By : Frank McCourt
Time can go by fast as your kids grow before your very eyes. Nobody knows this better than grandma and grandpa. Sometimes when we move away from our families and start one of our own we forget about the folks on the other side of town who would like nothing better than to spend time with the newly extended family whenever possible. Here are five activities you and the kids can do with grandma and grandpa to make the most of your time together.
1. Go to a Game
Whether it’s football, baseball, soccer, or basketball, a professional or college sports event is a great experience for everyone. It gets the grandparents out of the house and allows you and kids to cheer on your favorite team. Have the kids sit between you and grandma and grandpa so that both sides have one of their ears. Most of the time you can just kick back and watch the game while grandparents catch up on what’s new with the kids. With baseball season in the summer these games offer plenty of opportunity for the kids to spend the day with the elder folks even if you’re at work.
People tend to underestimate how much kids can get into dominoes. Growing up this was one of the things I remember most about spending time with my great grandma. Games like Chicken Foot or Hand ‘n Foot that require multiple rounds and always leave an opportunity for the last place person to win it all are excellent to keep the kids’ interest. This also gives the grandparents an opportunity to teach the kids things like strategy playing off other people’s moves. Best of all, it is something that can be done anywhere at any time.
3. Card Games
If the grand folks live in an assisted living home or a retirement condo village of some sort, odds are they play a lot of card games. Games like Golf, Crazy Eights, or ever popular Rummy. If you’re spending an evening or a weekend with grandparents and you’re all stuffed and full after dinner a few hours of card games can be a great way to bond with them while relaxing.
4. Go Out for a Meal
This and going out for a ballgame are especially fun if one or both grandparents are disabled and don’t get out of the house much. If they live within reasonable driving distance make it a point to take them out once a month to a local restaurant. It’s a good way to maintain close relations with them and might even grow into a fun tradition for the family.
5. Visit the Zoo
The kids always love to go and see all of the animals and you wouldn’t expect it but a zoo can actually be quite peaceful. Some days this is a better alternative to going to a game as there is considerably less noise and most of the time less crowded. Make sure you travel slowly though. We all know how excited kids can be to see the lions, tigers, and bears that they break off into a sprint to their cages while grandpa struggles to keep up. Remember the idea here is to try and do everything together as a family.
Frank McCourt is a finance writer who enjoys a quiet evening with his family who loves helping others manage their finances, so they can afford to tackle more expensive activities occasionally. He loves shares his knowledge with others by writing for Top Ten Reviews, a company that specializes in loan management.