Children Staying Active With Grandparents
08/26/2015 02:43PM ● Published by Hood Magazine
My 5-year-old daughter has her Grandma wrapped around her little finger. Those big blue eyes looking up and pleading Grandma to go down that waterslide just one more time (or two, three…you get the idea). Grandmas just can’t say no! There may have been a few sore muscles after that weekend of hiking up waterslide stairs, but that memory shared with her granddaughter will last a lifetime.
We want our children to learn the importance of fitness early on in their lives and try to incorporate a healthy balance of physical activities into their daily routine. It goes without saying that young children are naturally active creatures, so the real challenge lies in determining how to best funnel that energy into something positive and worthwhile. And as grandparents grow older, an active lifestyle is more important to their health than ever.
By encouraging grandparents to model healthy habits for our children while spending time together, we are helping both generations more than we know. The grandparent-grandchild bond is second in emotional importance only to the bond between parents and children, says Arthur Kornhaber, author of The Grandparent Guide and founder and president of the Foundation for Grandparenting. And an intergenerational analysis conducted by the Legacy Project finds that children need at least four to six involved, concerned adults to interact with them on a regular basis to fully develop socially and emotionally.
As we look to our parents and grandparents in encouraging time together with our own children, what does that ‘quality time’ look like? There are thousands of activities to keep kids moving while not draining all of Grandma’s energy afterwards!
Here are some simple fun ideas to hand over to Grandpa and Grandma:
- Explore. Take a walk, hike, or bike whenever possible to explore the neighborhood together. Take time to smell the flowers!
- Scavenger hunt. Make a list of things to find during an outdoor nature walk outside depending on the season.
- Dancing. Who better to teach them the Hokey Pokey, line dancing, or their favorite dances when they were young?
- Play Wii. If it’s a rainy day, break out the Wii. It has fun options to get all generations up and moving.
- Plan a vacation together. We recently returned from a vacation, which included four generations of my family. It was surprisingly easy to find activities we could all do together.
Prioritize intergenerational relationships for your kids while keeping Grandma and Grandpa on their toes. Everyone wins!