Grandchildren are a great part of growing older. It’s hard not to notice, however, that children today have much different childhood experiences than our own. Children are often involved with electronic devices, rather than going outside to play, as children in former generations have done. This gap between childhood activities and many more things can complicate the wonderful relationship with grandkids. Discovery Village at Palm Beach Gardens retirement communities are great places to spend time with grandchildren, and the following are ideas for enhancing your time with grandkids.
Have you found that your grandchildren aren’t always easy to keep entertained? There are simple ways to spend quality time together while enjoying activities and events that everyone is interested in. Going on adventures never grows old, and there are many adventurous pursuits grandparents can enjoy with grandchildren.
1 – Cook Together. There are recipes that can be made by the smallest of children. Keep in mind that kids are usually capable of more than we realize, especially when it comes to pursuits that we are concerned might lead to an injury, like cooking. Choose a recipe that gives the children fun ways to participate but also that you are comfortable with, as you give the little ones some freedom in the kitchen. Cooking is an activity that children of every age usually enjoy, as long as they like the menu item you’re making together.
2 – Nature Scavenger Hunt. Going on a treasure hunt is fun for children of every age. Make what might otherwise be an ordinary walk an exciting adventure. Before starting out, prepare a list of items in nature to be collected for a nature scavenger hunt, such as a y-shaped twig, pine cone, feather, round rock, or red leaf. Pull out your creative stops and create clues that rhyme, if you want to set up a scavenger hunt in advance. Another option is to take a picture of things that start with each letter of the alphabet. These games will awaken a child’s observational skills and will simply be a fun time for everyone.
3 – Play Board Games. Wouldn’t it be great to show your grandchildren that playing board games is more fun than staring at a video screen and playing solo? There are many fun games to choose from. The secret is to find the ones that are age-appropriate for the kids and interesting to you, as well. For anyone age 7 and up, Bananagrams is a great choice; it’s a quick-moving word game that comes packaged in a banana container. For everyone age 12 and up, Apples to Apples is a fun card game that doesn’t leave players feeling bored. Zingo is a popular game that’s fun for anyone age 3 and up; it’s a simplified version of bingo.
4 – Break out the Baby Pictures. Children usually enjoy seeing pictures of their parents as babies and children growing into adulthood. Be sure to share stories with as many details from the past as you can remember. It will be fun for the grandkids to see and hear about what their parents did when they were young.
5 – Create a Time Capsule. If you’d like to invest some time in a project that can be fun and thought-provoking, you could create a time capsule together. There are no set rules for time capsules. It could be as simple as filling a shoebox that you put away in the attic for a future date or as involved as choosing packaging that can withstand being buried under the ground for years. Think together about who will open the time capsule someday, and what would you like to communicate to them? The items should have significance in representing your message but need not be of any monetary value. Suggestions for a time capsule include:
- An indicator of technology, such as a DVD. Even if it can’t be played in the future, it will be an item of interest.
- Magazines or newspapers which reveal current fads, trends, and events.
- Journals that have been written in.
- Personal messages addressed to people who will be reading it in the future.
- Packaging and labels of favorite products, with price tags, if possible.
- Toys that are currently popular.
6 – Make a Dollhouse. Teach your children one of the valuable lessons of your childhood: You don’t need to spend money to have fun! Use thin cardboard to make a dollhouse together, complete with small pieces of furniture. A simple approach is to use several shoeboxes stacked together and side-by-side. The cardboard tube in a package of paper towels can be cut out to make tiny table legs and chairs, and construction paper could be colored and used as wallpaper in the house. Have the children use their imagination to create the dollhouse and its contents, and refer to the Internet for ideas.
There is no better way to enhance the excitement of life at Discovery Village at Palm Beach Gardens senior living communities than to enjoy quality time with your grandchildren.