Independent (Screen-Free) Summer Activities for Teens

Summer is here, which can only mean one thing…bored kids! Teenagers have it especially hard: Most of them can’t drive yet, and they feel isolated without their friends. Inevitably, they turn to electronic devices for entertainment. Have no fear! Target’s latest summer goodies will keep teens inspired without losing the whole summer to screens.

1. Learn a Craft:

We can’t get enough of Target’s ever-expanding craft section.  This Brit & Co. Embroider a Leather Cuff Kit makes 2 cuff bracelets: 1 for you, 1 for a friend. You get to learn a new craft, stay busy, and have smokin’ hot accessories to show off in the fall.

2. Create a Sidewalk Chalk Masterpiece:

This isn’t your mother’s hopscotch. You can use sidewalk chalk to make visual illusions, mind-blowing illustrations, and colorful lettering. You can even tag fun quotes throughout your neighborhood and put your (temporary) stamp on the world. We like the Kid Made Modern Driveway Party Outdoor Kit and Crayola’s 64-Count Sidewalk Chalk sets.  You’ll need lots of colors to make your masterpieces. Don’t forget to take a photo of your artwork before it rains!

3. Start a Creative Journal:

If you haven’t already jumped into the journaling trend, now is the time! Keep track of your dreams and document your memories with the STMT Journaling Set. We’re loving the creative elements that make this more that “just a journal.” It becomes your all-in-one planner, journal, and dream catcher.

4. Grow a Chia Emoji Friend:

Even if your real-life friends live across town, you can still have fun with these adorable Chia Pet Jr. Emojis. They’re screen inspired, but still screen-free. The hardest part is waiting for them to grow before carving out a cool hairstyle!


5. Grow a Color Garden:

Get your green thumb going with the Chia Emojis, then take it up a notch and start a Color Garden. We love the idea of growing an entire rainbow ow blooms. These paper planters from Seed Gems are biodegradable and have everything you need to start a mini color garden.

6. Dive Into a Thrilling Book Series:

When all else fails, you can’t go wrong with a new book series. Target has boxed sets that will keep you turning the pages all summer. We love paper books because there are no batteries and no interruptions! Grab your book, a backpack full of snacks, and spend the day under your favorite shade tree.

7. Write Letters to Your Future Self:

Now that you’ve planned the best summer ever, tell a friend all about it…Specifically, yourself! Letters to My Future Self are a great way to preserve your teenage years. Put them in a safe place (chances are, you’ll forget you wrote them). In 15 years or so, you’ll find them, open them up and remember every detail of the best summer of your life!


As you work through this list, you’re sure to come up with even more ways to stay busy this summer. Try experimenting with different DIY projects, paper arts, outdoor games, nature-inspired fun, and new hobbies you’ve never had a chance to try. Screens will always be there, but those sunny summer days are numbered.

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