Hanging out with your grandkids is great for your mental and emotional health. But the question for many grandparents is, what activities can I do with them? It can be difficult to keep up with the energy of young children and most senior citizens often deal with some form of arthritis or other health issues.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with your grandchildren. So the next time your grandchildren come for a visit, make sure to rub some pain cream on your joints and jump into the following activities that will keep you both busy.

Play Video Games

Kids LOVE video games. Most probably they already have a console so you can ask them to bring it over along with some easy-to-play multiplayer games.

It’s a great experience for the child as they can teach you the ropes and share their favorite games with you. On the flip side, you get to take part in an activity that isn’t too taxing.

Don’t turn your nose up at the benefits of video games for seniors either. Recent studies suggest multiple benefits for senior citizens, including better cognitive abilities, reduced risk of Alzheimer’s and improved emotional well-being.

If you’re able, it might be worth it to have some game consoles or a PC capable of playing games yourself!

Learn a New Skill Together

Kids might not like school, but most LOVE trying new things, especially if it means they get to spend more time with their grandparents! And for you, learning a new skill can keep your brain healthy and fresh. Plus, it’s a great way to make new memories with your grandchildren.

Naturally, you’ll need to consider your limitations as well as those of your grandchild. Once you have a good idea what you can and cannot do, look up local classes and see if you can book an appointment. Some fun ideas include:

  • Pottery-making
  • Creating games (whether digital or physical)
  • Fiction writing
  • Knitting/crocheting
  • Photography (with your smartphone)
  • Painting/drawing
  • Gardening

Just make sure your grandchild is interested in the skill of your choosing.

Backyard Camping

If you have a backyard and your grandchild happens to enjoy the outdoors, there’s no better activity than backyard camping. If you don’t have a tent, you can make your own with a couple of sticks, canvas and some power tools. (You can always ask for help from your own kids to build this.) 

If you don’t want to make your own tent, you can always purchase a small one. Since you’re not far from home, you don’t need anything that’s too rugged. You can even pitch the tent with your grandchild for a fun activity to do before the actual ‘camping’.

The best part is that if the tent falls down or if the weather turns, you can always head back inside. It’s fairly low risk as you have all the comforts of home just a few steps away.

In the meantime, you can spend some quality time with your grandchildren telling stories, looking up at the stars, and listening to the sounds of the nighttime creatures. 

Do Some Bird Watching

It can be hard for kids to sit still for a long period of time unless there’s something to hold their attention. Birds are great at grabbing children’s attention as they’re fast and colorful.

If you don’t have one already, consider setting up a bird feeder in your backyard and invest in a pair of binoculars. You can go to your local Audubon society or to your local library to borrow some books on local wildlife.

After that, it’s just about waiting. It might take some time, but once the birds start arriving, take turns identifying each of them. If you want, you can even snap pictures of all the birds that visited. You can go a step further and use the pictures to create a scrapbook together.

Set Up a Mini Art Gallery

Most kids love arts and crafts. But instead of just creating a painting or drawing, why not display it? If there’s a blank wall in your house, set up a little art gallery.

Stick the paintings and drawings on the wall and make little name tags underneath with the name of your grandchild and the ‘title’ of their art piece (make sure you ask them what the name is!). 

Depending on how much time your grandchild will be there, you can create little invites for the rest of the family inviting them to the opening of the new art gallery, which of course, coincides with the day and time they’ll be picking them up.

Depending on how shy the child is, they can even give a little explanation of their drawings to their esteemed guests. It’s a fun way to showcase their work and encourages them to keep creating!

What types of activities do you do with your grandchildren? Are there some that your grandchildren absolutely love that we haven’t mentioned? Please join the conversation and share your thoughts!

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