Today’s abuelitas aren’t only sitting at home crocheting or sewing.
I know grandparents who take spin classes, garden, practice yoga, dance and so much more… Today’s grandparents are probably more active than ever.
Culturally grandparents are revered in Hispanic culture. They are the keepers of traditions and stories. They are a link to our past. For some, they also play an integral role in our day-to-day lives. I believe one of the reasons why my son is fluent in Spanish is because he has the opportunity to see them every day and to talk to them.
It’s important to teach our kids to appreciate their grandparents! Helping our children develop strong (and fun) relationships with their grandparents is equally important. These relationships can have enormous benefits for both parties. In addition to forming a strong bond, grandparents benefit from spending time with their grandkids because it motivates them to be active physically and mentally, keeping their bodies healthy and their minds sharp. Grandkids can equally benefit from time spent with their grandparents, creating memories and learning about culture through their stories and traditions.
Here are 10 ways abuelitos and grandkids can have fun:
- Play games. There are all types of games that grandparents can play with their grandkids! There are board games for everyone and for every developmental stage (for younger kids) and for every type of competitor: Chutes and Ladders, Connect Four, Checkers, Chess, dominoes, Battleship… the opportunities are truly endless, even apps can be fun! Remember when Jay and his granddaughter Alex had fun and got competitive playing Words with Friends on Modern Family?
- Watch movies. This can be a learning experience for both grandkids and grandparents. Grandparents can share their favorite classic movies (who doesn’t love India María or the adventures of Cantinflas? Or Grease and West Side Story?) which is a great opportunity to share language and culture. Kids can also pick their favorite movies and show grandparents what the new movies are, or even go on a movie date and catch the latest kids’ film in the movie theater.
Also read: Grandparents are key after divorce
- Color. Coloring is no longer a child-only activity. Adult coloring books are all the rage now, and coloring is a form of therapy. It’s also a relatively easy activity to do; all you need are coloring books and crayons or markers. If you want to get a bit fancier you can also use canvas, paintbrushes and paint. It can be very therapeutic.
- Do arts and crafts. Scrapbooking, making collages, knitting. There is something for everyone. Maybe grandma can show her grandkids how to sew on a button for example. Crafting and activities like knitting can help reduce stress.
- Garden. My little one loves to help his Papi in our garden where we have herbs like mint, basil and even tomatoes and eggplants! There are many benefits to gardening with kids; children enjoy digging up the dirt and grandparents can teach them about food and how real food grows.
- Dance. My mother loves to put on music at high volume and she dances while she is cooking and cleaning and my son loves to follow along. It’s a great time for kids to learn dances like the Twist, merengue, or anything else their grandparents dance to and vice-versa—maybe the grandkids can show their grandparents how to whip and nae nae 😉
- Karaoke. Today you don’t even need a karaoke machine; all you need is a computer and Youtube. Kids can learn to love the classic love songs or dance songs that your parents listened to!
- Play cards. Go Fish, Rummy, UNO or even use a deck to play memory. All these games help cognitive ability and keep brains working!
- Cook. It can be something complex like grandkids pitching in by preparing a holiday meal, or something as simple as making a guacamole (no cooking required!) or helping wash veggies. Cooking is also a great way to transmit culture and it is a great time for grandparents to share the stories of their youth.
- Tackle a DIY project. Maybe you’ve been thinking of painting the shed or taking old baskets and repurposing them. As long as the projects are age appropriate for the materials, you’re set!
Share with us! What other activities can grandkids enjoy with their abuelitos?