Advice, Grandparents, September/October, Things to Do

Inexpensive Activities to Do with Grandchildren

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Are you having trouble connecting with your grandkids? This issue is a lot more common than you think. Let’s chat about some fun activities you can do with them to deepen your bond and make long-lasting memories.

Places to Go
Who doesn’t love a quick trip around town? Here are some ideas for those of you ready to get off the couch and get moving with the grandkids.

First stop: the library. Enjoy the air conditioning and share your favorite books from when you were a child while you read their favorites. Plenty of libraries hold daily storytimes and other events you could attend.

For animal lovers, visit the zoo, the petting zoo, or go feed ducks while walking in the park. If you want to try something more exciting (that may or may not have you spotting an alligator, a stray duck, or maybe a goose) show them the beginner’s ropes of golfing by playing mini golf.

Get ice cream or a snowball together. This was my favorite as a child. My fondest memory with my grandpa is riding in his old pickup truck with my younger brother and cousin to get a banana split before he showed us around his job (a film studio). Ice cream is always a winner, no matter how old your grandchildren are!

If you want more sugary snacks, a candy shop, gourmet popcorn store, or classic gas station run are all good choices. You can find any kind of snack imaginable while swapping favorites.

Things to Try, Buy, or Craft
One of the loveliest memories I have of my Nana is going into her garden to help her get herbs for our homemade spaghetti sauce or the time we baked Christmas treats together. Teach your grandchildren life skills like cooking, knitting, sewing, crocheting, gardening, and fishing. It’ll make a huge difference in their lives and yours.

Some other crafts and activities to try:
-Build and paint a birdhouse
-Craft or buy a kite to fly
-The art of scrapbooking
-Color a coloring book
-Solve or put together a puzzle

Of course, there are many things you can do together. Put your heads together and figure out something you both would like to try.

Things to Play
Don’t be afraid to get silly. Children have amazing imaginations and as adults, it can be hard for us to remember how to dive into our own imaginations to play with them. All I can do is ask you to try as playtime is bonding time. Here are some ideas of games and other activities you can try together.

Some classic ideas include hide and go seek, playing “house,” hosting a scavenger hunt around the house, or trying out board games. My favorites from childhood included Candyland, The Game of Life, Clue, and card games like Uno. A family favorite based on dominoes that we always play on vacation is Mexican Train. The world is your oyster when it comes to playtime.

At the end of the day, bonding takes time. Children can be slow to warm up and even slower to try new things that intimidate them. Have patience, be malleable with your time, and get ready to enjoy some time together.

By Sarah Batrous

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