Parents often give their teens a room of their own where they can hang out with friends, watch movies and play games without being hassled by siblings and parents. These rooms also help parents know where their teens are and who they are with--even if they are being loud, parents know they are safe and at least mostly under control. Teens love it too because hanging out in a game room offers privacy without needing to spend money to go to an arcade, the movies or a teen club. While these rooms aren't hard or expensive to create, there are a few key elements that a teen game room should have for optimum enjoyment and appropriateness.
Every modern game room should contain some kind of gaming system. It doesn't have to be a brand new Wii, although that is a popular (and expensive) option. An Xbox, PS3 or even a PS2 would work quite well for the room, especially if the teens are into retro games. Plenty of modern games still work on these systems. Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero, Rock Band and other interactive games are perfect for teens with lots of energy. All gaming systems require a television, so it's no great added expense to place a DVD player and a few movies in the entertainment center as well. This allows parents to moderate what the teens are watching and the movies can range from two-hour action flicks and appropriate romances to fun collections of cartoons and television series that teens love to watch.
Though something like this may not be in everyone's budget, anyone preparing to have teens in the house is better off providing snacks in the game room area rather than letting them run rampant through the kitchen. It doesn't take much--all a parent needs is a larger mini-fridge, a microwave and a cupboard filled with cups, paper plates and silverware. The mini-fridge can hold bottled beverages or even pitchers of iced tea or punch, as well as fresh and dried fruit, chocolate, and ice cream if the freezer compartment is large enough. It can also hold little cartons of milk for cereal or hot chocolate. The cupboard can store microwave popcorn, tea bags, instant coffee and hot cocoa mix, in addition to dinnerware. A large trash can is helpful for cleanup.
Board Games and Seating
Teens may eventually get bored with playing video games and watching movies. This is where board games and cards come in handy. The games should be engaging for teens--complicated enough to keep them thinking and geared toward their age group. Risk, Apples to Apples, Bananagrams and Boggle are just a few suggestions. A few decks of cards wouldn't go amiss, either. Each generation has its own favorite card games, with new ones being created constantly.
Though teens may want to sprawl out on comfy couches and recliners, they would be just as happy with lots of floor pillows, throw pillows, a few gaming or low-sitting lawn chairs and even a couple of futon mattresses. They can arrange these things how they like and interact in comfort.
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