Got a bored teen? Productive teenage activities at home to not only keep your teen entertained, but to also keep them moving towards their future.

Sooooo….your teenager is bored, at home.

And you’d rather not:

teenage boy on laptop with earphones, text overlay "17 productive things for teens to do at home"

  1. Have to Entertain them
  2. Let them sit around on their phones
  3. Let them binge-watch another Netflix series

Makes sense!

How about you give them a list of 3-4 ideas of productive teenage activities at home?

These activities for teens will not only keep them challenged and entertained, but it will move them forward towards their future.

Productive Teenage Activities At Home

There are literally loads of things a teenager can do to be productive at home.

1. Take a Free Online Course

One of the coolest things about the time that we live in is that you can learn just about anything by taking a course or reading up on it, online.

I’ll list out some great resources for free online courses that you can take to learn a new skill, brush up on an existing skill set, or even where you can learn how to manage your money.

2. Create Your First Budget

I’ve listed out some of the best teen budget worksheets here. The thing is, creating and sticking to a budget (and creating a budget that you can actually stick to) takes practice.

It’s a great idea to create your first budget and practice keeping it now, when you don’t earn or spend much money, rather than in your 20s when you get paychecks from a job-job.

You’ll also want to check out these fun budgeting activities for students.

3. Create Your First Resume (Or Update Your Existing One)

Block out an entire afternoon to sit down and do the first draft of your resume (or to update your existing one).

You’ll need to first gather all your documents. I find it helpful to open a word document and brainstorm all of the activities, jobs, people I know, awards, and other experiences onto it.

Then, you’ll need to reorder things in chronological order. You’ll likely have to start digging around in your files (even if your “files” are really heaping piles of paper scattered about your room, Mom’s desk, and your backpack).

Next, you’ll want to research and find a resume template to use. There are lots of free resources for this, and some paid ones as well.

Finally, you’ll want to write an entire draft out. Don’t worry about everything not fitting onto one page (or if you don’t have enough things to fill a page up). And don’t worry about formatting.

You just want your first draft to be an exhaustive one.

You can start cutting and rewording once you start editing.

4. Volunteer From Home

There are actually lots of opportunities to volunteer from home. Which is awesome – because it means that even if you don’t have a driver’s license or you can’t find reliable transportation, you can still work on:

  • Helping others
  • Building your resume
  • Investigating different lines of work that you might want to eventually work in one day

5. Rearrange Your Room

I used to love rearranging my room as a teen. Whenever I felt that things were a bit stagnant for me in there, or didn’t reflect my maturity, I simply cleaned it all out and rearranged the room to better reflect who I was.

For example, I got a desk and arranged that to be near my window one time instead of where my bed was. In college, I (with my parent’s permission) painted the walls a Prussian Green, moved the bed again, and freshened up the carpet with a rug.

By doing this, the room continued to grow with me.

6. Apply for Online Jobs

Did you know you can earn money online as a teen? I’ve written two resource articles for you on how to find your first online job that pays:

You might not make enough to call it a full-time job, but it could be great side-hustle money plus a way to enter the workforce when you have no experience.

Psst: be sure check out my article on things to do with teenage friends when bored, too. 

7. Create a Personal Mission Statement

Your personal mission statement work can help to keep you focused and directed as you enter your early 20s – something you’ll likely appreciate in a few years.

One book that can really help with this is 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers. I read the adult version of this book, and it’s priceless!

8. Set a Teen Goal

Setting a goal is a great way to get intentional about areas of your life.

I’ve written before about 26 different goals for teenagers to set, and you might want to get some ideas from that article.

A few teen goal examples include:

  • Get a leadership position in an organization you’re apart of
  • Learn how to change a flat tire
  • Learn how to cook one of your grandmother’s recipe

9. Calculate How Much You Should Have Saved by 18

Have you ever wondered how much money you should have saved by the time you turn 18?

It’s a great question to not only think about, but to work on.

I’ve written an entire article on the subject, but let me break down the quick highlights for you.

For starters, you need to get clear on what your post-18 life will look like. 

  • Will you be living at home?
  • Do you have to pay rent at home?
  • Will you be moving out?
  • Will you be going to college, and so your living expenses are built in?

Then, you’ll want to calculate a 3-to-6-month savings account number that will help you to start this next phase in life, plus give you some money to fall back on (an emergency fund) in case/when things don’t go as planned.

10. Create a Folder System or Filing Cabinet

The older you get, the more important papers you’ll collect. And when’s the easiest way to start a filing system? When you have the least amount of important papers in your life (hint: that’s now!).

You’ll want to create a filing system with folders for things like:

  • School papers (the really important ones – i.e. diplomas, test results, etc.)
  • Identification documents (passport, birth certificate, and things of that nature)
  • Accomplishments (certificates, awards, etc.)
  • Health (immunization records, doctor bills, etc.)

No filing cabinet? I started out with something like this

11. Get Clear on the List of Colleges You’d Like to Apply to

College applications may be a few years away, but it’s a great time to start brainstorming which schools you might want to attend.

You can approach this like Goldilocks by listing out your good, better, and best college choices.

Then? You might want to open up a conversation with your parents to see what they’re thinking. It’s good for everyone to manage their expectations around this huge topic.

12. Gather Referrals and Recommendations

Now’s a great time to secure some referrals. You’ll be needing people willing to refer you or provide testimonials for things like:

  • College applications
  • First post-high school jobs
  • Your next job

Spending time now to email or call people you think might be willing to recommend you, and getting a confirmed “yes” can ease this process in the near future.

13. Search for a Remote High School Internship

Did you know that internships remotely (meaning, from your home) exist?

Search for “remote high school internships” (play around with a few other phrases as well), and see what pops up.

14. Write in a Journal

I’ve kept a journal on and off since kindergarten (yes…I have a journal with crayon letters and words and short sentences in it!!).

It’s such a pleasure to look back on specific years in my life. Not only that, but I can reflect on difficult time periods better when I’ve gotten some distance from them and then look back on my writing.

Encourage your teen to write in their journal, or start one. Their 30-year-old self will thank them.

15. Find Out their Personality Type

By taking the time to figure out your personality type, you can learn much more about yourself and how to handle certain situations.

Some fun and insightful personality quizzes include:

16. Learn a Useful and Essential Life Skill

There are certain skills all young adults should know how to do, and what better time than when they’re “bored” to learn them!

You can look up YouTube videos, and also get help from a family member to learn the following life skills for teens:

  • How to change a flat tire
  • How to bake bread from scratch
  • How to make a dinner recipe, from start-to-dinner-table
  • How to write a check

Here’s my extensive list of money life skills your child should know before leaving home.

17. Create a Business Plan

Your teen doesn't have to actually start a business. Just the act of creating a business plan will teach them SO MUCH about entrepreneurship. 

In fact, even though I've run my business for the last 10 years? I didn't create my first business plan (because I didn't know about them) until I was 5 years in. 

This is such a huge leg-up for them and a very worthy exercise to go through. 

Here's a free business plan template they can use. You might also want to check out my entrepreneur lesson plans article, as well as 27 different youth entrepreneur awards and scholarships they could go after (in case they really want to take this one to the end!).  

Which productive teenage activities at home are you most excited about? Which one is your TEEN most excited about? Let me know in the comments below how it went. 

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Amanda L. Grossman is a Certified Financial Education Instructor, a 2016 Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Money Prodigy. Amanda's kid money work has been featured on Experian, GoBankingRates, PT Money, CA.gov, Rockstar Finance, the Houston Chronicle, and Colonial Life. Read more here.