Investing Time in Your Grandchildren

Most grandparents enjoy spending time with their grandchildren during the early years. After all, holding babies, chasing toddlers and coloring with preschoolers can be easily achieved. When grandchildren get a bit older it can become more of a challenge in how to spend time with them and keep their interest.

Back in the day, when grandparents retired, they enjoyed spending time teaching their grandchildren life skills, going on trips during the summer and spending lazy afternoons visiting on front porches telling stories and sipping cold drinks. Our children of today are growing up on video games, too much television and computers. It can be pretty arduous for grandparents to compete with technology.

To make it more difficult, many grandparents have to continue to work long into their retirement years to make ends meet. Or they choose to keep themselves busy by working as long as they physically can, limiting time spent with their grandchildren. Even their adult children are busy occupying every hour with activities so there is less time for extended family.

By the time they know it, their grandchildren are older and finding activities to do with them isn’t as easy as it used to be in the early years. Investing time in your grandchildren as they get older does wonders for you and for them.

10 ways grandparents can spend time with their older grandchildren:

1. Have a date day/night one-on-one with each grandchild regularly. Do something they enjoy doing. Don’t just take them along on your errands, ask them what they would like to do and keep an open mind. You may learn something new yourself.

2. How about “take your grandchild to work day?” This may not be feasible in some lines of work. Even if it is only for a few minutes to see where grandpa/grandma work, can be a neat way for them to get to know “you.” Afterwards, go see a movie together at the local theatre.

3. Visit a museum. Many offer hands-on activities for older children to participate in.

4. Try a new restaurant together. Discussions about different foods can be a learning experience for older children. Sushi anyone? Dessert before dinner?

5. Teach them how to play board games. Some of the classics, like Monopoly, Chinese Checkers and even playing old-fashioned card games bring generations together. Make homemade snacks and sip cold drinks while playing.

6. Spend an afternoon in the kitchen making a traditional family recipe. Passing down family traditions can teach your grandchildren about their heritage. In addition, everyone should learn how to cook or bake something. You’re never too young or old to learn how to cook.

7. Go for a walk at a local park. Better yet, include some fishing, paddle boats, splash pads or swimming if available. Grandparents – PLAY WITH YOUR GRANDCHILDREN! Get dirty, get wet, laugh and have fun!

8. Take them shopping. Here is a wonderful opportunity to teach them about the value of a dollar and spending. To make an even bigger impact, have your grandchildren help you around the house to earn money to spend on your shopping adventure. There’s always yard work to be done. This could be planned out ahead of time.

9. Find local festivals, sporting events, food trucks, concerts, even plays which would introduce your grandchildren to a bit of culture.

10. Attend their sporting events and celebrate afterwards with ice cream or pizza. Take pictures and share at your next outing together.

It is important to begin investing time in your relationship with your grandchildren when they are young. Making time for them sends the message, “you are important and I enjoy your company.” Not only are you building the relationship with your grandchildren, but you’re also giving their parents much needed time for themselves.

Today’s children need, more than ever, to see their grandparents playing an active role in their lives. Grandparents, you can pass on wisdom, instruction and teachable moments better than anyone, because of your life experiences. Don’t assume that they will be bored or not interested. They’ll let you know and from there you can try other ideas. Another reason to establish early in their lives that spending time together with their grandparents can be fun. What a great investment in their future. An added bonus for you – it keeps your spirit young at heart.

Be sure to stay tuned for more great reads from grandparents who are joining us in our brand new Daily Grandparent category!

Photo Credits: Dani

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Michelle

Michelle lives in North Carolina with her husband of 29 years. She is a mother to three grown daughters and "Grammie" to her two grandchildren. She teaches transitional kindergarten by day and blogs at Grammie Time by night. Spending time and making memories with her grandchildren is an investment she makes a priority.

Comments (17)

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    Ruthie Gray

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    These are great tips! I especially love the one about playing old fashioned board games like chess or Chinese checkers. You are an awesome grammie, I can tell!

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      Michelle

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      Thank you Ruthie. We can learn from each other now. My mother use to love playing board games with my girls.

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    Melinda

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    These are great, Michelle. I will hope I can remember some as my darling baby gets older!

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      Michelle

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      You will or you will find your own special times with them. Thank you for your sweet comment.

      Reply

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    Rhonda Gales

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    These are great tips Michelle. I am happy to say, I implement all of them. Times have changed, but love hasn’t. Children spend time playing computer games or in front of the television if they’re allowed. I savor every moment with my grandchildren.

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      Michelle

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      You’re so right Rhonda, times have changed. I can tell from your blog how much you “savor every moment” with them. Thanks for commenting.

      Reply

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    Betty

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    These are awesome comments. I usually do playdates and allow them to choose where. Also Farmer’s Market is awesome for them.

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      Michelle

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      Playdates would be fun if only I had other “grammies” to share in the fun. My friends don’t have grandchildren yet so having to do much of the outings solo or with my daughter. Farmer’s Markets are very awesome!!

      Reply

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    Carol

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    I enjoyed the suggestions that you gave. I have six grandchildren–one daughter has five children and the other has one. The one on one time is something I will aim for. I shared your post on my Facebook page.

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      Michelle

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      Wow! A lot of grandchildren for sure. What a blessing. Yes, one-on-one time will be a challenge, but how special it will be for each one. You are a busy grandmother.

      Reply

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    Katie @ Cup of Tea

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    What great ideas! Especially love trying a new restaurant together. Wouldn’t that be a fun adventure?

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      Michelle

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      Katie, Thanks for stopping and reading. Our grandchildren are still young and so trying a new restaurant does not mean much right now at their age, but looking forward to the time they can make a choice on where to go too.

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    Karen Del Tatto

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    What a timely post for me! I just became a first time grandmother four and a half months ago to a sweet, funny, adorable baby girl! I have the utmost privilege and blessing of having her, my daughter and son-in-law live with us for a season.

    I found this post very helpful looking to the years to come as I know I will be a part of Lexi’s life in a big way.

    Thanks for sharing!

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      Michelle

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      Congratulations Karen! What a wondeful time for your family. You have so many milestones to look forward to as she grows. It reminds me how fast those baby years fly. Enjoy every moment.

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    Whitney @ Come Home For Comfort

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    Great tips! My grandparents invested a lot of time in me during my childhood and high school years. As a result, many of their world views, values and ways of doing life became mine. I am so grateful for their influence in my life!

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      Michelle

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      Whitney, I hope my grandchildren say that about me when they get older. I am thankful my daughter and son-in-law have the same values as we do because it sure makes it a lot easier.

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    Sue

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    Oh a subject near and dear to my heart. I enjoy spending time with my 5, ages 10 – 4, and as they are getting older it is more challenging to find fun things to do. I have Grandma’s Camp Read A Lot in the summer, lots of time spent reading and encouraging reading. {former teacher grandma;-) }
    This year I do hope to do more 1 on 1, making memories is so important to me.

    Reply

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