Looking for Father & Child Program Ideas?

A playmeo member recently asked:

I’m running a multi-day program for fathers & their adolescent child. Do you have any go-to activities that work for the teens on their own and the teens with their dads?

Here’s my response:

While father & child programs are not typically my speciality, I think I have some useful ideas and why I think they could be beneficial. In all cases, these group games & activities are fun and will work with teens only and/or for the dads and their adolescent child together.


  • Marshmallow Challenge – working together in teams to build the towers would be super awesome. Lots can be connected to in regards to assumptions, creativity and foundations/strengths.
  • The Great Egg Drop – for much the same reasons as above. It’s a little messier, but equally as much fun.
  • UBUNTU Cards – an absolute must-do activity (if you have these cards, I hope you do.) So many connections that can be formed from an ‘ubuntu’ perspective, the options are endless.
  • Pick & Choose – in teams of two, dads and kids could work together to build a top score, but at what cost? Wonderful for balancing and discussing risk/reward and effort/reward.
  • Snowflake – love this one, so powerful once the paper has been torn. Great connections can be built around issues of communication, goals, listening, assumptions, etc.
  • Numbers Game – ideal for two people. Start with one person solving the problem and then team up. Lots of value in discussing issues of strengths, observation, listening, etc.
  • Watch Your Step – as with a couple of other ideas already listed, you may be able to run this with teams of two at the same time. Look at the Variations tab to fully appreciate the depth you could go into.
  • Cold Shoulder – takes a bit of set-up, but this is a wonderfully fun exercise for teens and adults. Mostly played for fun, but look for some key takeaways when it comes to teamwork, listening, creativity, etc.
  • Stepping Stones – all-time classic exercise that can work with two people. I’d recommend adding a few extra stones that can be sacrificed (just in case.)
  • Mimeograph – ideally played with UBUNTU cards, but a regular deck of playing cards will work too. So many good things can be drawn out of this exercise, look to the Narrative and Leadership Tips tabs for more.


I’ve been brief here, but I hope this inspires you to explore these ideas a little more. By all means, if you’re still stuck, reach out and call me.

Or, if you happen to lead existing parent and children programs, could you offer some ideas for father & child programs?

Leave a comment below to share your insights.


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