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Time for grandkids

Are you at a loss when the grandkids come round? Check out ideas for spending time together. In the garden, at home, trips, sport...

Do any of us with grown up children not dream of grandchildren? From the moment they're born, the little beings that will be doted on as the most beautiful and talented in history are welcomed into the world with enormous joy. Just wonderful. We have more time now because we have either already retired or a lot of responsibilities have simply disappeared as our own children have flown the nest. This time is the most precious thing that we can give our grandchildren. According to a 2011 study, “The frequency of contact with grandparents is very influential. Almost all those who met their grandparents often described these relationships as close. On the other hand, among the respondents who very rarely see their grandparents, more than half stated that they were not close to each other." It is worth remembering this. And regardless of whether you're a grandma or granddad at a distance, or you are grandmother or grandfather nearby, these are perhaps the most important roles to fulfil in life. If we have a good relationship with our adult children, they will allow us to participate in the bringing up of the next generation, enjoy the moments spent together, and pay attention to our advice. If the relationships aren't as strong, it's worth spending time and energy on improving them.

 

What can we do together with our grandchildren?

There are loads of things. If there is something you are passionate about, which you enjoy doing, and put a lot of heart and soul into, you can certainly pass it on to your grandchildren. For example, if it's cooking, you can spend time together in the kitchen preparing and inventing new dishes. There are many different ways to serve dinner or dessert. For example, a YouTube channel can be helpful - 29 simple ways to serve food like a real chef: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsQmIQUUFIo. Surprise your loved ones with a unique dish served in a special way, e.g. for birthdays or other occasions. It can also be an opportunity to teach your grandchildren how to plan. Involve them in preparing the shopping list and discuss the time and place together. A great idea is to collaborate so that, for example, the birthday boy or girl isn't aware that you are preparing a surprise. Children like secrets, and sharing one like this will surely bring you even closer together.

Teach your grandchildren rhymes and songs, things we remember from not only our childhood but also from our children’s. They will have a very positive effect not only on your child's development and memory, but will also keep your own brain in good condition. Nowadays, in an era when we are bombarded with a lot of information, we can have a lot of problems remembering what is really important. Remember that our memory is like a muscle. If we don't exercise it, it quickly becomes weaker and begins to fail us. It is worth nurturing from a young age and developing it throughout our lives.

Show your grandchildren interesting places. Hiking or cycling in the immediate vicinity, in addition to benefiting our physical condition, can be a great way to learn about the culture and traditions of our region. Before each trip, sit down together with a map and plan a route. Consider using an application that, in addition to showing us the destination or distance, can also provide information such as the estimated journey time as well as an idea of the number of calories burned. It can also be a start when planning further physical activities together.

Leading an active lifestyle will bring a lot of joy not only to our grandchildren, but also to us. If our relationships with our older grandchildren are starting to become a bit less close, we can try to build a common interest in sport. Young people today watch their figures more than before and are trying to lead a healthier lifestyle. What about going to the gym or exercising with grandparents? Why not? Buy a gym membership for yourself and your grandkids, ask them to introduce you to the world of exercise machines. Don't be afraid of new challenges! Spending time together while playing sports will not only result in an increase in endorphins, the happiness hormone, but should also lead to the rediscovery of the pleasure gained in spending time together. Alternatively, plan a bike trip, go on a long walk, try Nordic walking or get away for a trip to the countryside.

If our grandchildren have problems with concentration, why not go fishing with them? In addition to communing with nature, which relaxes us and provides us with fresh air, you need to be very calm when fishing. We're forced to concentrate while stress and anxiety levels are significantly reduced. An excellent side benefit is that, if allowed, we can end up with a tasty, nutritious dinner.

Colouring pages and cut-outs, in addition to allowing our grandchildren to fulfil themselves artistically, will also help in their development of fine motor skills. Sewing on a button, using cutlery or building a tower of blocks will not be a problem for our grandkids if we offer them various colouring books from an early age. There are plenty of them on the market and lots of printouts are available in the Internet. Manual skills are very important in the development and process of learning. To stimulate creativity, let's buy some plasticine or make playdough together. If you don't know how to do this, you can look for inspiration on the Internet again. "Play Doh Kitchen" - is a YouTube channel to get started on making and playing with playdough. Here's a video with a simple way to make your first batch: https://youtu.be/dHKOny3xjCc and then there are plenty of other suggestions for kids' arts and crafts.

Another great way to spend time together is studying. The world has opened up borders for us, but often we don't feel comfortable in it due to our lack of knowledge of foreign languages. For our grandchildren, such learning is a necessity nowadays. Can we benefit from this and can we learn together? Certainly! This can be done in many ways, for example there are countless ready lessons on the Internet and many proven applications. Either way is good to deepen our knowledge in this field.

Gardens and allotments can also be fantastic for spending time together in an interesting way and exploring the secrets of nature. We can grow vegetables, plant bushes, pick strawberries and try our hand at landscaping. The innumerable types of flowers that can be found in every gardening store and many other places can stimulate the creativity of our grandchildren and develop a sense of aesthetics. Let's give our grandkids a free hand. Encourage them to design their piece of the world.

The autumn and winter seasons with their long evenings, are conducive to spending time together at home. Could there be anything more attractive than a computer, tablet, mobile phone or a TV set? Yes! Invite your grandchildren to play board or card games. They have a huge impact on the development of cognitive and social competences - they teach us how to compete, follow rules and principles, and how to cope with both success and failure. Colourful, with interesting plots and various solutions, board games entertain people of all ages for hours. Depending on the game we choose, in addition to spending a pleasant time with grandchildren, we will contribute to the development of such skills as: strategic thinking, imagination, maths, concentration, and even reading comprehension (because you have to read the game instructions).

Time spent with grandchildren is a wonderful time. Let's make the best of it. Let's encourage their development, show them that the world is beautiful, interesting and full of challenges. Let's teach them to take up these challenges. Giving them our undivided attention with a bit of creativity will make our grandchildren want to spend time with us rather than in a virtual space, which, in excess, can pose a significant threat to their development. Let's take advantage of the fact that we have more time than their parents. Let's listen to them, share their joys and sorrows with them. Let's also show them our world. Let's be with them and for them.

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