How to Prevent Teen Boredom Over Holiday Break

Sleeping in, eating cookies, and (probably too much) screen time are all pretty standard parts of a teen’s holiday break from school — but substance use shouldn’t be. Because researchers have found that boredom is one of the leading reasons teens get into risky behaviors like underage drinking and medicine abuse, it’s important that teens keep themselves occupied over break. Encourage your teen to get creative with their time. Get started with ideas inspired by VeryWell Family’s 50 Fun Things for Teens to Do This Winter:

Indoor Activities

  • Learn how to do a new craft
  • Take turns picking online workout videos to do together as a family
  • Cook a meal together, with each family member in charge of a different course
  • Read a new book
  • Join a virtual book club (or start one)
  • “Visit” a museum; many are offering on-demand virtual tours
  • Learn a new card game together
  • Dream up your next family vacation, even if travel is out of reach for the time being
  • Reorganize and donate unwanted clothes and household goods
  • Take a virtual art class (or invent one of your own)
  • Make a time capsule
  • Learn how to play an instrument
  • Complete a puzzle — the more pieces, the better
  • Imitate a baking challenge from a TV cooking show
  • Plant an indoor garden
  • Start a family challenge, like a healthy eating challenge
  • Take a virtual yoga class

Activities Involving Friends

  • Host a virtual movie marathon
  • Participate in a fundraiser with friends
  • Call or video chat a friend
  • Play an online game against friends
  • Take a personality test (like the Myers-Briggs or the Enneagram) and compare results

Activities That Teach Important Life Skills

  • Sign up to support your community food pantry or soup kitchen
  • Practice budgeting skills
  • Interview a professional about their work experience
  • Research colleges
  • Start filling out scholarship applications

Cold-Weather Outdoor Activities

  • Go ice skating
  • Go sledding or snow tubing
  • Go skiing or snowshoeing
  • Build a snowman or a snow fort
  • Have a snowball fight
  • Go on a winter hike
  • Go ice fishing
  • Shovel snow for someone in need
  • Go winter camping as a family
  • Hold a bonfire
  • Go star gazing
  • Go on a winter photo scavenger hunt
  • Host a snow sculpture competition among family members

Regardless of which of the above activities your teen is interested in, make sure they continue to practice pandemic-safe behavior. Follow the most updated mask-wearing and social distancing guidelines — confirm with the Center for Disease Control’s Personal and Social Activities page here.

Along with following our blog, you can stay updated on new studies and trends in teen behavior, advice for keeping teens away from risky behaviors, general teen parenting tips, and more by keeping up with Stop Medicine Abuse on Facebook and Twitter.

Take Action

Increased awareness can only mean increased prevention. Join us in the fight against teen cough medicine abuse by exploring and sharing our free resources.