Author: Denise Long, guest contributor and Grandmother in Chief at grandmothering.info.

Spending time with your grandchildren is among life’s greatest blessings. You get to enjoy them for their youth and exuberance without having to deal with any of the not-so-fun things like discipline. When you are with your grandkids, you want to be sure to do things that will make memories they can keep with them for the rest of their life.

Of course, you can’t get around quite like you used to and you don’t want to ruin the day with fall-related injury. What you need is a fun but safe activity that everyone will enjoy. Lucky for you, we have a few ideas.

Teach Them Family Recipes

It’s time to get cookin’! Food is one of the best ways to share culture and cross-generational barriers. Pass down a bit of your family history by teaching your grandchildren a recipe that your parents or grandparents taught you. Whether it’s a classic from the old country or the world’s best pancakes, your grandkids will always think of you whenever they prepare it.

Even if you don’t have a family recipe to pass down, spending time in the kitchen is a great way to bond with your grandchildren. Check out these kid-friendly recipes and perhaps one day they will pass it on to their grandchildren.

Share a Favorite Classic Children’s Book

Next time you are with your grandchildren, spend some time getting lost in a story together. Pull a few childhood classics off the bookcase that you haven’t read in years. It will be like you are discovering it all over again, but this time with your favorite little ones along for the ride. Here are some of our favorite book recommendations:

  • The Secret Garden
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • Winnie-the-Pooh
  • Little Women
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • Peter Pan
  • Mary Poppins
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • Pollyanna

Go Through the Family Photo Albums

Your grandchildren want to know more about their family history. There’s no better way to tell a story than with pictures. Break out the photo albums and go through each frame as a still shot of your family’s lives together. Teach them about where you come from and the stories that come with it. Your grandkids will hold onto your words for the rest of their lives.

Perform a Science Experiment

Kids have the most fun when they are discovering something new. Pique their interest with a fun but educational science experiment you can complete with things you find around the house. This Rainbow Magic Milk Science Experiment is simple, colorful and it teaches the children about chemistry.

Have Safe Fun Outside

Kids need to play outside to breathe fresh air and to feel sunshine on their skin. Encourage healthy outdoor play with a backyard swing set. Your grandkids will be begging their parents to go to grandma and grandpa’s when you get one of these. A swing set helps develop their strength, agility and other fine motor skills while also helping them burn off all those cookies you feed them! Be sure to set it up over a protective surface with swings spaced a generous distance apart to prevent colliding. And remember — you always need to be with your grandchildren and monitoring them when they play on the swing set.

Spending time with your grandchildren is a gift — don’t waste it. Make the most of it with safe and fun activities you will both enjoy.

*****

Thank you, Denise for the good tips for spending time with children.  I would add that showing children some colorful glass marbles would also be a great way to introduce a fun activity.

Wes