Early adolescence brings a major shift in children’s demeanor and overall personality. You will notice increased autonomy, defined personality, specific interests, and enhanced cognitive abilities in a tween. Tweens can try a diverse array of age-appropriate activities for their developmental requirements.
In this post, we tell you about some fun and exciting activities suitable for tweens, to support their physical, mental, and socio-emotional development.
Activities for 12-year-old Children
Here are some enjoyable and entertaining activities that your 12-year-old child can indulge in with friends and family.
1. Make a comic book
Creative writing requires imagination. Involving your tween in creative-writing activities can hone their cognitive abilities and promote out-of-the-box thinking. Choosing a theme, writing dialogues, and preparing visuals can encourage them to plan, organize, and present ideas. This productive, self-expressing activity can also boost their self-esteem and confidence.
Alternatively, your child can try to draw a comic book containing only characters and no words — a fun and challenging way to fire their imagination.
2. Do a DIY project
DIY projects are based on the concept of “learning by doing,” a perfect way to indulge your tween in self-learning activities. The theme for a DIY project can vary, and it is best to decide on a task that is both engaging and challenging. Building a city using recyclables or preparing an effective plan to minimize plastic waste are some fun and learning DIY projects that can help boost your child’s critical thinking and logical reasoning skills.
3. Learn to code
Gamified coding is a fun-filled and creative activity that can provide 12-year-olds an exciting learning experience. Coding can be useful in strengthening their problem-solving, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration skills. Besides, it can teach them perseverance.
4. Learn a new language
Learning a new language can help improve your tween’s cognitive and decision-making skills. Besides, it can hone your child’s communication skills that are relevant for personal development. Depending on their interest and preferences, they can learn one or more than one language. You could enroll them in a language class or download a language-learning app.
5. Play a board game
Playing board games, such as Brainstorm or Scrabble, is a joyful, engaging, and learning experience. But, how about preparing one from scratch? Making a board game requires creative skills. Your child can come up with a random idea to develop a new board game or work on an existing game by introducing/removing some elements of the game. In either case, your child would be able to experiment, which can help develop their cognitive skills. Moreover, it can boost brain function and build their self-esteem and self-confidence.
6. Solve puzzles
Solving puzzles, like a 1,000-piece puzzle or Rubik’s cube, is challenging, engaging, and entertaining. It can help enhance brain function, boost concentration, improve visuospatial reasoning, and develop problem-solving abilities. Besides, it reduces stress, enhances mood, and improves relationships by allowing effective collaboration. Board games and puzzles are great mental activities.
7. Play card games
Playing strategy card games, like sequence, can teach sportsmanship and patience and improve your 12-year-old’s logical reasoning skills. Also, m aking strategies and playing with a positive spirit can improve their social and communication skills and help build positive relationships.
8. Take part in a STEM scavenger hunt
A STEM scavenger hunt is an age-appropriate indoor activity available in a worksheet format. In these activities, short-answer questions and answer keys are given. These questions are aimed at teaching the basic concepts of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics to your child. There are some other forms of STEM scavenger hunts as well. Choose one for your tween based on the desired complexity.
9. Plan a Google Maps adventure
In this exciting activity, you have to select and share the screenshots of exciting spots on Google Street View with your child. Next, ask them to guess where that street is and identify some places near that street. There are several apps, like GeoGuessr and Pursued, that you could download for this activity.
10. Outline a novel
If your 12-year-old reads novels, this delightful activity can boost their creative thinking abilities. Assign a theme to your child and instruct them to outline a novel. The outline should include the main characters, the novel’s setting, and the antagonist. They could work on a mystery, thriller, science fiction, or fantasy. Give a week to your child and let them experiment. Discuss the outline with them and guide them to do better. Remember, the child has to come up with an outline and not write a novel.
11. Create a photo collage
It is a joyful craft activity for 12-year-olds with a liking for photography. It involves clicking pictures of a favorite place, item, person, or anything that the child likes and presenting them in a collage. It can stir their imagination, and help them think analytically and express themselves.
12. Brainstorm an idea
Brainstorming an idea with family and peers can help improve your child’s critical thinking and logical reasoning skills and encourage them to be open to different perspectives. To initiate the activity, involve your child in some serious brainstorming sessions and encourage them to come up with ideas on minimizing the family’s monthly expense, plan a low-budget weekend get-together, and revamp the house without professional help. Discuss the ideas that your 12-year-old presents, and give them constructive feedback.
13. Solve an anagram
An anagram is a word or phrase formed by rearranging the letters of different words or phrases. For example, FRIED, when rearranged, makes words, like “FIRED.” It may seem simple, but an age-appropriate anagram provides relatively complex words and phrases to solve. Several board games and online activities can train your tween in solving an anagram. Anagramming can help children develop concentration, build vocabulary, and hone problem-solving skills.
