If your teen has already gone through all their 'normal' entertainment options, then we've found lots of great online resources for them to try something new, with heaps of new online skills teens can learn.
With schools and exams being disrupted, it's a perfect time to learn something new that isn't related to education and isn't assessed. This is an opportunity to explore new subjects and maybe even find your true passion.
Although downtime and having time to do absolutely nothing is important, during times like this it's also important to not let your mind get too bored. Learning a new skill is a great productive way to keep entertained and will help your teens in the future, whether that's in their careers or in their personal lives.
Learn a Language
If your teen has always wanted to know how to speak, read and write another language then now is a perfect time to get practising. Language skills can please potential employers and can help your teenagers to communicate with people from other cultures. There are lots of online courses so you don't need to search for too long to find some great resources. Duolingo is a great way to learn a language. It's a fun modern app which contains short lessons that help you read, write, and speak a new language. You can be a beginner or you can already know the fundamentals as there are different difficulty settings available.
Give Coding A Go
You could decide to learn a different sort of language. With technology growing at an exponential rate, the ability to code and have knowledge of a programming language is increasingly becoming more sought after by employers in all industries. This is why many teens are deciding to learn how to code. There are quite a few programming languages to choose from. Check out a few of the more popular ones below.
1) Python - A good programming language to start on as it is considered to be easier for beginners compared to some of the others. But the ease of use doesn't mean limitations to your product; in fact, Python is used to power the web apps for the social media sites Instagram and Pinterest. The Python website has a free download for the software and it includes some great free tutorials.
2) C-Language - The oldest and most widely used language. It provides the foundation of other popular languages including C#, Java, and Python. Microsoft Visual can be used to practice and a free C-Language online tool can be used to assist your learning.
3) Java - Another in-demand programming language that is used across games and mobile apps and other web-based content is Java. Learning Java has been made easy using online courses like this one.
Improve Your Cooking Skills
Cooking is a great way to please friends and family and there are plenty of online courses to help your teens improve their cooking skills. It'll help prepare them for university if they are planning to go, and a bonus of this skill is that you can have the evening off when your teen is practising making dinner! There are endless free online recipes to follow and you'll learn new skills and improve your culinary skills from every dish you make. You can watch YouTube videos to accompany you to learn specific techniques and jargon. There's also a dedicated free course to learning the fundamental skills to cook delicious meals.
Perhaps Baking Is More Your Thing
You might find baking a bit more fun than cooking. If you become skilled at baking, you'll definitely win over current and future flatmates! There are so many baking courses on the internet to choose from or you can just dive straight in and practice by following recipes including how to bake these delicious Nutella cookies.
There's nothing more important in this day and age than the importance of looking after our mental health. Teens today are given a lot of pressures with education and future, as well as their personal lives. Mindfulness is an invaluable skill that can be used in all aspects of life. It is an ancient practice of bringing your focus into the present moment and has been scientifically proven to improve stress and boost mental well-being. There are many free mindfulness guides on YouTube and other websites. An NHS approved comprehensive digital mindfulness course is available online to learn how to practice mindfulness. The course is £30 but the skill you learn is priceless. It has a free introduction video to give you some more insight.
Polish Your Photography Skills
Most teens today have access to a camera on their smartphones and the technology today allows people to take some fabulous photos, without the need for more specialist photography equipment. There are many online courses to help teens to become able to use their camera to capture some top quality photos of landscapes, people and life. You can search online get a list of courses that you can choose to best suit your teens.
Time To Pick Up The Old Guitar
Has your teen been bogged down with so much school work that he or she has had to let their favourite musical instrument get dusty under the bed? Or perhaps you teen has always wanted to learn an instrument but has never had the time. Either way, it's never too late and it's time to get out your old musical instruments and let your musical passion guide you to practice a new song or write a new album. There are endless courses and tutorials to help you to read music and start learning new songs. If music is a passion that is shared by more than one of your children then it could also be a good social activity to bring your household together.
Once you've learnt or written a new song, you might want to be able to record it. You can use software such as Ableton or GarageBand to record your music and there are lots of helpful tutorials on the internet to help you create. Once you know how to use the software, you can spend hours recording!
Definitely an underrated skill nowadays but DIY will always come in handy! While we've all got some extra time on our hands at the moment, it's the perfect excuse to rearrange your furniture and revamp your bedroom. Sand down some old wood you've got in the shed and use it as shelving, change the doors on your wardrobe, paint some photo frames funky colours - the possibilities are endless! Not only will you be able to create your dream bedroom but you'll also have learnt some lifelong skills you'll be glad to have a few years down the line when you buy your own house.
Don't Forget To Have Fun
The skills you learn don't have to be important for the future. They can just be personal or for fun. If you've always wanted to learn how to solve a Rubix Cube for example or learn some beginner Origami skills, then lockdown is a great time to do so. There are lots of fun courses to get stuck into and you rarely get a chance in life to give them a go. Make sure to blend in some fun activities to the skill learning because life isn't all about college, business and career goals. Learning how to keep a good work-life balance is one of the most important skills of them all and keeping the right level of productivity and fun can sometimes be more challenging than it sounds. That's why this time at home is important to readjust that balance to make sure we are all keeping up communication and doing things to keep us less stressed.