You love your grandchildren and want to create some unforgettable memories with them. But every time you meet them, things get a bit awkward.
Well, it’s not your fault. It’s the generational divide in lifestyles and parenting styles that leads to communication gaps and makes family members uncomfortable around one another.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t help the situation. In this post, we’ll share four creative activities that can help you ditch generational differences and effectively bond with your grandchildren. Let’s begin!
1. Meditate Together: Practice Yoga
Yoga is beneficial for children and the elderly alike, which is why many childcare centres like Raising Stars include it in their curriculums. It improves emotional regulation and increases body strength and flexibility for both age groups.
For this reason, yoga is an excellent bonding activity for grandparents and grandchildren. It’ll leave you and your grandchildren with some positive experiences to look back on.
You can begin practising yoga with your grandchildren by either joining group yoga classes or arranging custom yoga sessions at home. If your grandchildren are shy or prefer staying at home, it’s best you opt for the latter so that you can truly enjoy and bond with your grandkids.
But before practising yoga, we recommend educating yourself a bit about yoga for kids. Children tend to approach yoga with much more enthusiasm and expectations as compared to adults, which is why you’ll need to lead them patiently and strategically. You don’t want to bore your grandchildren or make it all feel too challenging.
2. Nurture With Experiences: Share Stories
As a grandparent, it falls upon your shoulders to pass on the history of the family and keep the root values alive. And storytelling is an ideal means of doing this.
Whenever you meet your grandchildren, make sure you create a bedtime story culture, especially if your grandkids are aged between 3 and 8 years. For older children, you can schedule these for evenings or early mornings.
In these storytelling sessions, share family stories about love, loyalty, fights, and forgiveness. You can even incorporate prominent family events or those of your youth.
If not your own, you can share:
- Fictional stories
- Religious stories
- Historical episodes
- Cultural stories
Or you can even transform biographies of prominent figures into engaging stories. These storytelling sessions will entertain your grandchildren and contribute to their emotional and mental growth. They will fire up their imagination and give them newer perceptions. Plus, they help your grandchildren view you as a reliable source of interesting information.
With that being said, it’s a good idea to plan your story sessions carefully. Make sure you exclude unnecessary, boring details and convey the story in an engaging manner. Double-check the moral and plot of your story and ensure it doesn’t contain any sensitive or mature details.
You should also ensure that your stories do not contain something that conflicts with your daughter’s or son’s parenting style.
3. Connect In The Kitchen: Bake Cookies
Cooking and baking with your grandchildren gives you a chance to impart the food preparing techniques and hacks you’ve learned over a lifetime. And it gives them a chance to get creative, learn survival skills, and exercise problem-solving skills. So, it’s a win-win bonding activity for both grandparents and grandchildren.
We recommend baking cookies to begin with this kitchen bonding journey. Why so?
Well, that’s because:
- Cookies are easier to bake.
- Children of all ages enjoy decorating and munching cookies.
Plus, children have a lot of fictional associations with baking cookies due to cartoons, movies, games, and books. Cookies symbolise love and care and are almost synonymous with “baking” amongst youngsters.
As they gain confidence in their baking skills, you can proceed to more complex baking recipes for kids. Just make sure you stay by their side as they practice and perfect their baking and cooking skills. Keep sharing tips and tricks to make the learning process easier, and keep encouraging them along the way!
4. Get Creative: Colour & Paint
Studies report colours are a powerful communication tool for kids. It helps them vocalise emotions that they cannot convey otherwise. For more information on this, check out this list of 12 colours and the emotions they evoke.
On this note, painting is an excellent bonding activity for grandparents and grandchildren. It can bridge the communication gap and help grandparents understand their grandchildren better.
It can also lead to some cherishable memories, given that you plan your painting sessions well. Arrange all the necessary art supplies, choose a good location (such as the backyard or rooftop), and try newer enjoyable painting techniques such as marble painting.
If you’re not familiar with painting techniques that your grandkids might enjoy, you’ll find plenty of information online. You can also join local arts and crafts classes to directly learn from experts and try it all before passing it down to you.
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