Grandparents and grandchildren come in all different shapes, sizes, ages, and energy levels with different interests, hobbies, and personalities. The special relationship between grandparents and grandchildren has the potential to be one of life’s most precious. Oftentimes miles separate grandparents and grandchildren, making regular time together difficult. When together, the time is usually packed with fun and exciting activities. Sometimes just the opposite is true, with grandparents living in the same city, neighborhood, or even house as their grandchildren. While this is usually a positive thing in most aspects, it may be harder to think of fun activities to nurture the bond and grow the relationship when it’s so routine and familiar. Rest assured, there are many grandchildren activities to keep both young and old happy.
It is important to pair personalities, physical capabilities, and interests when thinking about activities. Many activities can be good for a broad spectrum of ages.
- Gardening is a popular activity at any age. The grandparent can share their knowledge and expertise while allowing the grandchildren to do most of the bending over and digging in dirt. Then both can enjoy and share the fruits of their labor together.
- Go for walks together. This is an amazing opportunity for grandparents and grandchildren to get to know each other better. Children often love to hear stories of their grandparents and parents childhood. Depending on your location and energy level, this may mean a walk around the block, a stroll through a park, or a hike through the woods. As a bonus, walking is great exercise for everyone!
- Play games. This can be as active or passive an activity as you desire. For quieter indoor options, consider board games, card games, or puzzles. You can head outdoors for games like croquet, bowling, or miniature golf.
- Cook, bake, or craft together. Different generations have different ideas and skills. It can be a lot of fun to exchange ideas and teach each other different skills. Often grandparents love to share their knowledge and expertise in various areas. Grandchildren can be fortunate recipients of this if they take the time together. Grandparents may even learn some new crafting and cooking skills themselves. Grandchildren have much to offer as well.
- Read together. While this is a pleasant pastime for an individual, it can also be a great one for a pair. Sitting and reading aloud can improve reading skills and pass the time.
Of course, this is by no means a comprehensive list. There are so many fun activities for grandparents and grandchildren to do together. Don’t limit yourselves. Look into things that make one or both parties feel passionate and excited and explore them together!
Kids love making candy kabobs so they provide easy and fun grandchildren activities. If you feel like you’ve taken cupcakes as far as they can go, try skewering your sweets for a change.
How to Make Candy Kabobs: All you need are soft candies and wooden or bamboo skewers. If you’re not going to eat your creations on the spot, you’ll also want to have a supply of plastic bags and ribbons to keep them safe for later. Craft stores sell pretzel stick bags that are the perfect shape. Then, all you have to do is press the skewer through the candies.
Kids of all ages can join in the fun. Set up a station for them to select and sort the candies and assemble the kabobs. Skewers have sharp ends so you may want to handle them yourself if your grandchildren are very small.
Finding Candy for Your Kabobs: Any soft treat will do. Gummy candies are especially handy because they come in so many colors, shapes and sizes.
If you’re going to indulge in your kabobs right away, you can even alternate the candy with other foods. Add chunks of fruit like melon balls or pineapple cubes. Pop a couple of pieces of candy on the end of a chicken kabob for a built in desert.
How to Use Your Candy Kabobs for Gifts: You probably won’t be able to resist eating some of your work, but why not make a few extras for gifts? Insert a personalized gift tag with a special message and then bag them up and tie the bottom with a ribbon. Your grandchildren can bring home a treat for their parents or make a small present for their favorite teacher.
Simple crafts like candy kabobs can turn any afternoon with your grandchildren into a party. Creative play is even better when you get to eat your masterpieces.
A couple weeks ago, I was on the phone with my grandmother, who is 82 years old, asking her about some of the history of our family. I told her that I am working on the genealogy of our family and wanted as much information as she could remember. Forty-five minutes later, she gave me more than I would have imagined… you’d think the work was done for me!
She is the last of my four grandparents that is alive, although, the first that passed away was only about ten years ago, which was well into my twenties. I am blessed to have known them and having learned from them. It makes me smile as I watch my parents with their grandchildren.
Importance of Grandparents
There are many advantages to the family as a whole, to the grandparents and to the grandchildren in the grandparent- grandchild relationship. Grandparents can offer the parents a set of helping hands in times of need, they can offer parenting advice and they can even offer stability to the mother and child during times of depression. But, for the child, specifically, if the grandchild feels a sense of emotional closeness, has regular contact with the grandparent, and views the grandparent as a source of social support, a strong emotional bond is created that the child can draw upon during times of stress, trouble and even during joyful, celebratory times.
There are many things grandparents can teach grandchildren. Just like my grandmother was teaching me about our family heritage, grandparents can teach grandchildren about the past and how they grew up. (Oh the stories I’ve heard!) They can also teach them ways to “get along with their parents better” because who has known them longer than they have. (My grandma still tells me that I get along great with my dad.) Mostly, they love to just play with their grandchildren and not have to be the disciplinarian. They like to be able to be the adult in the child’s life who can have fun, while still teaching them life’s lessons along the way.
I am so grateful for my grandparents. The things they taught me along they way, the relationship I had with them… I think I’ll go send my grandma a note from Amy Adele.