<!–[CDATA[Making meaningful connections with grandchildren builds memories that last a lifetime. Finding ways to bond, especially as they grow older, can be challenging. This is especially true if you live far from your grandkids and don’t have the advantage of being involved in their everyday lives.
Combining the grandchildren’s favorite hobbies and interests with today’s technologies might be the key.
Finding Common Ground
Depending upon your grandchildren’s ages, hobbies and sports can be a great place to start. Here are a few ideas to help you find common ground and build memories:
Shared passion for sports
Does your grandchild love baseball or competitive swimming? Do they play a sport or have a favorite professional team? If you can’t attend games in person, use technology to virtually cheer them on.
Have your adult child call you via a video chat service so you can watch part of the game. Some youth sports teams have apps that make it easier to follow along in real time. Families with a swim team member, for example, can use Meet Management.
Following professional teams together is another opportunity for bonding. Schedule dates to watch games together whether in person or virtually. Send your grandchild a package with team memorabilia to wear during games. Then have your own post-game analysis. Doing so over a hot fudge sundae or box of popcorn is even better.
Virtual bedtime stories
Most kids love reading a bedtime story—or ten! Getting in on story time is another great way to bond. Whether it’s across town or on the other side of the globe, you can read to your grandkids using an app like Caribu. They allow you to see one another while you read.
The app contains hundreds of books you can read together, such as Thomas the Tank Engine and The Wizard of Oz. You can also play games through the app, including kids’ perennial favorite, tic-tac-toe.
Arts and crafts
Children often enjoy creating masterpieces. From drawing and coloring to painting and pottery, there are many opportunities for you to connect with your grandchildren over artwork. The good news is you don’t have to be especially crafty.
When the grandkids live close, you can shop together. Craft stores usually carry pre-packaged projects. Garden stones, birdhouses, model cars and airplanes, stained glass ornaments, and paint-by-numbers are just a few. Most are reasonably priced.
You can purchase and send a kit to faraway family members and keep one for yourself. Connect virtually to craft together.
The Benefits of Intergenerational Bonds
Intergenerational bonds are the backbone of strong families. Research shows the benefits are immediate and long-lasting for both the senior and the grandchildren.
For the younger generation, spending time with family elders increases self-esteem and contributes to healthier attitudes about aging. For seniors, time with grandchildren creates joy and a more positive outlook. When families bond in person, older adults reap the rewards of being more physically active.
Intergenerational Activities at Five Star Senior Living
At Five Star Senior Living, we believe in the power of intergenerational bonds. You’ll find a host of activities intended to encourage those relationships all year long. From family parties to movie nights, the environment is designed to keep loved ones and residents close.
Call us at (853) 457-8271 to learn more and set up a time for a private tour!