As we count down the days to Christmas, and the opportunity to spend time together as a family, we wanted to share ideas to create fun and laughter in the home, and maybe even break through adolescent resistance…

 

Put together a Family Puzzle
A puzzle is like a magnet, even the most resistant teen can’t refrain from joining in. Grandparents, cousins, everyone can get involved in taking turns and working as a team.

 

Bake and decorate Cookies
Older kids love to roll out dough. Lay out assorted coloured icing, sprinkles and small marshmallows. It’s fun to watch the creativity that is generated as they decorate! Who also doesn’t love to clean out the bowl with their fingers?

 

Have an ugly Christmas Jumper party
Go to a charity shop and chances are you will find a load of ugly jumpers! Take a vote for whose is the best (worst)! Let your kids be the judge.

 

Bake and decorate a Gingerbread House
https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/simple-gingerbread-house

 

Watch your favourite Christmas movies together
https://www.imdb.com/list/ls000096828/
Let your teen pick. If they aren’t particularly fond of watching movies with Mum or Dad, sometimes serving some hot chocolate and marshmallows, or freshly popped popcorn, does the trick.

 

Record a Family Video
The catch is to allow them to be the directors. You can do a family skit, have a dance contest, or be plain silly. Beware, they might have so much fun they share it on Snapchat!

 

Create Vision Boards for the New Year
This might take a little coaxing … The highlight of creating vision boards is having each person share the special meaning of their images. It’s amazing how much you can learn about each other.

 

Have a Chocolate Fondue night
This is always a hit and it’s so easy.
https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/chocolate-fondue-toasted-marshmallow

 

Attend a Christingle Service, or Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
Carve out time to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. A list of local church services can be found online, or in the newspaper.

 

Plan one big family experience, and turn it into a tradition
A few years ago, I booked tickets to a show in London, and a night in a hotel, as a Christmas treat for the whole family. It’s now something we do every year, and it means we can also enjoy the festive Christmas lights in the capital.

 

Open your Home to those who have nowhere to go
This is a beautiful idea: open your home every Christmas Eve to anyone at church, school or in your neighbourhood who is lonely or has no family.

 

Do a Random Act of Kindness
Buy a gift or toy for a family in need. Find a local store where you can drop off coats, toys or food for those in need. Help out at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Build a snowman, make snow angels, or have a snowball fight. Obviously you will need some snow for this one! You might be surprised who jumps in and joins you.

 

Play Games, or have a Dance Competition
Here is a list of popular games from mums of tweens and teen: Scrabble, Charades, Yahtzee, Twister, Catch Phrase, What do You Meme, Unstable Unicorns, Codenames. Put some music on and devise a dance routine!

 

Go out for Breakfast
There is something about starting the day going out to breakfast together. The children might also enjoy going together without the parents, when we offer to pay.

 

Organise a Pamper evening
Buy some non-alcoholic fizz, lotions and face packs, nail polish and hairbands, and have fun!

 

Discover Who they Are
With so much information on genealogy now available online, a family tree could be the perfect Christmas project to get stuck in.

 

Geocaching
Geocaching is a free outdoor treasure hunt open to anyone at any time. Use a smartphone to track down hidden containers. It’s devised so you can start your trail from your own postcode, wherever you are. A brilliant outdoor activity for everyone.

 

Do an Escape Room together
Let’s get this out of the way – escape rooms are totally addictive! If you’ve never done one before, you’ll never believe the adrenaline rush you get from having to search for clues and crack puzzles on the clock. The storytelling aspect of the experience, makes it heaps more exciting. Teens will be in their zone trying to beat the game.

 

Let Them Decide
The whole point is to spend meaningful time with your children. Let them decide what they would like to do as long as it’s within reason. You may learn something you never knew about them or possibly even yourself. Give them control and go along with enthusiasm.

 

Remember to make memories…