teen using computer

Now that we’re in the middle of summer break, you’ve finally had a break from the non-stop zoom meetings and homework that had you chained to your laptop all through spring. If you’re feeling bored while the heat is keeping you inside, try some of these free sites that let you draw, game, and chat with your friends from the comfort of your couch.

Getting Creative

Tabletop Games

If you’re still at the bottom of the holds queue for your next board game, give one of these online options a try. They don’t offer quite as large a selection as the library, but are excellent for spontaneous game nights and playing with socially distanced friends.

  • Board Game Arena
    From new and popular games like Potion Explosion and Race to the Galaxy, to classics like Chess and Yahtzee, this site has a decent selection of free games to choose from, with some additional games requiring paid membership. Make an account, add your friends, and start up a physically distanced game night!
  • Tabeltopia
    This site works fairly similar to Board Game Arena, but has a nicer looking interface and a different selection of free games to play publicly or with friends.
  • Dungeons and Dragons
     Roll20 and D&D Beyond are two of the top sites for players looking to take their Dungeons and Dragons game virtual, and both are a great resource for new players just starting out. While both sites do require purchase for extra content like rarer monsters, classes, and items, they each have tons of content available for free, including everything you need to get started roleplaying. D&D Beyond is especially useful for help creating new characters, and Roll20 has tons of features for hosting a campaign.
  • Jigsawpuzzles
    Even if you’ve never been big on puzzles, give this site a try. It doesn’t take up your whole kitchen table, and if you sign in you can leave a puzzle half finished and it will still be there waiting for you next time you want it. You can work together with other players on a public puzzle, or start a private one to work on by yourself. You can invite friends to join your private puzzle by sending them the invite link, and talk while you play in the built-in text chat. This has become my favorite low-key game to play while watching TV or listening to audiobooks.

For more activities and ideas for keeping busy this summer, check out our Teen Summer Reading Program! Our online program makes it super easy to log reading and activities in the Beanstack app. This year, every book you read and activity you complete will contribute donations to Oregon Food Bank, so you can feel great about killing your boredom this summer while also giving back to your community. Head over to our Teen Summer Reading Program page to learn more, and see a list of upcoming events for teens and tweens this summer.