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Activities for teenagers

Use of mobile, iphone, smart phone, video games, TV has become part and parcel of life for younger generation. A study shows that in recent years youth watch screens for more than 50 hours a week. Now most researchers will agree that video games can help as well as harm. Now we all know the positive and negative effect of videos games. Video games have also been used successfully to teach children self-care skills for asthma and diabetes. However, sitting in a place and playing video games can cause obesity, poor eyesight and leads to poor communication skills. Violent games can develop aggressive behavior in teens – it is a growing concern. The negative behaviors such as bullying, teasing, rumor spreading, fights, name calling all are somewhat influenced by the screen watching. Parents who understand the impact of “screens”, smart phones are trying to restrict children especially teens from browsing in various ways.

Some interesting conventional as well as traditional games and other activities like touring, gym, hiking, sports dance can help your child to come out and see the world in a different angle is listed below: 

1) Sports: Indoor as well as outdoors

2) Traditional: 

  • Traditional Games :
    • Shatranj or chess
    • Kho kho
    • Kabbadi
    • Gilli danda
  • Traditional Dances :
    • Bharatanatyam
    • Kathak
    • Kathakali
    • Kuchipudi
    • Manipuri
    • Mohiniattam
    • Odissi
    • And, Folk dances of India

3) Rangoli

4) Summer camps for various activities

5) Painting

6) Visiting places

1. Sports : 

Some of the sports that are popular amongst teenagers are: cricket, badminton, hockey, gymnastics, swimming, track and field, volleyball, cycling, basketball, jogging and gym. Visiting nearby gym for minimum 30 minutes 3 to 5 days a week helps children to be active in other sports too. 

2. Traditional games :

  • Shatranj or Chess: Chess is perhaps India’s oldest and most loved board indoor game. Chess was born in India and has been played in India through centuries. It is revered as an indication of a man’s intelligence and strategic capabilities. Chess is excellent for overall mental development. Many schools encourage children to pick up chess.
  • Kho Kho: Kho Kho is popular sport in India. In some parts of India it is even played on a professional level. It does not need any training or equipment and can be played by almost anyone!
  • Kabaddi: Kabaddi too is an indigenous Indian game. It is a team sport and has been played in India since ages. It requires players to be strong and agile, and does not require any equipment or trainingThe game has gained popularity over the years in other parts of Asia as well. It is played in many parts of the Indian sub-continent as well as China and Japan.
  • Gilli Danda or Lippa: Gilli Danda or Guli Danda is a very popular game among the children of India. It is played all over the country and can be enjoyed for hours together. Most Indian adults would remember having played gilli danda with their friends in the neighborhood.

These are some of the games which have been a part of Indian history and culture and still hold much relevance today. (Read more here:

Traditional dances

India is very rich in its culture and traditions. Yoga, Ayurveda, traditional dances are culture of India. These dances are helpful to keep mind calm, focused, active and also give good exercise for the body. Some of the world-famous dance forms that originated and evolved in India are Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Mohiniattam and Odissi. All these dance forms use basically the same ‘mudras’ or signs of hand as a common language of expression and were originally performed in the temples to entertain various Gods and Goddesses. Boys and girls can learn these dances from certified teachers.

(Read more here:

