5 Ways You Can Connect with Your Grandchildren This Summer (This is a sponsored post.)
Kids look forward to summer, when they can break from the routine of school and try new things. That includes spending more time at Grandma’s or Grandpa’s house.
To prepare for a visit, it’s a good idea to have some ideas up your sleeve. Just think: the things you do together might someday become part of their most treasured memories of childhood.
But how long has it been since you were thinking up things to do with your own kids? Do kids these days like to do the same things? What if you hear those dreaded words, “I’m bored!”?
If you’re spending time with grandchildren this summer, you may need an action plan. The good news is, kids still love to do many of the same things: explore, discover, spend time outdoors, play board games with a worthy opponent, and learn cool things about the world around them.
If you’ve got visiting grandkids or you’re helping to look after stay-at-home kids this summer, consider these five ways to connect. Each is designed to help you get the most out of your time with your grandchildren.
No yard? No problem. Head to your nearest park and any of these classic activities will ensure a fun, gratifying afternoon with plenty of opportunities for bonding. Whether it’s in a park or your own backyard, every kid should experience these perennial summertime favorites. Why shouldn’t it be with you?
* Fly a kite
* Bring a picnic lunch (with watermelon)Toss a Frisbee
* Play catch
* Set up a slip ‘n slide area if you have access to a hose and running water (don’t forget the soap!)
* Blow bubbles (and giant soap bubbles) – bonus if you let the kids try to “catch” the bubbles
* Make a game of searching for animals and birds
* When it gets dark, collect fireflies and put them in a jar
Another idea for getting in touch with nature might be to visit a national or state park or botanical garden if you live near one. This makes a great outing for younger kids, who can learn so much from tours and interactive exhibits.
Reminder: stay hydrated! There are many differences between you and your grandchildren, but the need to stay hydrated is the same. Read more about the importance of staying hydrated.
2. Plan the Ultimate Treasure Hunt
Kids of all ages love treasure hunts. The more elaborate, the better, so a little planning will go a long way. Take advantage of the summer weather and plan yours to be outdoors. Even if it’s too hot or it rains that day, you can still have fun with a treasure hunt indoors. Just have an extra set of clues on hand.
If it’s been a while since you participated in a treasure hunt, here’s the basic gist:
1. Kids read clues – one clue leads to the location of the next clue
2. If you have more than one grandchild, have them take turns reading the clues
3. Multiple grandkids mean you’ll need to have multiple treasures at the end
4. If kids are too young to read well, read the clues for them
5. The clues can be written as rhymed riddles, such as, “You don’t have to search very long or far, this is where you keep the car.”
6. Puns add to all the fun, too
Ideas for treasures:
* A literal ‘treasure,’ like a sack of coins
* Dollar store toys like yo-yos or glittery bouncy balls
3. Make it a Date (For Lunch!)
Kids these days watch the adults in their lives eating out all the time. One way to make your grandchildren feel special is to make a luncheon date with them. They’ll be honored that you’re doing something ‘grownup’ together. For extra points, let them order whatever they want.
Alternatively, if eating out isn’t your cup of tea, you can plan something equally exciting and new right at home. Do you remember eating your first lobster? Introducing your grandchildren to the fine art of eating lobster is a fun way to connect. Don’t forget the lobster bibs, claw crackers, meat pickers, and lots of paper towels for cleanup! (And you might want to have a backup plan for dinner in case they can’t handle the lobster lesson!).
Sometimes outdoor fun is appropriate, but other times the dog days of summer call for the cool comfort of air-conditioning. Visiting a museum with your grandchildren can be an excellent way to form new bonds over an appreciation of art and culture.
Some museums have summer programs just for kids or days when admission is reduced or free for them. Even without reduced prices or special programs, there are countless ways to enjoy a museum with your grandkids. Remember, their minds are like sponges and chances are they’ll absorb so much more than you might even realize.
Think a museum may be too advanced for your grandchildren? Think again. Children love to feel like they are being treated like an adult, so you may be surprised at their enthusiasm. Plus please touch and discovery museums make for a fun day and a sleepy (i.e. relaxing) night. Still think your grandchildren are better suited for a different activity? Read our article about retirement hobbies to get some ideas about activities you both can enjoy.
* Sorting through your things together, choosing what to sell
* Deciding on prices
* Tagging the items
* Setting up a cash box
* Planning the display
* Making posters
* Hanging signs around the neighborhood
* Deciding together how low you’ll go on certain big-ticket items
* Setup on the day of the sale
* Donating the unsold items together
Love the idea of a garage sale but unsure where to start? Read our 8 tips on downsizing – they apply whether you are just doing some spring cleaning, reorganizing a room, or preparing for retirement.
These five ideas for bonding with your grandkids are just a taste of what you can do this summer. Now that you’ve got an idea of what can work, your own ideas are sure to start flowing. Just remember: kids are adaptable and open-minded. Whatever you have planned, the most important outcome is that you’re spending time together doing fun things.
Want more tips on connecting with your grandchildren?