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What are the Best Tech-Free Activities for Tweens?

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by Sue W (subscribe)
Lover of exploring, family, food and fun!
Published September 22nd 2022
As our children get older, they start to have different interests and want to get involved in the same crafts and hobbies as their friends at school. The "tween" years are when they are the age in be"tween" - they are not very young, but they are also not a teenager, and it can be a tricky time to entertain them at home - without technology! I have found that technology can be quite helpful in moderation, especially when we are looking for a You Tube clip to learn a new craft or how to ride a skateboard, but otherwise I try and steer them into doing other hobbies which don't involve looking at a screen. It's not easy!

These activities, below, are the ones my tween is "into" at the moment, but I would love to hear your tips, crafts, activities or suggestions for a tech-free school holidays! If you would like to share them, please leave a comment at the top of this article and it will be shown underneath, for others to read. We can never have too many ideas!

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Make a food together that your tween loves to eat!


Make a Food That Your Tween Loves to Eat and get them involved in the whole process. We love to make Garlic Naan together and we love eating it even more! There are more recipe steps than baking a cake and they learn about how bread rises and how to follow a recipe. See here for the recipe we use, if you think your tween would like it too.

Play Handball Together and re-live your youth! This is an activity that my daughter likes to play with her friends at school and also practice at home. We bought a $2 handball from K-Mart and have been playing in our driveway and at our local netball courts. It's also a cheap and easy activity to do with their siblings and friends.

Learn a New Craft or Skill that your tween has shown interest in. My daughter has become obsessed with making pony bead bracelets (or kandi bracelets), as she can make them fairly quickly and give them to her friends on their birthdays. She found this clip on YouTube, below, which taught her how to do it and now she makes them without watching. You can buy pony beads and elastic cord (or hat elastic) at your local bargain shop or Spotlight. If this craft doesn't interest your tween, take them to your local craft store or Bunnings craft aisle, and see what catches their eye.




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Easy and fun to make!


Creating a Lego Challenge is a fun way to keep your tween busy, if they have a lot of Lego at home and enjoy the series Lego Masters. This show has proven to kids that adults like to do it too, so it is not just for little kids! Your tween may like to have the same challenges as in the show or you can make up your own (eg. create their favourite gaming character) and see what they can come up with!

Painting Rocks is another popular activity that you can do with your tween and then leave them as a nice surprise on the doorstep of your neighbour, give to their grandparents or line up around the garden. Most areas around Australia have a local Rock Facebook group, such as "NSW Rocks", where people paint rocks and then leave them all over the state, for others to discover. My tween has been finding painted rocks on our local beach and then re-hiding them for others to find. It's a fun activity to do in the school holidays!

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Create your own rock drop or find them! Image: Original photos from NSW Rocks Facebook


Other ideas include visiting your local trampoline park, making sushi together, baking, washing the car for pocket money, bike riding, making slime, ten-pin bowling, swimming at your local pool, experimenting with melty beads, playing board games, making your own games at home, learning a new musical instrument or buying a basketball and going to your local court to practice.

Do you have any ideas that you could add to this list? If so, I would love to hear them! Please leave a comment at the top of this article and share your tips. Every child is different, so other ideas are always appreciated.

Enjoy the school holidays with your tween!

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Buy a second-hand musical instrument that they have shown interest in learning (this keyboard came from Vinnies and works perfectly!)

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for me and my 13yo, walking is a great activity for us. Beside exercise, its a great time for us to talk.
by Mindo Koerber (score: 2|646) 126 days ago

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