It’s easy to find family activities to do with your kids when they’re young—but what about when they become teenagers?
As kids leave childhood behind and enter the wild world of teendom, their interests shift and change. As a result, they may outgrow a lot of their favorite childhood activities. Don’t worry, this is a pretty natural part of growing up. After all, your kiddo is well on their way to adulthood!
It’s important that teens explore their identity and develop their own interests, but this newfound freedom can make it more difficult for teens and parents to spend time together. Things that worked when they were younger, like playing hide and seek or drawing on the sidewalk with chalk, might not be the best activities to do with your teenager.
However, research shows that spending quality time with your teen is just as important as it was when they were a kid; you just have to find new ways to spend time with them.
So, if you’re on the hunt for things to do with a teenage son at home or fun things to do with your teenage daughter, you’ve come to the right place. Here are fifty fun things to do with your teenager that will help you spend quality time together—and make your relationship stronger than ever before.
Spend a Day at Home
- Watch a movie. Pop some popcorn, dim the lights, and watch your teen’s favorite flick to create the perfect movie night experience.
- Make dinner together. Whether you and your teen are trying out a new recipe or whipping up a family favorite, time together in the kitchen is time well spent.
- Bake a dessert. Because after your delicious meal, you’re going to need something sweet!
- Do a puzzle. Puzzles are fun for family members of all ages, and can actually benefit your teen in some pretty amazing ways.
- Hold your own mini book club. Let your teen pick a book for you both to read. Once you’re done, discuss the heavy-hitting questions over some tea or a milkshake.
- Host a game night. Your teen may have grown out of hopscotch, but they’ll never grow out of board games, card games, or party games like charades.
- Play video games together. If your teen is a gamer, bridge the gap between the two of you by sitting down for a round of Fortnite or Mario Party with them.
- Make your own personal pizzas. For added fun, roll the dough into funky shapes or paint a picture with your toppings.
- Repair something together. Improve your home and your relationship by spending some quality time fixing things around the house with your teen—and teach them a new skill while you work together!
- Do a crossword puzzle. Work on a puzzle together, or race to see who can complete their own individual crossword first.
- Dance it out. Let your teen build the playlist for a family dance party. It’s easy to add their favorite tunes to their Troomi phone; click here to find out how!
Exercise Your Creativity
- Follow a painting tutorial. A quick YouTube search will help you find all sorts of at-home art tutorials, including those by everyone’s favorite painting guru, Bob Ross.
- Redesign your teen’s bedroom. Rearranging your teen’s space has some surprising mental health benefits—and it’s just plain fun!
- Learn a TikTok dance. TikTok isn’t the safest for kids (or teens, for that matter), but if your kiddo is a TikTok aficionado, show some interest by learning a TikTok dance together.
- Play some music together. If you and your teen play instruments, form your own family band and jam for a few hours. If only one can play, the other can sing!
- Have a photo shoot. Take pics in funky costumes or recreate iconic childhood photos for a lot of laughs.
- Make a t-shirt quilt. Your teen probably has a lot of t-shirts that don’t fit them anymore. Instead of throwing them away, recycle and create a personalized t-shirt quilt!
- Make a short film together. Help your teen write, direct, and star in their own short film. You don’t need fancy equipment—a phone camera like the one on their Troomi phone is more than enough.
- Start a YouTube channel. Creating short YouTube videos together gets those creative juices flowing. You can even make the videos private to keep your family safe from online predators.
- Do a craft. From origami to candle making, there’s no shortage of fun family crafts that teens will enjoy.
- Scrapbook. Reminisce over family memories as you compile a scrapbook together.
- Go on a hike. Hiking is super beneficial for everyone’s mental health (especially your teens’) and gives you time to have quality conversations as you traverse a mountain trail.
- Take a walk. If hiking in nature isn’t your teens idea of a good time, take a few minutes to walk around the neighborhood instead!
- Go camping overnight. Pack up the sleeping bags and a tent, and take the whole family camping for some quality time out in nature.
- Tell stories around a campfire. Tell a spooky ghost story or share your favorite childhood memories—just don’t forget the s’mores.
