Now that much of the country is under heavy quarantine, parents are desperate for ideas about how to keep their kids busy and still learning. That's true from their little ones to their teens. Across the Net there have been a ton of ideas for little kids, but what about teens? Cabin fever will set in on them a little quicker because they are used to more independence, but there are a ton of things they can do to occupy their time and have some fun.
Here are eight activities teens can do during the COVID-19 quarantine.
- Visit Museum Websites: If your teen loves to visit musuems in person, they will love knowing that they can view whole collections on some of the world's best museum websites. We recommend the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian Collections, The Louvre, The British Museum.
- Take Free Courses At Their Own Pace: One of the wonderful things about the Internet is the ubquitous nature in which education is free for all. We recommend two websites where your teen can take free courses: Future Learn and Coursera. There are a plethora of courses they can take at their own pace from Climate Change Solutions to Jane Austen: Myth, Reality, Global Celebrity to Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals. Your teen can even earn a certificate from a reputable college or university at the end of the course. The certificates cost a nominal fee.
- Read Books: If you're like us, your local library is probably closed until further notice. That is a nightmare for those who love to read. But there are other options for the bibliophiles in your life. If your teen has a Kobo, Kindle, Nook, or any tablet, they can either buy books or check books out online through these devices from your local library. It's super easy to do. We check out books on our Kobo all of the time through Overdrive, but if you have a Kindle they can use Libby
- Gaming: If your teen is a gamer and has run through all of the games they own, there are other options. If they have an XBOX 1 or higher there is a $9.99 monthly game pass subscription that will give them access to hundreds of free games. The same with Playstation. If they have a PS 2, 3, or 4 there is also a monthly game pass. The cost is the same. You can even get them all excited about gaming again by getting them a new professional gaming mouse online.
- Watch Disney+: Disney+ is one of the best streaming services we have seen. Not only does it have some Marvel and Star Wars movies and shoes, but did you know that Disney also now owns National Geographic? So in addition to watching things for fun there are fantastic documentaries about everything from the oceans to the planet to ancient civilizations. Disney+ offers a free trial to check it out.
- Get a New York Times Subscription: Keeping up with current events is as important to teens as uploading to Tik Tok. That might seen far-fetched, but it will serve them well in the long run. We like the New York Times subscription because it is relatively inexpensive at $4 per week. They can sign up for headlines in their inbox each day and every Friday they have a quiz to test readers how much or little attention they paid to national and global news for the week. We haven't gotten a 100 yet, but have been close.
Even if the New York Times isn't your teen's cup of tea, there are tons of news outlets to read and engage with.
- Get Creative Online: Teens love to express themselves online. Encourage your teen to create their own blog, Youtube or TikTok channel. They can also dig into improving their Instagram or Facebook page. They might use the quarantine to become the next uber teen influencer.
- Explore the Library of Congress: If your teen is a history buff there is no better place to explore than the Library of Congress online collections. They are quite amazing! Your teen can read historial documents, listen to audio files of historic figures and even everyday people. There are music recordings of folk music to posters used during WWII. There are so many collections to dig into.
There are a lot more activites teens can do at home. The most important thing to let your teen know that even though they may be home for a month or even two or three they will eventually have to go back to school. Encourage them to stay up on their homework, but also expand their mind in the direction that they'd like and also use their free time to get creative and have fun.