you enjoy reading in an electronic form such as using a Kindle. Of course, if you prefer a more traditional approach, get down to the library and borrow some books (Some libraries also have kindle books available to borrow!). You can ask friends with similar interests what books they are reading if you are not sure what to read and go from there.

4. Listening to music – many people find this is an uplifting way to while away some spare time.

5. Sing, dance or both, either unaccompanied or as you listen to music.

6. Writing short stories or poetry – You might want to target a particular audience, e.g. your peers or young children. If you are stuck for ideas for a story, try writing something inspired by the lyrics of a favourite song.

7. Drawing and Illustrating – you can do this just for fun or, building on the writing short stories or poetry suggestion, you can tailor make your illustrations to accompany your writing. Alternatively, you might want to frame some of your favourite pieces and give them to friends or relatives as special gifts.

8. Make Greeting cards – relatives will love receiving unique greeting cards on birthdays, anniversaries etc. Whilst you have some time on your hands, design something unusual or perhaps make copies of some of your drawings/illustrations as described in a previous suggestion and use these as the front of your greeting card.

9. Learn a new skill/improve on a skill – for example touch typing, how to give a manicure/pedicure

10.Revise School Work – this might seem a bit of a chore but if you are on school vacation this is a perfect time to catch up/get ahead and will help to give you confidence when the new school terms starts.

11.Exercise – maybe devise your own specific exercise routine or use an exercise CD to get you moving. Alternatively dust off that old hula hoop and get wriggling, or simply run on the spot

12.Learn to play a musical instrument

13.Improve football/soccer skills – practise keepy-uppy

14.Re-organise and enhance your bedroom. Hang some new pictures (maybe ones you have drawn/framed yourself), think about a new room layout.

15.Sew – create your own unique pencil case, sunglasses case or purse

Try your hand at songwriting,or singing to make an existing song your own

16.Garden – create a window box, plant bulbs or miniature trees

17.Have a pampering session, bubble bath, face mask etc

18.Contact/catch up with relatives or old friends who you haven’t seen for a while.

19.Play hand held brain training games – can you beat your previous personal best. There are educational games to help with spelling also as well as the old favourite - electronic pets

20.Cook or bake – okay this with your parent beforehand so you don’t use up ingredients they already had plans for and observe necessary safety advice regarding using hot appliances etc.

21.Make an existing song your own – e.g. keep the lyrics the same but change the tempo, phrasing etc – record it on tape and enjoy it again and again later.

22.Photography – maybe start with portraits of your pets or garden wildlife e.g. birds, squirrels, insects

23.Listening to the radio –chat shows, current affairs and of course music

24.Write a play/script – it can be serious, funny, magical. You can have characters you have thought up or have characters based somewhat on characters from real life. If you have a favourite TV programme, you could write a script for a new episode of the show.

25.Crossword puzzles, word-search, jigsaw puzzles

26.Jewellery making - for yourself or to give as gifts

27.Juggling - as well as honing concentration and co-ordination skills, it's said to be a great stress reliever too.

28.Help out around the house, cleaning, polishing, sweeping (surprise parents!)

29.Calligraphy – get creative in designing some door signs or notices in beautiful writing. For example you could create a notice for your bedroom door including your name and instructions to “please knock and wait” before entering. You can have them laminated to make them look more professional and they’ll last longer too.

30.Make matching storage boxes of different shapes and sizes– cheap cardboard boxes can be covered with fabric, wallpaper or wrapping paper to provide attractive storage for a variety of items for a de-cluttered feel to a room.


Have fun whilst learning the essential life skill of cooking ....

So, no internet = no need to be bored out of your mind = no problem.

Of course, internet addiction can happen with adults too. We can help ourselves, and set a good example to our children and teens, by not spending too much time on the net. This list of things teenagers can do at home on their own should tempt both teens and adults away from the World Wide Web or TV screen.

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