Activities to Do with Your Grandchildren
Dec 04, 2019
Whether you see your grandchildren twice a week or twice a year, every moment you spend together is meaningful. The dynamic between you will change as your grandkids grow from babies into young adults. It can be tough to keep up, but you can be involved every step of the way if you consider the children’s age and interests when thinking about fun things to do.
Read on for ideas for activities to do with your grandchildren to fill the time together during the holidays, or any time of year that you’re lucky enough to be together.
Activities to Do with Toddlers and Preschoolers
Between infancy and roughly five years old, you’ll be teaching your grandkids the basics of words, working on their motor skills and forming a bond through play. Here are a few activities that can help:
- Read a book. It’s never too early to start reading to your grandchildren. Reading to your grandkids will instill an appreciation for books early on and creates positive memories they’ll cherish throughout their lives. When they’re old enough, help them sound out the words and give them a book of their own for practice. You can make this even more meaningful by sharing a book that you read to their mother or father, passing down the book or the tradition.
- Go to the park. The park is a lovely place to spend the day with your young grandchildren. Pick a nice day and have them help you pack for a picnic on the grass. You can also go birdwatching, draw with colored chalks or just lay down and stare up at the clouds. And during the holidays? Pick a snowy day, bundle up and make a snowman or snow angels.
- Play with toys. There are some “children’s toys” that you never grow out of. No matter your age, it’s easy to spend hours molding creations out of Play-Doh or building castles with Lego blocks. These types of toys help toddlers develop their motor skills and they never lose their fun for adults.
- Make sock puppets. When you’re a child, everything has the potential to be entertaining. If you know how to make a sock puppet, you’ve got an arsenal of fun in your top dresser drawer! Sew buttons onto the toe of a sock and draw the rest of the face with a permanent marker. The look on your grandchild’s face will be well worth the sacrificed sock.
- Finger paint. Get some non-toxic finger paint and a big blank canvas, then create a masterpiece with your fingers. Have the kids sign their names and hang the finished product up on your fridge.
Activities to Do with Grade School Children
From the age of five up to the time children become teenagers, kids will be eager to take on more responsibility and participate in more complex activities. This is a good time to get them involved in simple chores, tasks and hobbies, as well as teach them about their family tree.
- Look at family photos. Family is important, and kids are curious about their grandparents. They want to know what you looked like when you were their age and they’ll get a kick out of seeing pictures of their mom or dad as a kid. Break out the family photo albums and have your grandchildren guess who the people in them may be. Then take a picture together to add to the collection. This is also a great time to share stories about your life, especially the entertaining ones that they’ll find hard to believe due to changes in technology or lifestyle. It’s these stories and photos that your grandchildren will treasure as they get older.
- Play a board game. Classic games like checkers, Scrabble and Chutes and Ladders are still as fun and simple enough for anyone to play. Be sure to add a dash of silliness in to keep the competition light. You can also look for newer games, such as the laughter-inspiring card games that have become so popular. Exploding Kittens and Codenames are two ideas to get you started.
- Start a do-it-yourself project. It feels good to create something, no matter what age you are. Have your grandchildren help you prepare a meal, plant vegetables in the garden or even sort the laundry; the kids will love being involved. You can also start a puzzle together, make cards for a family member’s birthday or put together a collage. Do-it-yourself (DIY) decorating, art and simple home improvement projects are all great ways to spend time with your grandchildren.
- Get outside. Playing catch with a family member is a classic activity, but it’s not your only option. You can always kick a ball or pass a hockey puck back and forth. Any sport or engaging outdoor activity that both you and your grandchildren are able to do and are interested in can serve the same purpose. Even better, these types of activities will also help develop your grandchildren’s motor skills and strengthen the bond between you.
- Show and tell. The average five-year-old often has more personality than many adults, and there are few things as fulfilling as watching that personality develop in your grandchild. Let your grandchild show that off with a show-and-tell night where they present something that means a lot to them. This will give you some insight into your grandchild’s interests. It doesn’t need to be a formal activity, either. You can simply express an interest in your granchildren’s lives and say you’d like to see the new game they love or the hobby they’ve started. They’ll be more than happy to share it with you next time they visit.
Activities to Do with Teenagers
Your grandchildren’s teen years are magical because you get a real look at the lasting characteristics that shape them as people. They may want a little more distance from their parents and start looking to you for guidance when they make decisions about their future, making your bond especially important during these formative years. Keep it light, fun and supportive with these activities:
- Watch a movie. Watching a movie can be a fun way to spend time with your grandkids regardless of how old they are, but teenagers and young adults have a more developed taste. They’ll pick up on themes, jokes and details that younger kids won’t, so it’s easier to turn watching a movie into a bonding experience.
- Talk about the future. Teenagers are old enough to grasp what’s going on around them, but they don’t have nearly as much wisdom as you do. Teenage years can be confusing, and you can be a helpful source of advice or act as a sounding board for their thoughts. Ask if your grandkids plan on going away to college, if they have an idea of what they want to do for a career and whether or not they want to get married and start a family someday. Share stories from your past that the generation of up-and-comers can learn from and be a guiding force that pushes them to pursue their dreams.
- Play video games. Video games have come a long way since the original Atari, but there are tons of modern video games that are easy for beginners to pick up and play. There are puzzles, word games and simple arcade games that you can play on a computer, phone or video game system. You can also find all sorts of free apps that let you play games with each other even when you’re not together so you can keep the competition going.
- Go for a walk. If your grandchildren need a little less screen time (and many do,) take them for a walk or revisit the sports activities from the last section. Any teenager could use the light exercise and it presents a great opportunity to catch up. Show your grandkids around the community, head to a local park to play catch or go for a casual hike – spending time in nature is good for the body and the mind.
- Learn from them. Asking your grandchildren about their interests is one thing, but hands-on experience is another. Find out what your grandkids are interested in and have them teach you about it. Whether they teach you how to swing a golf club or to play a C chord on the guitar, you’re engaging in the activities that bring them joy. This gives your grandkids a sense of importance and accomplishment and it gives you a chance to learn something while bonding.
Adjust Your Activities as Your Grandchildren Grow
Your grandchildren are already excited to come to see you, but it never hurts to have ideas on how to spend your time together. The things you do together will change over the years, but your bond will only grow stronger. As they become adults, you can enjoy many of these same activities as well as sharing a glass of wine or stories about college. When your grandkids have families and lives of their own, they’ll still look back fondly on the time they spent with their grandparents.
At Grand Tapestry, we make it easy for you to spend quality time with your grandchildren. Our luxury senior living community is a great place for grandchildren to visit. Invite them for a walk through our landscaped grounds or go for a swim in the pool. We’re also close to many Oklahoma City attractions, making it easy for you to take your grandchildren out for an adventure. Contact us to learn more about our community.