By Denise Long
Grandparents love spending time with their grandkids. It’s even more fun when that time is quality time spent engaging with one another and being active. These suggestions will keep everyone entertained, yet safe.
1. Go Exploring
Whether your grandkids are toddlers or teenagers, you can have fun when you go exploring together. Take a nature walk and look for leaves, rocks, birds, or other wildlife. Keep older kids entertained by turning the walk into a scavenger hunt. You also could turn the hunt into a friendly competition by adding a small prize or treat for the person who finds the most items on the list.
For more ideas about designing a fun family scavenger hunt, check out the tips from Love the Outdoors. Just be sure to go over the rules with everyone first: don’t go off the path, stay within viewing distance or earshot, and don’t disturb anything you find.
If you’re feeling truly adventurous, consider taking your grandchildren camping for the weekend. They’ll enjoy spending time with you and having you all to themselves, and you’ll enjoy getting the chance to teach them new skills and talking to them in an unplugged environment. To stay safe on your camping adventure, choose a kid-friendly campground.
These parks often offer swimming, hiking, horseback riding, and gaming in a rec room for families. They also typically have fenced-in areas, lifeguards, and convenience areas suited to families. Again, be sure to go over the rules with your grandchildren before you leave for the campground and when you arrive.
2. Take Them to the Park
Taking your grandchildren to the park is a fun activity that gets everyone up and moving, and kids love it. They’ll enjoy going for a walk to the park and getting some exercise in an area that encourages them to run and play with other children. The playground offers activities suitable for children of all ages, and you can get in on the fun too by pushing your grandchildren on the swing or playing hide-and-seek amongst the play equipment. As a bonus, many parks have a playground in a fenced-in area that will help your grandchildren stay close by and give you a little more peace of mind about their safety.
If you don’t have the convenience of a park within walking distance, it can be challenging to wrangle everyone together and loaded into the car. Plus there is always the scenario where one grandchild wants to go and the other doesn’t. In this case, having a playground installed in your yard is worth considering. There are a variety of options your grandkids will love, such as playgrounds with slides, swings, gliders, climbing walls, and activity tables. With a playground right outside your door, your grandchildren can take as many trips to the park as their heart desires.
3. Engage in Active Learning
Grandkids love to learn things from grandparents, but if you’re not sure what to teach them, check out EarthScienceJr.com. The site features several lesson plans that are appropriate for kids of all ages. In fact, if you have grandkids of various ages, check out the 7 Educational and Entertaining Activities for Young Kids.
These activities are educational, entertaining, and engaging, and they will get your grandkids up and moving while they learn. From Jenga to artwork, these activities encourage problem-solving and creativity and are safe enough to do inside on a rainy or snowy day.
4. Play Cards
With all of the electronics and mobile devices kids play with today, many of them don’t know how to play traditional card games. Grandparents can teach grandkids a number of card games, from gin rummy to go fish. You’ll be giving them new experiences, passing on your love of games, and getting a chance to talk to them while showing them how to be a good sport. You’ll also help them learn to think on their feet, use deductive reasoning, and solve problems.
Any time a grandparent gets to spend with grandkids is special. Make your time together even more entertaining and engaging by safely going exploring or taking a trip to the dog park. You also can teach them new things by relying on online lesson plans for playing cards.