14. Prepare a chain reaction
Preparing a chain reaction with dominoes is an entertaining activity involving science and creativity. You could get some self-explanatory domino-effect kits that are suitable for your tween to try the activity independently. Discuss every step in detail. Once acquainted with the concept of the domino effect, challenge the tween to prepare a similar chain reaction with other household materials like popsicle sticks, matchsticks, and paper cups.
15. Learn to play an instrument
Playing an instrument is a joyful activity that trains your brain and improves long-term memory. Also, it increases concentration, improves multitasking ability, and boosts creativity. More importantly, it relieves stress and makes a child feel happy by letting the emotions flow. Bongo, piano, and harmonica are some easy-to-learn instruments that you can suggest to your 12-year-old.
16. Practice woodworking
It is a creative activity in which your 12-year-old can learn to create something useful from waste wood lying in your backyard or lawn. Creating an item from wood involves using nails, hammer, screwdrivers, etc. It can help develop fine and gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination. You could ask your kid to build a bird feeder, a hutch for your pet, or a toolbox for your garage.
17. Organize a charity event
Guide your child in organizing a charity event, such as a fundraiser from scratch. Discuss with them the steps involved, like finalizing a charity theme, preparing promotion material, like pamphlets, and inviting people. Taking part in a charity event can help them develop a sense of responsibility, empathy, and compassion. Participating in such activities can also help improve their communication skills and cognitive abilities.
18. Make a tie-dye apparel
Resist-dyeing is a technique that can be used to create uncountable patterns through sheer creativity. The basic principle of the process is to tie the areas that you want to dye with a thread and color them. By tying the cloth, different patterns are produced.
Use a beginner’s tie and dye kit that comes with clear instructions on how to tie and dye with all the necessary materials. Involving your tween in this fun and exciting activity can help improve their creative thinking skills.
19. Prepare a healthy meal
You could introduce various fireless cooking recipes to your 12-year-old. Let them try as many recipes as they wish by guiding them on proper safety measures. Teach them to select healthy ingredients to enhance the nutritional value of the food. You could also teach them to cook dinner for the family or prepare pastry, ice cream, sandwiches, salads, smoothies, and shakes.
20. Run an obstacle course
This fun-filled outdoor activity can be a useful addition to your young teen’s exercise routine. Taking part in multi-step activities, like obstacle courses, can help improve their sequencing and problem-solving skills and boost strength and balance. You can buy obstacle course kits online or make one with your child, which can be another fun activity!
21. Play laser maze
Laser maze is a logic-based game suitable for a 12-year-old. The game involves the use of mirrors and beam-splitters to direct the laser through mind-boggling mazes to light up the target. Buy a laser maze game and get involved with your child to develop their reasoning and planning skills and provide a good learning experience.
22. Sing karaoke
Use a microphone and create a perfect atmosphere to motivate your child to participate in this fun activity with family and friends. Singing karaoke enhances cognitive abilities, like memory, concentration, and listening. Encourage them to dance while singing to promote physical activity, boost mood, relieve stress, and encourage self-expression.
23. Learn calligraphy or hand lettering
While calligraphy is the art of beautiful handwriting, hand lettering is the art of illustrating the letters by working around prefabricated and designed letters. Motivate your tween to learn one or both techniques to utilize their time and skills effectively. These inexpensive art forms can keep a tween engaged and entertained, boost mood, and relieve pressure and stress.
24. Watch a movie
Watch a movie together or introduce your tween to different movie genres. You could also teach them about media and its impact on children and adolescents. It provides an opportunity to discuss their likes, dislikes, and preferences. Guide your tween to differentiate between reality and fantasy, and spend quality time building a positive relation.
25. Research on pets
Rearing a pet is a learning experience for everyone. If you are planning to have one, then let your tween do the research. Guide them to know the best pets to rear, their suitable habitats, food habits, etc., and prepare a five-minute PowerPoint presentation to share their research with the family. This activity can help a child connect with the surroundings and develop communication skills.
26. Build a terrarium
A terrarium is a miniature garden built using a glass container, potting mix, gravel, activated charcoal, plants, moss, and other decorative accessories. There are innumerable ways to create a terrarium, but what you need the most is a heap of patience and creativity. Involving a tween in making terrariums is an effective way to teach them about nature, sharpen focus and concentration, develop STEM and analytical skills, and relieve stress.
27. Learn to draw a mandala
Mandala, meaning “sacred circle” in Sanskrit, is an ancient geometric art that is intricate and abstract. It holds deep spiritual meaning in Buddhism and Hinduism and is a useful art therapy activity to reduce stress and improve sleep. Introducing your tween to this art can help develop mindfulness and tranquility, and augment concentration and creativity.
Involving themselves in exciting and engaging learning activities can help your tween develop their cognitive abilities and boost physical development. Let them utilize their skills and choose complex activities to outperform themselves to boost confidence and become self-aware.