Spending time with the grandkids is one of the most treasured activities for many grandparents. Children are such a joy to be around, and the importance of this connection to your extended family can’t be overstated. In the spring and summer, a whole world of exciting activities opens up as the weather gets warmer and spending time outdoors is on everyone’s mind. There are a lot of timeless favorites, such as gardening and feeding wild ducks, but technology has opened up some new possibilities that should be considered.
Little ones are often easy to please, but they also have seemingly boundless energy. As the weather warms up, it’s the perfect time to get them outside, and either harness that energy or find activities that wear them down.
As mentioned, gardening is a timeless classic. It might seem like it’s better to bring older kids and teens into the garden because they can follow directions better than the younger kids. However, younger children have a lot of excess energy and are often keen to try to be helpful—this makes them a great resource for getting help with simple tasks like weeding and watering. Gardening is also a great opportunity for some outdoor education. You can teach them the basics of photosynthesis and let them plant something. Each time they visit, let them see their plant so they can watch it grow. If you take a picture during each visit, you can keep a record of the plant’s growth to easily visualize its progress.
If you have a little artist, invest in some sidewalk chalk and let them go to town. This is a great way to get the littles outside. For extra fun, get all of the cousins together and let them go wild! Who knows what kind of amazing collaborations you’ll get to enjoy? It’s a fun day for the grandkids, and you’ll get to admire their artwork for a while before the next rain comes.
When you’re spending time with older grandkids and teenagers, it’s best to take some time and figure out what kinds of things they like to do. Teens can be a little bit more difficult to satisfy, but there are plenty of ways to hold their interest and have a good time.
Older kids and teenagers are regularly scrutinized for being glued to their phones. Turning off your social life when you’re young is a big ask, and now they have the world at their fingertips. While many people are trying to break down this barrier and get teens away from their phones, sometimes it helps to find ways to speak their language in order to get past what seems like an insurmountable obstacle.
Geocaching is a scavenger hunt that is open to the public. You simply download the geocaching app to your smartphone and find caches in your area. It’s a great way to get outside with the help of technology!
If your grandkid enjoys geocache-style phone games like Pokemon Go or Ingress, that’s another option. Rather than seek out physical objects hidden around your area, you can go on a hunt with your grandkids for digital creatures. This can be a great opportunity to learn how to do something new, and your grandchild(ren) will likely appreciate the fact that you’re making the effort to learn about and engage in something they love.
Whether the weather has you trapped indoors or you want something more active for the evening hours than a movie, board games are a great option for older kids and teens. The board game hobby exploded when the pandemic hit, and the sheer amount of new games, along with a lot of new innovations, has made board gaming an entirely different experience from how it was even just 10 years ago. If you have grandkids that are interested in modern board gaming, ask them to bring some of their favorites along and teach you how to play. You might be surprised by how much fun they are!
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