Homeschool moms everywhere know the struggle of trying to socialize homeschool teens. If you aren’t part of a team or youth group, it’s nearly impossible to help you kiddos find friends their own age.
It doesn’t have to be that difficult. Armed with our list of 100+ ideas, it’ll be a breeze to socialize homeschool teens from now on!
Give kids a week or two to practice their talent and you’ll likely be blown away at what they can come up with on their own. From musical acts to magic tricks, kids will be excited to share their talents with each other.
Make Homemade Ice Cream:
When you’re looking for homeschool teen activities, don’t overlook the simple joys in life. Just making homemade ice cream can be a lot of fun! Have each kid bring a different topping and you can easily turn it into a sundae bar. Sprinkles, caramel, chocolate syrup and cherries will be delicious!
Head to your local beach and hang out in the sand. Bring along a football or frisbee in case the kids decide to play a few games. Build sand castles, race through the sand and see who can find the most seashells.
Hit the trails with your teens for a day of adventure and nature! Check the internet to find local trails you haven’t hiked before.
Host a formal dance, much like a prom, for your teens. Be sure to keep the parent attendance low, so the kids won’t feel awkward and will actually let loose and have some fun!
Thrift Store Challenge:
Armed with $20 each, send the kiddos into your local thrift store with a mission. You can give each person the same goal (for example, create the best 80’s inspired outfit) or give them each a different goal (like, create an outfit fit for the future.) The kids will have so much fun and the laughs you create will be worth it all! Don’t forget to finish the challenge with a photo shoot!
Tie Dye Shirts:
Turn a drab shirt into a fab shirt in just a couple of hours. You can buy a tie dye kit big enough for a large group for around $20. Everyone will need to provide their own shirts, though. Allow the teens to look online for tie-dye patterns and let them get to work! Bonus: they’ll have a cute souvenir from their fun day.
Set up a date with your teens to play their favorite video game and lounge in front of the TV while others play. All you need to do is provide the snacks and they’ll spend hours upon hours playing together.
This is likely one of the most important things you can do! Just invite some kids over but don’t plan anything. Let the kids figure out what they want to do. This will put less pressure on them and help them really connect over their similar interests.
Whether you want to paint, draw or use charcoal, teens will enjoy spending the day doing art projects together. Get creative on who can teach it! Find a local artist or an online tutorial. If you’ve used up all other options, have one of the kiddos teach the others.
Introduce the kids to fancy dinners by hosting one of your own. Require each kid to dress nicely, use proper silverware and eat from the fanciest china. Or you could simply go out to a high-class restaurant. Either way, kids will enjoy getting all dolled up together!
Head to your local skatepark with a group of teens and watch as they master the half-pipe. If everyone doesn’t have a skateboard, they can share or grab one here for fairly cheap.
Using a simple piece of wood, some nails and string, kids will have a ball creating their own string art. This is perfect for teens because they can visit and get to know each other while keeping their hands busy.
I’m sure you’ve seen the wine and art classes that are all the rage right now. How about hosting a teen version, without the wine. Warning: these can be a bit pricey. I’ve paid between $25 and $50 for the painting class for myself but that included drinks. For a cheaper option, check out this DIY version that our family loves!
Teens can connect over the idea of the future. Once they learn another teen is interested in attending the same college as them, they may open up more. This is perfect for helping them build a friendship before they head off to college.
Visit a Nursing Homes:
Teens will cling to each other when they’re put in an unfamiliar situation. Visiting a nursing home is the perfect way for them to connect with people of all ages.
Many areas offer archery classes. Teens will love shooting at targets and trying to beat the other teens. Most archery ranges will even offer a quick lesson for free.
Swing, square, line…it doesn’t matter! Teens love to dance. Teach them a new type of dance and watch them get down!
Allow each kid to prepare and bring their own experiment to share with the group. Most teens will enjoy the chance to show off while blowing something up. 😉
Contrary to popular belief, teens still LOVE Legos! Let them show off the mad skills they gained through their childhood by presenting the group with a set of challenges. Challenges can be anything from “build your bedroom” to “design a map of our town.”
Provide games like sack races, long jump, wheelbarrow races and foot races. The kids can enjoy a day full of technology-free games!
Create a basic set of questions and have the teens answer them, Jeopardy style. (“I”ll take planets for 300, Alex.”)
Download the Heads Up app and watch the teens struggle to give clues for the word. See who can get the most points before time is up!
A favorite of our homeschool teen activities is painting rocks with words of encouragement and leaving them in public places. Teens can paint words such as ” Be kind to someone today” and leave it in the flower bed at the post office. Customers will see the gentle reminder and the kindness can change their day.
Melted Crayon Art:
All you need is a blank canvas, some tape or stickers, a box of Crayons and a hairdryer for some gorgeous melted crayon art.
