Spending quality time with grandkids is a cherished experience for every grandparent. It’s an opportunity to create lasting memories and strengthen the special bond between generations. There are countless engaging and healthy activities that can bring grandparents and grandkids closer together. Let’s explore the variety of outdoor and indoor activities that are not only enjoyable but also promote physical and mental well-being.
Easy Opportunities for Outdoor Adventures
- Nature Walks: Take leisurely strolls through local parks, nature trails, or botanical gardens. Engage in conversations about the plants, animals, and the beauty of the outdoors.
- Picnics: Pack a delicious and nutritious picnic lunch and head to a nearby park. Let grandkids help in the preparation and enjoy a meal amidst nature.
- Bike Rides: Teach grandkids to ride a bike or go on family bike rides together in safe areas like bike paths or quiet neighborhoods.
- Playgrounds: Visit a local playground for fun on swings, slides, and climbing structures. Play alongside grandkids, showcasing your youthful spirit.
- Outdoor Crafts: Engage in simple crafts like making nature-inspired collages or painting rocks. Collect leaves, flowers, and twigs for added creativity.
- Take them fishing: Most states’ Parks and Wildlife have online stores to allow you to purchase a fishing license (kids under the age of 16 typically do not need a license. Some states may require a youth license. Just Google “[Your State] Fishing license for kids” and you will likely see everything you need to know)
- Set up a tent in the backyard (or living room): Setting up a tent in the backyard or living room is great for getting kids familiar with setting it all up and getting them exposure to camping without all the headaches that camping experiences may bring. Great to do with young kids BEFORE you go on an actual camping trip to lessen the “newness” of camping (added bonus: you can see all the things you need to fix, adjust, or repair before you are at your next camping spot).
Alternative to Screen Time:
- Storytelling Sessions: Sit down with your grandkids and share stories from your own childhood, or invent imaginative tales together. This activity not only nurtures creativity but also strengthens family connections. If you start running out of ideas, head over to Scholastic’s Story Starter Generator for some age-specific story prompts with some additional resources. Another variation is to have one person start the story and then have each person continue the story to really get some interesting stories. You could even record the session and then have the grandkids illustrate the story with their own drawings. Maybe put it all together and print your own little books for them to record their stories.
- Cooking Adventures: Involve grandkids in age-appropriate cooking tasks. Bake cookies, prepare simple meals, or create edible art with fruits and vegetables. (Have you ever tried making playdough at home? Fun and easy to do and the kids can play with it too!)
- Indoor Treasure Hunt: Create a treasure map and hide small surprises around the house. Grandkids can follow the map, promoting problem-solving and excitement. Paper plates (though a little wasteful) make for great “stepping stones” that can lead the way to “buried treasure”. OR buy some disposable cups in bulk from Sam’s Club or Costco for the same purpose.
- Board Games and Puzzles: Engage in classic board games or age-appropriate puzzles that encourage strategic thinking and healthy competition. Look for lists of STEM-styled games to encourage some great fun and learning/development at the same.
- Arts and Crafts: Spend hours crafting together. From making greeting cards to building intricate structures with building blocks, creative projects are both fun and educational.
- Stretching or Intentional Exercising: Engage in gentle stretching routines that accommodate various fitness levels or find some calisthenics-inspired exercise. This is a fantastic way to introduce grandkids to simple relaxation techniques and learn how to control their body movements. You can also explore some great resources like GoNoodle or similar resources that encourage intentional movements and relaxation (or some exercise).
- Reading Time: Set up a cozy reading nook and read aloud from your grandkids’ favorite books. Encourage them to read to you as well, fostering language development. (Bonus: You can get a bilingual book that introduces them to another language. Your local library will usually have a section dedicated to picture books with this goal in mind)
- Planting Indoor Gardens: Teach grandkids about caring for plants by creating an indoor garden with easy-to-maintain plants. Watching the plants grow can be a rewarding experience.
- Music & Dance: Share your favorite tunes and dance together. Whether it’s a lively jig or a slow waltz, music brings joy and helps grandkids develop a rhythm.
- Science Experiments: Conduct simple and safe science experiments at home. Create colorful volcanoes, explore surface tension, or make a rainbow in a jar. A great resource for this is Kiwico, which is a subscription box for experiments and crafts that are age-appropriate.
- Puppet Time: Either buy some finger puppets or larger puppets online and create a puppet show. Or take some of Grandpa’s old socks and add some googly eyes and you are good to go! (Bonus: Find some puppet show crafts that you could do together)
In a world often dominated by screens and distractions, the connection between grandparents and grandkids is a precious one. By engaging in meaningful and healthy activities, this relationship can thrive, creating unforgettable memories and enriching the lives of both generations. Whether you choose to embark on outdoor adventures, delve into indoor creativity, or enjoy mindful moments together, the opportunities are endless. The activities mentioned in this blog post serve as a starting point to foster strong bonds and create a positive impact on the grandkids’ growth and development. So, let’s put down the screens and pick up the joy of shared experiences!