  • Bharatnatyam: Bharatnatyam is one of the most popular classical Indian dances. Bharatnatyam is more popular in South Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Bharatnatyam dance is almost 2,000 years old.
  • Kathak: Kathak is one of the most important classical dances of India. Kathak is said to be derived from the word katha, meaning “the art of storytelling.” The Kathak dance form originated in north India and was very similar to the Bharatnatyam dance form.
  • Kathakali: Kathakali is the classical dance form of Kerala. The word Kathakali literally means “Story-Play”. Kathakali is known for its heavy, elaborate makeup and costumes. In fact, the colorful and fascinating costumes of Kathakali have become the most recognized icon of Kerala.
  • Kuchipudi: Kuchipudi is one of the classical dance forms of the South India. Kuchipudi derives its name from the Kuchipudi village of Andhra Pradesh. In the seventeenth century the Kuchipudi village was presented to the Brahmins, who were experts in staging dance and drama. Kuchipudi exhibits scenes from the Hindu Epics, legends and mythological tales through a combination of music, dance and acting.
  • Manipuri: Manipuri is one of the six major classical dances of India. Manipuri dance is indigenous to Manipur, the North eastern state of India. The Manipuri dance style is inextricably woven into the life pattern of Manipuri people.
  • Mohiniattam: Mohiniattam is a classical dance form of Kerala. Mohiniattam is derived from the words “Mohini” (meaning beautiful women) and “attam”(meaning dance). Thus, Mohiniattam dance form is a beautiful feminine style with surging flow of body movements.
  • Odissi: Odissi is one of the famous classical Indian dances from Orissa state. The history of Odissi dance is almost two thousand years old. Odissi is a highly inspired, passionate, ecstatic and sensuous form of dance.

3. Rangoli: 

Rangoli is the traditional art of India. Most of the households especially in Southern states will have rangoli in front of their house. Rangoli is  one of the most beautiful and most pleasing art forms of India, is comprised of two words, ‘rang’ meaning ‘color’ and ‘aavalli’ meaning colored creepers’ or ‘row of colors’. Rangoli basically comprises of the art of making designs or patterns on the walls or the floor of the house, using finely ground white powder along with different colors. During holidays learning this art will help youngsters in various ways.

The advantage of learning and drawing rangoli are :

1) A good habit

2) Drawing helps to improve hand writing

3) Concentration skill improvement

4) Relief for future arthritis pain

5) Good vision

4. Summer Camps:

The information provided here is from Summer camps in India (Read more here:
Teenage kids need activities that help them to grow both physically and mentally. In India and world wide there are many places where summer camps are offered for teenagers and kids who are in special need. This helps children to make new friends, seeing new places, and cultivate new habits and more importantly helps in better communication.

Following are the various options:

a. Technology summer camps: Tech camps focusing on computer and modern technology offer a plethora of learning in basics of computer, programming, animation and graphic design, digital photography and a lot more.

b. Adventure summer camps: Most of summer camps are designed as “adventure camps” and often associated with exploring nature and environment and activities in adventure camps involve trekking, horse riding, bird watching, fishing, para gliding, scuba diving, sailing, etc.

c. Academic summer camps: An academic camp enables the kids to focus on special areas of their academic interests such as learning additional languages, spoken English, abacus, specializing skills in computer, and other activities enhancing their academics.

d. Arts summer camps: Art camp plays a major role in inspiring a child’s creativity and pays special attention on promoting the kid’s aesthetic abilities. The artistic activities offered in the art camps vary from dancing of different types like western, classical dance, etc., learning music, acting, creative writing, painting, drawing, and many more.

e. Sports summer camps: This has been ideal for children who are athletically gifted with willpower, intelligence and hard work. Most sports camps concentrate on various sport activities, such as swimming, table tennis, tennis, football, hockey, volleyball, carom, chess, and archery has been the latest added to the list.

f. Special needs summer camps: There have been relatively fewer summer camps organized for kids with special needs by creating environment that suits the kids and the needs may be physical, mental or emotional requiring more individual care and attention.

5. Painting classes: 

To be creative another activity or hobby that teens can go for is painting. With very rich heritage India also has a good history in classical painting. Some of the Indian paintings types which kids may be interested in learning are:

Some of the Indian paintings types which kids may be interested in learning are:

  • Cave paintings
  • Madhubani
  • Miniature
  • Mughal
  • Mysore
  • Pahari
  • Rajput
  • Tanjore

Cave Painting : Ancient cave paintings of India serve as a window to our ancestors, who used to inhabit these caves.

