Making meaningful connections with your grandchildren can help build memories that will last them a lifetime. Research also shows that children and teens who have close relationships with elders will grow up to develop healthy attitudes about aging.
Finding ways to bond with the grandkids, especially as they get older, can be challenging. This is especially true if you live far from your grandchildren and dont have the advantage of being involved in their everyday lives. If the younger generation will be spending more time with you this summer, we have some ideas for activities youll both enjoy.
Intergenerational Summer Activities
#1 Spend time outdoors
Everyone benefits from breathing fresh air and getting back to nature. When the grandkids visit you, take them fishing at a local lake or park. Go on a nature hike or plan a picnic.
Another option is to take a road trip to the nearest national or state park. These parks usually offer families many opportunities for intergenerational fun at a very affordable price. The National Park System has some great information and tools to make planning a summer excursion easier.
If travel is challenging, consider planning an outdoor activity at or around your community. Many of properties feature expansive green spaces, manicured walking paths or shaded outdoor seating. Sunrise of Westminster in Colorado is situated on 6.5 acres, for example, and The Fairfax at Belvoir Woods in Northern Virginia featured not only a putting green and tennis courts, but also a fully-stocked, 7-acre lake open for fishing year-round.
#2 Get Creative
Kids of all ages often like to engage in creative arts. Whether its writing their own play for the family to perform together, painting a picture of their pet, or putting together an entertaining video, the opportunities are endless. Pinterest is a great resource for finding arts and crafts projects ranging from making unicorn puppets to tie-dyeing a T-shirt. The messier the project the better!
Learn to play video games
Theres an old saying if you cant beat them, join them. Many parents are finding this holds true when it comes to video games. While youll likely want to place a limit on how much time is spent on devices, it might be fun to have the grandkids teach you how to play some of their favorite video games. Its a great activity for a rainy or humid summer day.
#3 Make a family cookbook
One more idea to consider is making a family cookbook. Pull out a few of the recipes everyone loves most and teach the kids how to make them. Then take your cooking project to the next level by making a cookbook together. Its a fun project thats packed with meaning. You and the kids can come up with a simple process for making your cookbooks or use a paid platform, like Create My Cookbook. The advantage of a professional platform is you can easily order extra copies for the extended family to enjoy, too.
And if youre not so skilled in the kitchen, our incredible dining services team can help with recipe suggestions, cooking tips and even help you book your communitys private dining room for a special touch to your homemade meal.
#4 Enjoy a fun conversation
Finally, dont overlook the opportunity to simply spend time getting to know the grandchildren a little better. If you arent quite sure how to start a conversation with them, opt for asking them some fun questions:
- If you won ten million dollars, what would you do with it?
- If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
- If you could have a pet of any kind, what animal would you choose?
- If you had the chance to spend a day with a famous person, who would it be?
The idea is to ask open-ended questions that encourage your grandkids to open up and share, while also encouraging them to use their imagination.
#5 Bonding Across the Miles
If you wont be able to spend in-person time with your grandchildren this summer, dont despair. There are still many ways to build close bonds no matter how many miles separate you. The article Bonding Ideas For Long Distance Grandparent-Grandchild Relationships has some good ideas for you to explore.
Of course, these five tips are just a few of the many options of fun and engaging activities grandparents can do with their grandkids. For more inspiration, check out these links from other sources:
- Southern Livings 7 Things You Need to Do With Your Grandchildren at Least Once
- Mommy Poppins list of 50 Fun Activities for Grandparents To Do with Kids: For Grandparents' Day and Every Day
- Family Educations 12 Fun Things to Do With Grandkids