Six Safe, Creative Ways to Connect with Your Grandkids
By Denise Long
Looking for ways to connect and enjoy time with your grandkids? Try sharing your hobbies with them or find a new one to explore together! Research shows that hobbies are crucial for fighting stress and spending time being creative is a wonderful way to entertain and engage your grandchildren. Of course, you’ll want to make sure everyone stays safe while they’re having fun. Try out these six activities and safety tips.
Cook Some Fun Meals Together
Studies show that cooking and baking can reduce stress and improve self-esteem. So, get in the kitchen and get your grandkids to help you whip up some tasty treats and meals. Start with simple, fun recipes, like this edible glass. Be selective in the tasks you assign the kids, according to their age and abilities, and be sure to go over some basic kitchen safety lessons. Hair should be tied back and an apron should be worn at all times. Keep a fire extinguisher under the sink, as well as a first-aid kit, to take care of any situations that may arise. Teaching your grandchildren how to prepare food and stay safe doing so is a wonderful way to spend time together while instilling an essential life skill in them. What’s more, you’ll help teach them some healthy eating habits that they can use for the rest of their lives.
Go Exploring In The Garden
Kids love getting dirty outside. Why not encourage it by having your grandchildren help you out in your garden? Get some gloves and a hat, to keep them protected, and have them help you dig around in the dirt or tend to plants. Want to really get them excited about gardening? Think about planning and planting a special garden together. Take them to your local nursery and have them help you pick out plants, then spend a day or so getting those plants into the ground. If you don’t have space in your existing garden, there are plenty of small, container gardens you can create together. Just be careful when having little ones handle sharp tools, such as rakes and shovels and keep pesticides out of the picture.
Teach Them a Craft
If you like creating crafts, like woodworking or pottery, think about taking the time to pass those skills onto your grandchildren. Spend an afternoon creating a birdhouse or building some simple holiday decorations. Pick one project to work on when they visit and encourage them to complete as many of the steps as they can. Have safety goggles, aprons and other protective clothing available for all adults and children involved. Be sure to supervise your grandkids if you allow them to use power tools and be especially cautious around saws or other sharp objects.
Stare at the Stars
Nothing inspires curiosity and wonder quite like the sky. Invest in a telescope and spend some evenings exploring the cosmos with your grandchildren. Encouraging an interest in the sky is also a great way to get young minds interested in the STEM fields that will be so important to future generations. Typically, sky gazing tends to be a tame hobby, but there are some precautions to keep in mind. If you venture outside in the dark, be sure to carry a flashlight and wear reflective clothing. When you have the opportunity to check out an eclipse, use proper viewing equipment to avoid permanent eye damage.
Take a Hike Together
Encouraging safe outdoor exploration is a great way to teach your grandchildren about the environment. Take a trip to your favorite national park or nature trail, to enjoy the great outdoors together. Identify local plants and animals to make the journey even more fun and informative. Stay safe when you’re outside by staying on marked trails and being mindful of local wildlife, like bears and snakes. If you’ll be outside during the day, it’s a good idea for adults and children to wear proper sun protection and stay hydrated at all times.
Unwind in Front of the TV
Sometimes, you won’t have any other choice than to sit down together in front of the television, especially when rainy weather sets in and spoils your outdoor plans. However, instead of flipping aimlessly through the channels, you can take advantage of modern tech to both entertain and enlighten your grandchildren. For example, many streaming devices offer immediate access to thousands of television programs and movies, many of which have an educational slant or positive message. Before you spend some money on a streaming device, however, do some comparison shopping to find one that fits your budget and your television.
You can create solid bonds exploring hobbies with your grandchildren. Building together will build memories and life lessons that will last the rest of their lives. So, get out and get busy creating some fun with your grandkids today!