Nothing works better to foster a meaningful connection between grandparents and grandkids like doing something fun together. But, as we get older, sometimes it can be a challenge to engage in strenuous activity. Grandparents, don’t despair.
Plus, there are a lot of benefits to kids spending time with their grandparents. They can help foster a connection to cultural traditions, family history, and get kids acclimated to spending time away from their parents, a step toward sleepovers with friends and other independent activities.
Here’s a look at some tips perfect for creating a meaningful, intergenerational bond.
Play Card Games
You’ll likely have a deck of cards on hand, why not teach your grandchildren how to play games like Bridge, Go Fish, Crazy Eights, anything — just adjust for skill level and age. Cards are always a quick way to get some healthy competition going and little ones are sure to have a great time figuring out how to outsmart the older folks.
If you’ve got an artsy side, grab some supplies and make something with your grandkids. Make decorations for an upcoming holiday, try painting the flowers in the garden. Grab some colored pencils and head to the park. Whether you’re drawing the local birds or passersby, you’ll have a ball exploring the creative part of your brain.
Or, check out this downloadable coloring app, for a digital take on the coloring book. Available on Google Play, add to your smartphone or tablet.
Listen to Music Together
Bridge the generational divide and foster a lifelong love of music in your grandchildren. Share what’s on your playlist, and what you liked when you were a kid, and on the flip side, give their music a chance. They just might surprise you! Plus, perhaps down the road you can attend concerts together.
Cooking or Baking Together
Not only is showing your grandchild how to make their favorite cookies or a nutritious dinner fun, it helps improve their skillset, too. Spending time in the kitchen is great for developing skills like following directions, sequencing, and the like, but it’s a great chance to show off some favorite family recipes and learn more about the foods you love to make. And, at the end of your time in the kitchen, you can enjoy a treat or home cooked meal together.
Take Grandkids on a Day Trip
There’s no better bonding experience than taking kids out and about. Expose them to local cultural institutions like the art museum, or the aquarium, or even to stretch their legs out at the beach. The day trip is a great way to showcase your interests, be it a baseball game or musical theater, you just might get kids excited about something new.
Don’t Fret if You’re Far Away
For grandparents that live far from their grandchildren, turn toward technology to keep in touch. Use video chatting apps like Skype to keep in contact, as well as social media if kids are older. Or just schedule regular phone calls. Children often look toward grandparents to provide guidance in a way they might not with their parents. Grandparents are seen as allies and can bridge the communication gap between generations.