Grandparents play profoundly important roles in the lives of their grandkids. Establishing connections with your grandkids is important to begin at a young age and can not only can create routines, activities and memories, but also hold you accountable to remain active to enjoy and build on these shared activities as they get older. Here are a few suggestions of ways to begin with the little ones and some approaches for staying active alongside them as they grow older.
Plan a 4-Season Approach
Staying active and fit requires a bit of planning in order to set and stick to commitments. Planning may seem daunting and it’s probably difficult to work with your kids’ and grandkids’ schedules, so how about breaking up the year and scheduling activities one season at a time? This allows for a range of activities based on what each season dictates or offers. You’ll find that each season offers something unique, fun and repeatable year over year! For example, you can take them sledding in the winter, go for walks in the spring, play at the park in the summer, and go apple picking during the fall.
Capitalize on Family Events
Getting multiple sets of family members in one place at once is likely a rare occurrence during the year, so why not capitalize and add a new activity into the mix? With everyone in the same place, there’s a great opportunity to get everyone moving and creating memories, or possibly a new tradition entirely!
- This Thanksgiving, try catching your food! Hunting and fishing with your grandkids can be a valuable way to pass down some knowledge and skills about the outdoors and educate them about our relationship to food, as well as keep you active outdoors.
- For your birthday, why not suggest something fun for all ages? Bowling allows for an afternoon of activity, competition, and laughs that creates a far more memorable day than a sharing a simple meal.
- Change up the scenery. It may seem easy to wrangle up the family for events by hosting or attending inside the house, but a park makes for a welcome change of scenery for most family plans. Cooking, moving, setting up, and taking advantage of the outdoors allows for a fully active afternoon or evening, often with plenty of active amenities for kids and adults alike.
Every Kid Needs a Coach
What’s a grandparent, if not a coach in the first place? A lifetime of knowledge and perspective would be a waste not to use to guide and mentor kids as they participate in organized sports (like youth soccer) or club activities. Were you an athlete in your high school or college days? Did you climb the ranks of Girl or Boy Scouts? Maybe you made it to State for Chess Club? If you have a flexible schedule or expertise to share, your grandkids will benefit from you taking an active role in guiding their team or organization, as well as keep you active alongside them.