By Susie Yakowicz
Is family night becoming a bore for your teen and young adult children? Finding ways to keep older kids entertained at home with the family can be a challenge, especially when you’re cooped up indoors. The good news is teens and young adults don’t have to resort to video games or their phones for satisfaction. While older kids may have outgrown the simple pleasures of their youth, they can still enjoy interactive fun with the family.
Try these six activities for the next family fun night–and keep your teen and adult children happy, engaged, and wishing the evening wouldn’t end.
Play Board-less Games
Tired of playing the old board games? Likely, so are your teen and young adult children. Fortunately, there are plenty of games without boards that appeal to older kids, including charades and cards. If you really want to engage teens and young adults, though, grab some pens and paper and get creative. Craft a family trivia game, or play “fact or fiction,” where everyone writes down statements that are true or false.
Have a Family Cook-Off
Cooking shows are all the rage these days, and many older kids are tuned in. So what could be more fun for this age group than a family cook-off? Set up a contest for making anything from appetizers to entrees to desserts. Appoint a judge and hand out prizes for the best chef. Incorporate the cook-off into your dinner routine, and prepare a festive table to enjoy all the hard work done in the kitchen.
Start a Family Tree
Grab the photo albums, pull out the family history records, and get busy creating a family tree that your teen and young adult children will appreciate being a part of. Kids at this age begin to take an interest in their heritage and will welcome learning about their ancestors. Plus, family trees are a great way to preserve history and build something that can be passed on from generation to generation.
Even if your kids don’t have a knack for art, painting can be extremely satisfying and therapeutic for older children. Paint supplies can be purchased for a reasonable price through discount craft supply stores. Set up a spot in the basement or workroom where you can get sloppy. If you’ve got a room that needs a fresh coat of paint, here’s another idea: recruit the kids to help. It’ll make family fun night productive to boot.
Take an Online Group Dance Class
Dancing and music play a big part in today’s youth culture. What better way to learn how to dance than in the privacy of home with the people you love best? Online dance instruction is available in all kinds of genres. Learn ballroom, hip-hop, salsa, or Latin dance. Clear off space in the house, set up the computer and have everyone put on their dancing shoes. You’ll have fun and laughs and get exercise in the process.
Do a Challenging Puzzle
Puzzles inspire teamwork, mental stimulation, creativity, and bonding, and they’re a fun way to pass time with the family. Jigsaw puzzles are a favorite among older kids and can be purchased inexpensively at second-hand stores. Or, find an online group brain teaser or logic puzzle. Teens and young adults like a challenge, so pick a puzzle that’ll tap into their brainpower. Then gather around the kitchen table and get to work solving.