Use this list of fun tween activities ideas, and after school activities for tweens to keep your kids entertained and smiling.
Your tweens are sort of be-tween teenagehood and the kid stage…which can make picking out activities for them a bit challenging.
Use these fun tween activities to both keep them entertained (instead of the ol’ “I’m bored”), as well as to fill up the after-school-but-before-dinner time with something a little different.
Some you can do together with them, while others you can set up as a station and get a little work, laundry, or quiet time to yourself.
Psst: Got a tween who loves LEGO®? This Free LEGO® Life Magazine (comes shipped to your door, completely free!) would be a great way to keep their minds thinking (and having fun) afterschool.
Fun Tween Activities – After School Activities for Tweens
It’s 4:30 in the afternoon (or so), and your tweens are home. Maybe dinner has been started, maybe you’re still commuting home.
What are the best after-school activities to keep tweens entertained and give them some fun-time to decompress from their school day?
I mean, what do tweens like?
Fun Activities for Tweens:
1. Post-It Note Story Creation Time
Take a book that has some images in it (children's books can work great for this!), and put post-it Notes over the writing. Task your tween with writing in their own story based on the pictures, right on top of the note.
Creativity wins points, here!
2. Set Up a Piñata Homework Station
Got a tween who’s not too keen on doing homework? One night, surprise the heck out of them by buying a Piñata and setting it up right near where they do homework.
Each math problem or worksheet or fill in the blank that they complete equals one whack of the Piñata.
3. Let them Doodle on Your Car
Seriously…you can buy these Auto Markers that work on both the paint and the windows of your car (and WASHES OFF with a damp cloth), and let your tweens go to town with their artwork.
Bonus: tell them that they have to scrub the whole car clean afterwards. Yes!
4. Create a Story Using Story Dice
There are cool story creation dice out there (I actually own a set), but if you don't want to splurge on those?
Download and print out this free Story Dice Printable and let your tween come up with their own short story with it.
5. Give them a Building Challenge
Psst: ever heard of butter sculpting? I grew up on a dairy farm in PA, and can assure you it's a thing. Maybe let your tweens take a stab at it.
6. Play Pudding Pictionary
This is the type of fun that can be had by any age – preschoolers, all the way up to adults (even men!).
Print out a pack of free Pictionary cards, make instant or homemade pudding (you can also just buy the pudding cups…I won’t tell), and set up a surface where you can splat and draw in a bunch of chocolate pudding.
Hint: you can do this with play doh, too!
7. Set Up a Slime-Building Area
If you’ve got tweens that love to get goopy and messy, then you can set up a slime-making building area for them, with all the supplies on cookie sheets or something else to catch the mess.
Include the recipes printed out, or let them fumble around with the ingredients and see what they can come up with:
8. Give Your Cookies a Manicure
The Pioneer Woman (we love her in our household) came up with a cool activity for her tween girl and friends to do. She baked these cookies in the shape of the girls’ hands, and then had them each give their “hands” a manicure!
Psst: here are 33 things to do with your family at home.
9. Give them a Consultant Money Problem to Solve
Are you interested in your kids stretching their entrepreneur muscles?
Task your tweens with coming up with a new beverage for a local ski-resort. They’ll need to measure out ingredients, taste test, and price things out so that they can at least make a $1.00 profit.
Then, each new beverage goes through taste-testing by a panel of judges (could be the adults?), and a winner/awards are given out.
Parents will be the judge, and tweens will need to
10. Let them Play MASH
Do you remember the game M.A.S.H. from your childhood? Here's a really fun, free printable that let's your tween doodle away at what their “future” might look like.
10. Set Up Pranks to Play on Family Members
I haven’t met a tween yet who doesn’t love playing a good prank on someone they love. Here are tons of ideas for pranks you can help your kid set up.
Psst: is it the fall? Find a few more tween ideas in my Halloween family night ideas article.
11. Let them Be a Graphic Designer
Open up your laptop or computer, and a program with a draw function. Then let them draw using the program. At the end, let them print out their creation in color.
12. Build and Color-in a 3D Model
How cool that not only does your tween get to build this, but then they can lose an hour or so in coloring it in!
13. Set Up a Doodle Station
Psst: here's 10 more weeknight family activities.
14. Let them Have an Indoor Snow Fight
Who doesn’t love a good snowball fight? Especially if you can do it in the warmth of your own home.
The cool thing about this is that they can do it ANY time of year. Snowball fight in July, anyone?
Psst: also, here's 37 backyard activities for kids.
15. Paint Henna on Rocks
16. Set Up a Marshmallow Experiment Station
There are so many cool marshmallow experiments your tweens can do. You can set up a whole station, by gathering supplies needed for these experiments:
17. Create a Lava Lamp
Check out this cool lava lamp creation tutorial – with some great science-y questions for them to think about (but really, they'll just have fun playing with it).
18. Play Free Version of Dobble
Have you ever heard of the game Dobble? Well, now there's a free demo version you can print out for your tweens to dive into at home (ages 6+).
Psst: got teens? Check out this after school routine for teenagers.
19. Let them Attend a Virtual Summer Camp Tour
Microsoft has come out with this really cool hub of virtual “summer camp” tours (hint: they go beyond summertime), and some take place in the after school hours.
You can find activities like:
- Virtual travel to Africa
- Virtual fossil tour at the Smithsonian
- Learning to design code and apps
- Cuisine from around the world
Here's a free, printable kit your tweens can use to create their very own Escape Room!
Crafts to Do When Bored for Tweens
I love it when you can get kids, tweens, and teens working with their hands.
Yes, there’s a subset of crafts that bored tweens will actually find cool. Even better – since they’re crafts, they have nothing to do with screens!
21. Create a Dreamcatcher
Once I saw my first dreamcatcher as a tween, I was pretty much obsessed with trying to recreate them. I made my own dreamcatcher (actually using a stick I carefully bent into a circle-ish shape over a period of weeks) for myself, and one for probably every sibling I have.
Here’s how your tween can make their own dreamcatcher (also, there’s lots of videos on YouTube for this).
22. Create a Custom Keychain
It’s likely your tween has their own set of house keys (and they’ll be driving in just a few short years!). Help them create their own custom keychain…it might even make it more likely they won’t lose their keys!
23. Design Temporary Tattoos
Buy some printable tattoo paper, and let your tweens have fun designing their own temporary tattoos!
24. Create Summer Bracelets
Help your tween anticipate the summer, vacation time, or enjoy the season they’re in with these fun summer bracelets. Super simple – I used to make these as a tween!
25. Create Personal Door Hangers
Tweens just love personalizing things and starting to feel like they have their own, private spaces. That’s why giving them materials they need to create door hangers for their bedroom doors will be right up their alley.
Grab this set of wooden doorhangers, some paints, and let their imagination run wild.
This list shows you that after school activities for tweens can be fun, engaging, and even help them learn something! They'll just think Mom and Dad came up with more fun tween activities for them…so win-win.
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