Watch This, Do That: The Parent Trap (1998)

After watching this classic '90s film, try these activities including peanut butter Oreo cookies and learning a special handshake.

When Hallie Parker and Annie James arrived at summer camp, they never expected to discover that they’re long-lost twin sisters. Now they have a plan to switch places and meet their biological parents, while they attempt to get them back together.

There’s something about this ’90s film introducing Lindsay Lohan (playing both girls!) that tugs on your heartstrings. Plus, we think it’s one of those timeless movies that your tweens will even love to watch.   

The Parent Trap has its quirks — like what’s up with that custody arrangement? — but all in all, it’s a movie filled with love. Here are a few lessons to discuss with your family.   

  • You can learn to work together. When Hallie and Annie first met, they didn’t get along. Their fighting even led them to isolation camp. However, when they come up with the plan to meet each other’s parent, you see them work well together to make sure they can fool their family.  
  • Honesty is the best policy. Elizabeth and Nick decided to separate the twins to avoid each other, but was it really worth it? Hallie and Annie missed out on 11 years of knowing each other’s family, and then they kept their own secrets when switching places. In the end, the family got closer together after finally learning the truth.    
  • Family comes first. While Hallie and Annie’s pranks on Nick’s fiancée, Meredith, are pretty ruthless, you notice that she can’t wait to send the girls to boarding school. But for Nick, his girls are everything even if it means coming between him and Meredith.  

Movie-inspired activities

Now that you’ve watched The Parent Trap, try out these screen-free activities at home with your kids.

  • Eat peanut butter and Oreo cookies. You can just grab a pack of Oreos and peanut butter to recreate the twins’ favorite treat. Why not try baking instead? This peanut butter Oreo cookies recipe from Kirbie’s Cravings offers the perfect blend.
  • Learn how to play poker. The twins also learn that they’re both really good at poker. Here’s a quick tutorial to help teach the kids how to play and maybe you can have your own family poker night.
  • Make up your own handshake. Don’t be surprised if your kids try to learn the iconic handshake by Annie and her butler, Martin. Make it a game by creating your own secret family handshake.
  • Pull a harmless prank. While the pranks in The Parent Trap can get crazy, skip placing lizards on water bottles and try these simple, kid-friendly pranks at home instead. 
  • Go camping. The beginning of the movie brings you nostalgic summer camp vibes. If you can’t go camping in Chicagoland, you can always camp out at home, too. All you need is a tent and a s’mores kit to get started.

Have a Watch This, Do That idea you want to share with our readers? Send your idea to with your suggestion for a movie. We’d love to share your idea on

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Katina Beniaris
Katina Beniaris
As audience development manager, Katina Beniaris digs into data to help the Chicago Parent team learn about our audiences and tailor better content for them. She has more than five years of experience in content creation.


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