- Start a garden together. Encourage your teen to pick the plants for a family garden. They’ll love watching their seeds blossom and feeling the sense of accomplishment that comes from gardening.
- Go stargazing. Apps like SkyMap can help you and your teen identify stars, planets, nebulae, and more!
- Go bird-watching. All you need are binoculars and a pack full of snacks for the perfect bird-watching adventure.
- Take your dog to the park. For some extra quality time, walk to the park instead of hopping in the car.
- Go on a picnic. Ask your teen to help you set the menu, then pack up your meal and enjoy an outdoor feast together.
- Play frisbee. If you’re looking for a fun activity for the whole family, look no further than frisbee! You can even get competitive by playing a round of ultimate frisbee or frisbee golf.
Hit the Town
- Go to a sporting event. Sports teams inspire a strong sense of community in their fans, and attending a game together can bring you and your teen even closer as well.
- Check out a museum. If you can’t get out of the house, check out a virtual museum online! I guess COVID-19 was good for something, after all.
- Go to a concert. Is your teen’s favorite band coming to town? Snag some tickets for the both of you and gear up for a roaring good time.
- Take a scenic drive. Take your teen up the canyon for some high-quality conversations surrounded by beautiful scenery. If your kiddo has a license, let them take a turn behind the wheel.
- Check out a thrift shop. Searching through thrift shops is like going on a treasure hunt. If your teen is business savvy, they could even resell their finds for a hefty profit.
- Go see a play. Between comedies, dramas, operas, and musicals, the theater has a little something for everyone.
- Do an escape room. Escape rooms are like teenage obstacle courses—only with more teamwork.
- Tour a college. If your teen is nearing the end of high school, they might be ready to think about college. Try taking them on a tour of a local university to get them excited about their future education.
Learn a New Skill
- Take an art class together. If a Bob Ross tutorial isn’t enough to scratch your teen’s itch to create, take an art class together! Community centers often hold classes that teach all sorts of artistic mediums, from oil painting to ceramics.
- Perform some service. Some of my favorite memories with my dad center around service. Encourage your teen to join you as you take time out of your day to make someone else’s load a little lighter.
- Cook a meal from another culture. The world is chock-full of diverse dishes. Do some research with your teen and try making something new! Might I suggest kimchi-jjigae?
- Research your family tree. Nothing brings family together like learning more about your shared roots and family stories of beloved family members.
- Watch a TED Talk. From a talk by a North Korean defector to a deep dive into the mind of a master procrastinator, everyone has something to learn from TED Talks.
- Learn a language together. Kan du norsk? Ikke ennå, men det gjør du kanskje snart hvis du bruker Duolingo!
- Help write your teen’s CV. An organized CV is key in the professional and academic world. Help your teen prep for the future by sitting down and organizing their resume.
Slow Down and Be Mindful
- Meditate together. Taking a few minutes to appreciate stillness and calm works wonders on mental health. Practicing meditation with your teen inspires you to keep each other accountable and be together in the present moment.
- Do yoga. Yoga is a great workout for both the mind and body. If you don’t know where to start, there are all sorts of yoga courses on YouTube that are perfect for teens.
- Have an at-home spa day. Cut up a cucumber, mix up a mud-mask, and put on some relaxing music as you and your teen get your zen on.
- Develop a healthy habit together. Commit to write in a gratitude journal or start your mornings with some side-by-side meditation.
Give Your Teen the Reins
Your child’s teenage years are some of the most exciting of their life. The increased independence of teenagehood means that they’re able to explore a bundle of diverse interests and hobbies. Don’t be afraid to take that journey with them!
As you think of things to do with your teenager, consider what they’re interested in. If they’re a sports fan, go to a game or play some pick-up basketball. If they’re a bit artsier, take an art class or check out a gallery together. Take some time to sit down with them and figure out which activities you would enjoy doing together.
When all else fails, just talk. Nothing brings people together like a quality conversation. Ask your teen about their day, discuss their interests, or just let them vent. You’ll be glad to learn more about their life, and they’ll be glad to spend some quality time with one of the most important people in their life: you.