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How to make a fun hangout spot for your teen and their friends

How to make a fun hangout spot for your teen and their friends

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Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes

As a parent, you want your home to be the kind of place where your kids feel comfortable bringing their friends. According to Raising Teens Today, it'll strengthen the bond you have with your teenagers, you'll learn more about who they're hanging out with and you'll have peace of mind knowing where they are and when, among other benefits.

It's a complete myth that you have to have the biggest, fanciest home on the block in order to be the popular teen hangout spot. All you have to do is create an inviting space where your kids and their friends will feel comfortable — and if you have the right snacks on hand, you've won half the battle already!

It's never too late to become the cool house on the block. In fact, you'll be surprised what you can do with a little planning and creativity even in a small space. Here are some tips to get you started.

Movies are a must

Whether it's a new binge-worthy Netflix series or the latest teenage heartthrob movie, there's always going to be something your kids will want to watch with their friends. Make sure the designated hangout spot is equipped with a TV and a good set of movies or streaming platforms. And if you have the space to set up a projector, even better! Creating that movie theater atmosphere in your home is all the rage these days.

Include some games

Sometimes your teens will just want to talk and have fun. Stocking the cupboards with some good old-fashioned board games or investing in a pool or ping-pong table never hurts. Also, the Pew Research Center reports that a whopping 97% of teens ages 12 to 17 play video games — so that's something to keep in mind.

Provide easy access to snacks and drinks

If you have teens, you know this one simple truth: They're hungry all the time. Having a variety of snacks and treats on hand is key to keeping them interested. Consider putting a stocked mini fridge full of drinks in your hangout room and filling the cupboards with popcorn, chips and other fun, if slightly unhealthy, snacks. Don't worry — you can still feed them good, nutritious food at the dinner table.

How to make a fun hangout spot for your teen and their friends
Photo: Minky Couture

Make sure they're comfortable

It won't be much of a hangout spot if there's nowhere for the kids to lounge out and relax. There should be plenty of seating — perhaps a good couch with extra throw pillows — and comfy blankets for those movie nights!

Don't forget the decor

This is where you can make or break a hangout room. Decor can set the tone for the whole experience, so choose wisely! You might want to include some movie posters, fun lights or even some inspirational wall art if that's their thing. If you really want to win as a parent, involve your kids in the decorating process. Either take them to the store with you or give them a budget and let them do what they want. It might make them appreciate this space even more since it will have their own personal touch.

How to make a fun hangout spot for your teen and their friends
Photo: LightField Studios/Shutterstock.com

Give them some privacy

When the kids' friends are over, you'll have to fight the temptation to hover around like a helicopter parent. As soon as they get a whiff of you encroaching on their territory, that'll be their signal to switch hangout spots. Make sure you give them some space and privacy.

"Giving teens space and privacy lets them feel trusted, as well as capable, independent, and self-assured," Denise Witmer writes for Verywell Family. "Allowing them appropriate levels of privacy shows them that you trust their judgment, intentions, decision-making, and ability to follow your rules."

And that segues nicely into the very last step in creating the ultimate teenager hangout.

Establish ground rules

Yes, you want to be the cool parent, and yes, you want to give your kids some space. But a major key to success in this area is setting down some ground rules for when friends are over. Make sure your kids know what the expectations are in terms of behavior, curfews and anything else you think might be important. Their safety is the priority.

"Avoid giving your teen full decision-making without oversight," Dr. Caroline Fulton, a child and adolescent psychologist tells Verywell Family. "While teens are increasingly capable, they still need to be given boundaries and limits."

Now that you've got a decent starting point, it shouldn't be too hard to put together a fun, inviting space in your home that all the neighborhood kids will enjoy. Remember, if you include some yummy food — and deliciously luxurious blankets from Minky Couture — and you can't go wrong!

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