Fun things to do with your teen

Let’s face it, there are few things further down your teen’s list of priorities right now than spending time with their dear old mum.

Family days out have been replaced by trips into town with their mates and Saturday-night family TV on the sofa is now sleepovers, bowling and heaven knows what else!

But fear not! If you’re desperate to stop them slipping away, take a look through our fun ideas for things to do together and see if you think any of them would muster up a smile!

1. Cinema club

In your child’s young teenage years, there’s nothing more embarrassing
than being seen out with your parents. Sad but true!

But even if you’re not their popcorn buddy of choice, it doesn’t mean
you can’t still enjoy a movie together. As ridiculous as it might sound,
suggest going to a different cinema to your usual. You might see a
surprising amount of interest when there’s no fear of them getting
spotted by the boy they’ve got a crush on.

Being a teen is a difficult time and if you want to stay close, you’re
going to have to pander to them a little bit!

2. Sports mad

Does your teen love sports? It can be pricey to get tickets to big events but sites like
often have tickets at really reduced rates. Your son or daughter will
love a day out watching their team play and it’ll be something really
fun you can do together.

3. Make pizzas!

Kids love pizza
– fact! So transform the kitchen into a pizza parlour and hold a pizza
night at home. It’s messy, hands-on fun that you get to eat at the end
of the night – brilliant!

Choose a weeknight when everyone’s home early and pick out your family’s
favourite toppings. You can pre-prepare the sauce and dough mixture and then let each family member roll out their own base and top it to perfection. Give a prize for the best made pizza!

Get lots of ideas from our homemade pizza recipes.

4. Go ape!

Special occasion? Take them on an adventurous day out they’ll absolutely love. Go Ape
describes itself as a ‘high-wire forest adventure’ which is pretty much
exactly what it is!

You make your way around an assault course high up in the trees that
lets you walk along tightropes, fly along ziplines and jump into cargo
nets – all while attached to a harness, of course. Not for faint-hearted
teens, but a great fun day out for anyone with a sense of adventure.
They’re bound to find it hilarious watching you make your way round too!

It’s not the cheapest day out at around £50 for one adult and one child,
but look out for special offers throughout the year. Visit for more information.

5. Go dogwalking

Don’t have a dog? Ask to borrow the neighbour’s and take it for a walk
together to the local park. It’ll give you and your teen a rare chance
to chat and be silly – but avoid bombarding them with questions or
they’ll quickly get fed up with you!

6. Got girls? Give each other a makeover

You might not want to encourage your teen to wear make-up but one day
they’re bound to experiment so why not do it together?

Pull out your box of make-up and try out different coloured lippies and
nail varnishes on each other.

You can give her hints on how to apply make-up that she’ll remember for
when she’s older. Just make sure you have a good cleanser on hand to
wipe it all off before bed!

7. Decoupage something

Get your teen to cut out pictures of all his or her favourite stars from
magazines or print them from the Internet.

Get a bit of tatty old furniture like a bedside table, a chest or even
something small like a photo frame and give it a new lease of life by
covering it with the images.

Simply stick them down with PVA glue in the desired positions, leave to
dry and then varnish the next day.

Your teen will love their cool, personalised furniture as much as you’ll
love spending some quality time with them.

Watch our video for how to decoupage to get more ideas.

8. Play the Wii

We all know that teenagers love computer games so get involved. If
you’re not an expert – even better!

They’ll find it hilarious watching you try to race them round the track
on Mario Cart or beat their finely-honed moves on Just Dance.

The more you throw yourself into the game, the more you’ll have them
laughing – and you might just have some fun along the way, too!

9. Card nights

Teach your kids how to play cards and they’ll thank you for it later. We
guarantee they’ll end up passing their tricks and tips onto their
mates, even if they pretend to be uninterested at the time!

So get some nibbles in, clear a space on the floor or at the table and
play some simple, fast-paced games. Loser does the washing up!

10. Make a family photo album

Unless you’re super-organised, you’re bound to have a drawer or box full
of old photos somewhere in the house. Dig them out and sit down with
your teen and put together a family album.

It will be funny looking back at old pics and you can get creative and
decorate the pages. If you’ve felt like your teen has become distant
lately, it’s a nice way to remind yourself how much you really do love
each other – even if you drive each other round the bend sometimes!

Where to next?

10 GSCE revision tips
– More on your teens
– A guide to teens and drugs
Secondary education explained