15 Activities for Your Teen or Young Adult During Lockdown

Mar 20 2020 1 Comment lockdown activities teens


While most high school and college classes have moved online, students are still looking for ways to fill the balance of their waking hours. Just like many of us adults, our teens and young adults are feeling unmotivated and anxious. They are not permitted to go to school, participate in sports or other after school activities, or hang out with their friends.  Recently a mom told me that her teen was almost in tears when the mom would not allow her to go hang out at a friend’s house. Another mom mentioned that her teen was getting up late each day, doing a little schoolwork, FaceTime-ing her friends, and doing little else. Yep, since the social distancing mandate, this describes a typical day in the life of my teen as well!

To help my son feel more motivated and productive, I decided to make a list of ideas of things for him to do during the lockdown, and I am sharing them with you. I gathered ideas from moms, grandmas, and teachers. This list includes activities that teens and young adults (ages 14-25-ish) can complete mostly on their own, with a bit of guidance from parents. All the ideas are informed by the social distancing restrictions that we are all under. However, some do require your teen to leave the house.  Do so only within the social distancing and lockdown requirements of the CDC, your state, and your town or county.   

  1. Cook dinner. Challenge your teen to plan and cook 1-2 dinners a week. Option 1. Up the difficulty level by making it “Chopped” style. Give them 4-5 ingredients from your fridge and pantry that they must use.  Option 2. Cook together, crowning your teen “sous chef,” and make a masterpiece together.  Option 3.  Teach your teen how to make one of your specialties, a cake from scratch, or their favorite dish.

  2. Organize clothes to donate. Ask your teen to go through their closet to determine what to donate. While you may not be able to drop them off now, you can certainly get them organized. This is a good project not only for your teen, but for the entire family.

  3. Redecorate bedroom. The idea of redecorating their room may be intriguing and even exciting to your teen. No, I do not mean new furniture, décor, and paint.  Moving around furniture and wall art is an easy way to refresh a room without breaking the lockdown rules by leaving the house.  A bonus is that in the process your teen may also inadvertently clean and organize their room.

  4. Clean up technology. If your teen’s phone is anything like my son’s (or mine), it is probably overloaded with photos, texts, and apps they barely use.  Ask your teen to clean up their phone by deleting unneeded texts and apps, and by deleting and organizing photos. While they are at it, suggest that they clean up their computer. Ask them to review their email accounts. They probably do not need the 1000+ plus unread emails in their accounts. As for their computer desktop- do they have 200+ icons on it?  And what about the tabs? Do they really need to have 30 tabs? (I admit it, the tab thing is more of a me problem than my teen’s problem!)

  5. Plant a garden. Spring is the perfect time to plant an herb garden or flower bed. If you already have the necessary materials but have not yet started, put your teen to work. 

  6. Search for scholarships. For those preparing to go to college or who are in college, suggest that they spend some time searching for and applying for scholarships.

  7. Work for you. If you have your own business, hire your teen to work a few hours each week. Even if you are not particularly busy right now due to social distancing, plan and get ahead by putting your new co-worker to work. Teach them skills that they can use later such as budgeting, bookkeeping, and managing social media. If you do not have a business, hire your teen to take on a big project at home such as cleaning or organizing the garage or basement.

  8. Complete a service project. Challenge your teen to come up with a service project that they can accomplish without leaving the house. For example, writing letters to elderly living in senior facilities or making surgical masks for health care workers or those with compromised immune systems. Because of social distancing, many residents of senior facilities will have fewer visits from family. They are lonely. Letters from your teen will be much appreciated. Contact local facilities for more information. Surgical masks are easy to make, and there is a significant need for them right now. For donation information, contact local hospitals or non-profits that serve people affected by cancer such as Bike Bald Group

  9. Train your pet. Spending time with a pet can be quite calming and comforting for teens who are feeling anxious. Encourage your teen to teach the family dog or cat tricks. For example, Christine from Dogs 4 Life Training and Wellness Center in North Aurora, IL, recently posted a video about how to train your dog to spin. YouTube even has videos about training a pet guinea pig. 

  10. Practice driving. If your teen needs practice hours in order to get their driver’s license, this is a good time to accomplish that. The roads are not as busy, and there are plenty of empty parking lots.

  11. Take a virtual tour. The magic of technology allows your teen to virtually visit parks and museums. Follow this link for amazing visits to Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico, Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, and Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida.  Follow this link to virtually visit the British Museum in London, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, and other museums.

  12. Write letters. Nowadays it is common to keep in touch with extended family using email, text, FaceTime, or other newer technology. Encourage your teen to communicate using old technology—a pen and paper! Because they may not see extended family for a while, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins may appreciate receiving letters.  A letter from your teen would surely brighten the relative’s day. 

  13. Create vision boards. Even after a few days of social distancing with no definite end date in sight, your teen may feel that it will last FOREVER! Encouraging them to think about goals and create a vision board may help them focus on their bright future. Plus, it is a way to finally do something with that stack of old magazines. Pinterest is another source for images.

  14. Journal. Encourage your teen or young adult to journal each day. Journaling can be fun and therapeutic, and it helps improve writing and reading skills. There are many things to journal about. They can keep a daily record of their feelings and perspectives about the lockdown. They can keep a gratitude journal, encouraging them to focus on the positive by writing about what they are thankful each day. You can also give them daily journaling prompts.

  15. Create a photo story. Your selfie obsessed teen may love this idea. Encourage them to take a photograph each day to document how they spent their “corona-cation.”  They can print them and affix them to journal pages along with text describing what they were doing or feeling.  Yes, this is a way to sneak in more journaling. Lol!


The goal is to help your teen or young adult stay active and motivated.  If you or your teen need help adjusting to our current reality, check out the tips in 10 Ideas for Finding Your Calm

Stacey Montgomery, Founder
Stacey M Design and Stacey Montgomery Publishing

©2020. Stacey Montgomery. All rights reserved.

  • Awesome! Love these ideas…

    Mary on

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