Grandparents undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on our lives. That’s why you want to make the time you have with your grandchildren count. Despite the distance or busyness of life, there are still plenty of ways to bond with your grandchildren and support their future.  Supporting your grandchildren’s education is one way to greatly influence their life. Meet with your Sunmark financial advisor to map out an education savings plan—a 529 education plan or another college savings option. These are surely welcomed and appreciated, but what about other ideas?
 

For some, being a good grandparent is the most important and satisfying thing in life. Nothing compares to having grandchildren to care for and play with. Being a grandparent can be the best job in the world, however, it definitely isn’t the easiest. It can be exhausting planning activities for when the grand kids visit because we want to make sure they have a great time. To ease the stress, we’ve come up with a list of fun and interactive activities that you and your grandchildren can easily do together!

App Exploration

Most children and teenagers today are familiar with computers, smartphones and tablets; especially since there are a number of games and Apps designed for children. If you don’t have much experience with Apps then why not switch roles and have your grandchild teach you. Apps are relatively inexpensive, but if you want to save then you can download free educational Apps that teach kids how to read, write, and even learn another language.

Cooking & Baking

Children like to be included in grownup activities. So by allowing them to cook, you are showing your trust in them. As your grandchild reads recipes and measures, you are teaching them how to plan and follow instructions. Share secret family recipes with your grandchild to pass on to their children one day, or if you don’t have any this is a great way to create new family recipes together.

Gardening

Playing in the dirt is second nature to children, so gather your gardening tools and teach them to love it! This can become a learning experience for them and be great fun for you. Plant vegetables you both enjoy and beautiful flowers in your garden or window box. You can purchase kids sized tools or just let the kids get their hands dirty.

Arts & Crafts

A wonderful thing about arts and crafts is that children of all ages can join in and the list of things you can create together is endless! Some fun ideas include painting watercolor portraits of each other; using glitter, cotton balls and other items to make a multi-textured drawings; and creating cuff bracelets made out of toilet paper rolls, this way you’re saving money and teaching your grandkids to recycle at the same time.

Go on a Scavenger Hunt

What child doesn’t love a good treasure hunt? Most of us have witnessed their uncontrollable excitement during Easter egg hunts so why not host a scavenger hunt without an occasion? This is also a good way to get outside and enjoy some fresh air. Choose whether you want to play indoors or outdoors, make a list for your grandchild and start collecting.

Puzzles & Games

With so many board games and puzzles available it’s easy to find one that is fun and challenging for everyone. If you have more than one grandchild then why not have a board game tournament on the lawn. For a smaller number of players, you can teach your grandchild card games like Go Fish and Snap. Consider your grandkids’ ages, as board games and puzzles are designed for specific age groups to cater for different abilities.

Explore History Together

History can be a difficult concept for young kids to grasp. Opening up about your childhood, and flipping through the photo album will give your grandkids an insight into what life was really like before iPads and video games. If you have antiques or jewelry around the house from your earlier days, this will help bring your stories to life for the little ones.

Movie Day

With winter around the corner having a movie day is the perfect indoor activity. Visit your local theater to see the latest family movies; if you’re worried about prices most theaters offer special deals for seniors and children. If you’d rather enjoy a movie in the comfort of your own home, buy or rent movies online. This is a great way to introduce films that you watched as a child. Movies like the Wizard of Oz (1939), and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) are some classics that are sure to be a hit!

Reading

Spend the day at your local library looking for books you enjoyed as a child and share them with your grandkids. Browse through the multiple genres available and let the little ones choose a few that stand out to them. Help improve their reading skills and maybe you can start your own mini book club together for future visits.

Teach a Hobby

This is a wonderful way to encourage your grandchildren to learn a new craft or skill that you enjoy doing. Children today are rarely taught valuable skills like crocheting, fishing, woodworking or astronomy. Child sized versions of tools can be very useful for children and make great gifts. Smaller versions of fishing gear, kitchen appliances, and gardening tools are easily available and make it easier for your grandchild to grasp new skills.

As grandparents, you want to give your grandchildren the best. Give them the best of you while they prepare for their future. The experts at Sunmark would be happy to answer any questions you may have or help you set up an education savings plan for these very special people in your life. Contact us today!

A version of this article appeared on Palm Lake Care