Activities for Bonding with Teens:
Having everyone home the past few days has been interesting.
We started our second day of social distancing with everyone making a list of what they would like to do but we never have time for…the lists of my oldest two, who weren’t thrilled about making the list in the first place, were the most enlightening.
No one had spend more time on social media or send a lot of texts…but what they wanted to do was surprising.
The following lists comes from my kids with a few addition of things we have done and have been enjoyable. I hope there are some ideas here that you can use too.
#1. Have a DIY/Tutorial Contest
Find a make up, cake decorating, craft, etc. video and you and your teen each try to replicate it. See who can come the closest to what was done in the video.
***This idea came from my kids love of Nailed It…which is both fun to watch and fun to reenact with your teens at home…
#2. Play “Would You Rather”
***Once you play this a few times your kids will start making up their own would you rather questions…and both what they ask and answer can be informative.
#3. Find a Netflix or Hulu series to watch together…and only watch one episode a day. Pick a certain time and do it everyday (or on the same night every week)….make it a tradition…something that only you guys do.
***A few series we have done this with is Nailed It, Masked Singer, Abandoned (my teen son LOVED this…and so did I but it does have some language), American Ninja Warrior, and Cutthroat Kitchen.
#4. Work out together
***This is easier said than done. One of my kids loves doing this…but schools me on everything! Another one has to be dragged into exercising with me. And their interests are different than mine. I’d rather run, while one of them is into pull-ups and weights and the other digs yoga.
We have been trying each other’s interests…and play lists. Some days it’s super fun, some days its ok, some days it’s a flop….but we are still working on it….especially now that we are all home together.
#5. Have a Cook Off/Bake Off
***A favorite. Let them find a new recipe on Pinterest or in a cook book. Then it’s on. You can both make the same thing OR you can find a competing recipe of your own…but the point is to be together in the kitchen hanging out and cooking. (My son has really enjoyed this…especially the cooking…Bacon Wrapped Chicken, Fire Cracker Chicken, Basil Chicken with Pasta…I wouldn’t have guessed…and it all started as sort of a joke/dare one afternoon in the kitchen.)
#6. Make a Mini Memory Book
***NOT a lifetime memory book. Choose one specific event, year, or vacation that was particularly fun and then make a mini scrapbook of that event. Include photos, quotes, funny stories, inside jokes, etc.
#7. Go on a virtual vacation
***There are so so many virtual things to do on line…from the rides at Disneyland, to museum tours, to exploring our National Parks. Have your teen pick where they would go on vacation and then start touring. And better yet if you can pair your phone or computer to the tv do that and bring the whole family along.
#8. Have them teach you their best dance moves to their music…and then you teach them yours…to your music.
***We did this by accident the other morning…everything from flossing to the Macarena. It was hilarious…and keeps coming up again over and over…
#9. Have a Movie Marathon
***Make it an all day event OR one a night every night until you finish. My teen loves this. He put this on his list along with “the good snacks” to eat when we watch together. There are so many movie series out there…from Star Wars to Marvel movies…it’s easy and fun. (I did one a week with him during the month of October and we watched all M. Night Shyamalan movies…it was totally fun!)
#10. Play Games
***Make them play a board game with you. Right now my oldest are enjoying Ticket to Ride and Settlers of Catan. But my son gets a kick out of me plopping down on the couch and trying to play videos games with him. Either way we are spending time together.
#11. Make a Playlist
***Make and swap Top 10 playlists with each other.
#12. Paint Night With Bob Ross
***I have done this with my teen…and piles of other teens…so fun, so easy. First buy some cheap canvasses (I usually get mine at the Dollar Store but you can find some HERE. And then we just use acrylic paint and some of my old brushes…but if you don’t have any of those HERE is a kit that will hook you up.) Then set up shop on a card table where everyone can see the tv and get to painting. Just keep the remote close so you can pause or rewind the episode as needed!
For activity ideas to do with younger kids check out THIS POST.
***Affiliate Amazon links were used in this post.***