Five ways kids can bond with their eldersBy FamilyFeatures.com
Ask anyone to recall their most treasured childhood memories, and you’re likely to hear tales about time spent with loved ones, grandparents in particular. As an adult, you may wonder how to help your kids create those magical moments with their grandparents.
The holidays offer golden opportunities for your children to strengthen those bonds. Here are five ideas:
1 Take a trip back in time.
Asking your grandparents about the good ol’ days may seem cliché, but it’s a wonderful way to discover new reasons to appreciate your elders as unique individuals with intriguing perspectives. Encourage your kids to ask their grandparents what life was like when they were children or teenagers, or how they imagined life in the 2020s would be. They can also ask specific questions such as what was the grandparent’s first car or favorite toy growing up. They can compare notes on their bucket lists; they might even find something to cross off the list together.
2Share a meal or dessert.
Making a point to share dinner or a dessert with a grandparent, especially one who lives alone, can have a marked impact. Choose a comfortable, family restaurant the grandparent likes. Take the noise level into consideration as well. Seniors often prefer a quieter, low-key restaurant, where it’s easier to talk, over a louder restaurant with modern music.
3 Hit the road together.
It’s often said that there’s no better way to get to know a person than to travel together. Pick a new place and make it an adventure to remember for your kids and their grandparents. Map out the route together as a family, choosing the landmarks, activities and pitstops you want to make along the way. Be sure to document the journey as a precious keepsake for yourself and your kids, and package those memories in a photo book or scrapbook as a gift for the next birthday or holiday.
4 Create a care package.
Assemble a package with some of their favorite treats, mementos, activities or games. Ideas include classic treats such as a jar of apple butter and old-fashioned candy such as licorice whips, which you can find at Cracker Barrel stores and other places that sell nostalgia-themed sweets. Plan to open the package together over the holidays, whether in person, on a phone call or during a virtual video chat.
5 Engage in a friendly contest.
Tap into your children’s playful side and competitive spirit with good-natured game time. Help them choose an easy but engaging game, like checkers. Board games are enjoying a comeback of sorts. If the grandparent is up for it, he or she could teach your child a more advanced game such as Backgammon, Scrabble or Monopoly. Card games that have proved popular for many decades include Go Fish, Rummy, Gin Rummy and Crazy Eights. Play best of five or create a tournament and play rounds against other family members, too.