Madhubani Painting: Madhubani painting originated in a small village, known as Maithili, of the Bihar state of India. Initially, the womenfolk of the village drew the paintings on the walls of their home, as an illustration of their thoughts, hopes and dreams.

Miniature Painting:  Miniatures paintings are beautiful handmade paintings, which are quite colorful but small. The highlight of these paintings is the intricate and delicate brushwork, which lends them a unique identity.

Mughal Painting: As the name suggests these paintings evolved as well as developed during the rule of Mughal Emperors in India, between 16th century and 19th century.

Mysore Painting: Mysore Painting is a form of classical South Indian painting, which evolved in the Mysore city of Karnataka.

Pahari PaintingPahari painting is the name given to Rajput paintings, made in the in the Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir states of India.

Rajput Painting: Rajput painting originated in the royal states of Rajasthan, somewhere around the late 16th and early 17th century.

Tanjore PaintingTanjore Painting is one of the most popular forms of classical South Indian painting. It is the native art form of Thanjavur  city of Tamil Nadu. 

7. Visiting places:

India has always been a popular destination for travelers. The culture, tradition and lifestyle of Indians attracts people around the world then why cannot we explore as there is so many things to see.

1) Visit historical places: India is a land of ancient civilization. Historical places in India has many interesting factors to offer. Visit places like Ajanta, Ellora, Halebeedu, Belur, Delhi, Buddhgaya, Mumbai, Mysore, Agra.

2) Visit temple places: India is well known for its oldest temples that are built 1000 to 2000 years ago. To see not only God but also the architecture of the temples like Tanjor, Madhure, Rameshwaram, Varanasi, Tiruvananthapuram, Sringeri, Jaipur, Udupi, Amritsar, Guruvayor etc.

3) Visit sanctuaries and botanical gardens: This well help teens to understand and learn about nature. It will also help them to think about their future interest and what they want to be. In addition, visiting these places creates passion and like for animals, plants and nature. Some of the Botanical gardens that parents can visit with family are:
1. Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, Shibpur, Kolkata
2. Agri Horticultural Society of India, Alipore, Kolkata
3. Assam State Zoo-cum-Botanical Garden, Guwahati
4. Botanical Garden, Near Sarangpur, Chandigarh
5. Empress Garden, Pune
6. Garden of Medicinal Plants, North Bengal University, West Bengal
7. Government Botanical Gardens, Ootacamund, Nilgiris district, Tamil Nadu
8. IFGTB Botanical Garden – The Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding (IFGTB), Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
9. Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI), Trivandrum, Kerala (Biggest in India and conserves the largest no of plant species in Asia).
10. Malampuzha Garden, Palakkad, Kerala
11. Jhansi Botanical Garden, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh
12. Odisha State Botanical Garden Nandankanan, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
13. Aligarh Fort (maintained by the Department of Botany, AMU ), Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh.
14. Lalbagh, Bangalore, Karnataka
15. The Mysore Zoo, in Mysore, Karnataka is also a botanical garden.
16. Pilikula Arboretum (Pilikula Botanical Garden) at Pilikula Nisargadhama near Mangalore
17. Botanical Garden of the Department of Applied Botany at Mangalore University, Karnataka
18. Lloyd’s Botanical Garden, Darjeeling, West Bengal
19. Saharanpur Botanical Garden, Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh
20. R. B. Botanical Garden and Amusement Park, Gujarat Technological University, Ahmedabad,
21. The Garça Branca Ayurvedic Botanical Garden, Loutolim, Goa.
22. Top 10 sanctuaries of India
23. Jim Corbett National park, Uttaranchal
24. Kaziranga National park
25. Bandipur wildlife sanctuary, Karnataka
26. Bandhavarh National park, Madhya Pradesh
27. Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
28. Sasan Gir National Park, Gujrat
29. Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Rajasthan
30. Periyar wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala
31. Pench National Park, Maharashtra
32. Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
33. Sunderbans, West Bengal (UNESCO world heritage park)