When my boys were younger it was so simple to figure out how to spend a sunny spring day together as a family. Now that my oldest kids are tweens, those afternoons spent together seem to happen less these days. Between sports and school activities and electronics, “time with mom” has been bumped down on the priority list. I’ve learned that I have to join their world to really enjoy some quality time with them. Here are 50 ways to spend an afternoon with your preteen:
1) Take the “try not to sing” challenge like their favorite YouTubers do.
2) Paint your nails together.
3) Play a board game.
4) Bake cookies for the bake sale together.
5) Listen to them talk about what they are passionate about. Really listen. (And yes, even if that passion is all currently being dumped into Fortnite and you’d rather talk about anything else other than that video game…)
6) Take a walk.
7) Go on a roadtrip and let them control the radio. (And don’t forget the snacks! Let them go crazy.)
8) Watch a movie together. Pick one they enjoy or introduce them to one of these throwback films.
9) Play catch or hit some balls at a batting cage.
10) Go out for ice cream.
11) Head to the mall and let your tween play stylist and pick an outfit out for you.
12) Let your child teach you how to play their favorite video game.
13) Work together to complete a puzzle.
14) Let them create the menu for the week then grocery shop and cook together.
15) Take a class together and discover a fun, new hobby you both might enjoy.
16) Make these no-bake pudding pies together.
17) Play mini-golf.
18) Let them help you plan your next family vacation.
19) Volunteer together.
20) Go geocaching.
21) Explore a new culture by trying a different cuisine at a restaurant in town.
22) Paint each other’s portrait.
23) Play a yard game like croquet, corn hole or ladder ball.
24) Go to the zoo.
25) Use an ancestry site to build your family tree.
26) Go to a ball game.
27) Be creative at a make your own pottery place
28) Build something together.
29) Make your own pizzas and let them pick the toppings.
30) Do a STEAM activity together (like this lung lift that lets them lift things just by breathing!)
31) Play laser tag or with nerf guns.
32) Garden together. Let them plant their favorite fruits and vegetables along with flowers.
33) Compete against each other while playing an active video game.
34) Go bowling.
35) Play “horse” on the basketball hoop.
36) Have a campfire in a fire pit (don’t forget the s’mores!)
37) Go on a bike ride to a local place they enjoy like their favorite park or restaurant.
38) Setup an obstacle course or relay race and see who is fastest: child or parent.
39) Make a handmade gift for someone.
40) Learn to code together.
41) Go out for fancy “coffee” drinks (Starbucks makes plenty of Frappuccinos without coffee).
42) Make thank you cards for members of the military (here’s where you can send them).
43) Go to a local museum.
44) Make your own fruit popsicles.
45) Have an A to Z scavenger hunt and see who can find the 26 things (one for each letter) the fastest.
46) Have a water balloon fight.
47) Try a new sport together like skateboarding, tennis, or golf.
48) Paint rocks with encouraging sayings and then hide them around town.
49) Turn on their favorite songs and have a dance off.
50) Go to the grocery store and let your tween pick out foods they’ve never tried before. Blindfold them and have a taste test challenge with those and other foods you have in your fridge and pantry to see if they can guess what they are eating. Bonus points for video because you know they will want to post this on YouTube!
Bonus: Do something uncommon with your tween on a spring afternoon, something like lockpicking. That may sound strange, but it can be helpful for both you and your child. Start by practicing with a professional lock picking tool set. With constant practice, this skill can come in handy when you find yourself locked in or out of a place. If you have a box you need to open but don’t have the key, you can utilize your lockpicking skills. Moreover, this skill can be a great conversation starter, or you can showcase it at a gathering to impress friends.
What fun activities do you like to do with your tweens during the spring months?