Break a World Record:
Let teens decide on which record they’d like to break and get started! Maybe they want to break the “sunflower seed spitting distance” or “most people in a car at one time.” Either way, let them attempt to beat silly records of their choice.
Christmas is always a busy time for families but be sure to take some time out and allow the teens to exchange ornaments with each other. THey can make them or buy them. For extra fun, play a white elephant game.
Come up with a theme, like FRIENDS or WWII, and create as many questions as you can on that topic. Host a trivia night with teens. Allow them to team up and try to answer the most questions correctly, while enjoying some snacks.
One of our favorite homeschool teen activities is the local science museum. Talk to the museum and see if they’ll set up a “Teens Only Day.” There’s so much to do there and the teens will enjoy getting free rein, without little ones in the way.
Small groups of teens will enjoy going to the zoo together. From laughing at the monkeys to feeding the giraffes, they’ll make great memories.
Because nothing says “friendship” quite like hitting your new friend in the head. 😉 Just kidding. No head shots allowed.
Pick Up Trash:
Head to your local parks and see who can pick up the most trash. It may not be the funnest thing in the world but it’ll show teens that every little bit helps. Between all of them, they can really make a difference in the amount of litter floating around the area.
Head to your nearest pool hall and let the kiddos divide into small teams. Host a tournament, letting the winners move on, while the losers are eliminated.
You’ll be surprised just how hilarious a game of ping-pong can become. After a little bit of practice, teens will really start to enjoy this simple game.
Celebrate Weird Holidays:
Whether you celebrate “Dress like a Hippie Day” or “Pet Lover Day,” keep it fun and simple. Maybe you could make homemade treats for your pets.
Many teens today don’t know how to play hackey sack but the rules are simple:
- Keep it in the air.
- Once it hits the ground, start over.
- No hands.
- Pass it around the circle.
Duct Tape Creations:
Give your teens a roll of Duct Tape and let them go crazy. From wallets to aprons and everything in between, use your imagination to create something useful and pretty.
Create your own obstacle course for the kids to attempt. If you need inspiration, just check out American Ninja Warrior.
Teens can cruise the paths or jump the ramps at a local bike park. If you don’t have one, maybe just organize a 3 mile bike ride. The teens can stop and explore the town as they want and will get plenty of exercise.
Frisbee is a great activity for teens because it doesn’t require a lot of skill but allows them to laugh together, thus connecting.
Repurpose Vintage Items:
Teens will enjoy repurposing old items into new. Give the kids 10 minutes in Goodwill to grab their project pieces, then provide them with thread, paint and anything else they need to turn their old junk into new treasures.
Teens love music and they’ll enjoy a fun night out at your local concert venue. Make sure they bring enough money for souvenirs, if they wish to purchase them.
Tips for your Homeschool Teen Activities:
It’ll be easier for teens to connect with kids they’ve known for years. If possible, start building relationships at a young age, so they won’t feel secluded as teens.
It’s easy for teens to feel overwhelmed in large groups. Try hosting a group of 5 or 6 teens to start with and allow the group to grow, as they become more comfortable with each other.
If you allow it, teens will stare at their phone screens throughout each event. I like to provide a basket to keep phones in by the door. They know to drop any distracting devices there before we even get started. This is probably the most important tip, if you want to have homeschool teen activities where teens actually interact!
Separate the Boys and the Girls
At this age, teens are usually much more comfortable around friends of the same-sex. Until they’ve formed some bonds, allow them to have a girls only day. Once they’ve created friendships and aren’t feeling so self-conscious, you can start getting boys and girls together. Having a friend with them, helps kids feel like they belong.
It’s not fair for one person to plan all of the events. Take turns with their families to host so you don’t get burnt out. If someone doesn’t want to host, they likely just don’t have any ideas on what to do. Gently give them some ideas so they’ll feel more comfortable.
Even when teens know each other, they can feel awkward at the beginning of get together. Use a few ice breakers to help them let their guard down and let loose a bit.
Homeschool moms instinctively want to include all of their kids but that doesn’t allow teens a chance to really connect. Keep the younger siblings at home and don’t allow the parents to hover. Have a couple of chaperones watching over the teens from a distance, so the teens can relax and be themselves for a while.
Door Prizes & Food:
Need more participation? Promise door prizes and food. You know how the old saying goes, “Feed them and they will come.” ?
Bring a Friend
Encourage teens to bring along a friend to help your group grow. Offer prizes for bringing a homeschooled friend and kids will be even mor motivated.
It doesn’t have to be a lot, just $5 will really motivate kids.
Pizza, bags of chips or soda all make a great prize.
A small amount will motivate kids. $5 gift cards to restaurants, game stores or even Wal-Mart will entice them to show up.
Cheap and easy, kids will love these as prizes!
If you’ve been wanting to plan some homeschool teen activities but didnt’ know where to start, you’ve now got 100+ ideas!
Drop a comment below to let us know what your teens enjoy doing to build friendships.