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Activities for teens

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, many young people may be struggling with the situation. However, the good news is, there are still plenty of things that they can do to keep busy. From chatting to friends and helping out their community, to staying active at home and trying something new, here are some ideas to make this time a bit easier for them.

And remember, if at any point you’re worried about how your teen is coping, we have some advice here.

You can find information on the latest guidance around meeting up with other households here. Our page on sport, play and youth activities has information on activities for young people run by clubs and other organisations.

Virtual tours

There are lots of amazing attractions around the world that have opened their doors to the public virtually. This means your teen can travel to some of the world’s most amazing locations without leaving the house.

Give them control

With the new restrictions in place, your teen may be struggling with having less control over their life at the moment. Why not give them responsibility and control over something at home? If they like their food, you could suggest they write a weekly meal planner? Or they could plan some fun family activities?

Young Scot

Your teen may already be familiar with our friends at Young Scot, but did you know they have amazing resources and ideas to help Scottish teenagers during the coronavirus outbreak? Their ‘Things to do at home’ page is packed with things for your teen to do. Here are a couple that you could even try to do as a family.


Tip #1: Learn a new language

Your teen is probably already learning a second language at school. With amazing apps like Duolingo available for free on your mobile device, this could be something you do together. You could even turn it into a competition, to see who can get through the most levels. Let’s be honest, you probably won’t be fluent before your next summer holiday, but you may have picked up a new phrase or two.


Tip #2: MasterChef

MasterChef may just have finished on TV, but there is no reason why it can’t continue at home. Why not suggest that your teenager tests their skills with a little bit of home cooking. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – here are some easy recipes to get you started.

You could even turn it into a competition, each family member taking turns to cook and the others scoring the results. Not only is this a great opportunity for your teen to learn a few new tricks, it also means they can get the dinner started while you get that last little bit of work done.


Tip #3: Community support

Young Scot has also put together some ideas on supporting vulnerable people in your local community. They could take time to phone a lonely neighbour or family member, or even donate blood. Doing something to help others may help your teen feel better about the situation. Why not share this page from Young Scot to see if they would be interested.

If your teen wants some more ideas, get them to visit Young Scot.

Get active

It is really important for our mental wellbeing that we keep active and get moving. Staying healthy and active during this difficult time can be tough for anyone. Your teen may be struggling to get motivated to keep moving. Here are a couple of ideas to help you get them started.

Tip #1: Challenge a friend

Why not get your teen to challenge their friends and family on something to do with their favourite sport? They could meet up in the park to do this as long as they follow the latest guidance on meeting up outdoors. They could do keepy-uppies with a football, see how many push ups they can do or even something silly like balancing something on their head. Or they could use everyday items to make their own obstacle course or mini golf course.

Tip #2: Dance, Dance Revolution

Right now, some of the world’s best movers and shakers are showing their skills online and helping young people around the world learn some new moves. So if your teen loves to dance, why not get them to check out their favourite dancer’s social media, where many are offering free tutorials. There are even free classes online, for example Y-Dance.

If you have younger children, you may be able to get your teen to join in on some of our family activities.

Keep their brain active

While your school may be sending your teen work to do, they may not be finding it easy to keep on top of this. Reassure them that everyone is in the same boat, and that their friends will be feeling the same way. If they are keen to keep working, here are a couple of ideas to help them along the way.

Classes with friends

Why not encourage them to learn alongside a classmate? They could agree a set time and use video chat to work together on a subject your teen finds more challenging.

BBC Bitesize

The BBC has launched a series of programs via the red button and on iPlayer designed specifically for the Scottish Secondary curriculum. There are also daily lessons available online here.

Can my teenager meet up with their friends?

Children aged 12-17 can meet up with people from 1 other household at a time, in a group of no more than 6, following physical distancing guidelines. (Under 12s do not count towards the total number of people meeting, but do count towards the limit of households who can meet, so must be from within the 2 households.) In addition, there’s no limit for children on the total number of households they can meet up with in a day. Our page on physical distancing for children has more information. You can also meet with people from 1 other household at a time, up to 4 households in total, regardless of whether or not your teen has met up with friends that day.

18-year-olds and over must follow the guidelines for adults, meeting up with no more than 4 households a day, maintaining physical distancing.