The Caregivers is a unique series focused on the challenges and triumphs of caregiving. These stories have been created through a strategic partnership between AARP and Word In Black.
The holiday season is a great time to create beautiful, loving memories with grandchildren. These memories can provide comfort during difficult or uncertain times. They can also become the foundation for traditions that are passed down to future generations. Here are some simple ways to spend time with grandkids during the holidays:
Start a family tree.
One of the greatest gifts to offer a child is ancestral knowledge. Learning about our ancestors can be a lifelong journey. One great way to begin with grandkids is by starting a family tree. Start simple by creating a tangible visual using poster board, construction paper, glue, and markers to identify names, birth dates, and places of birth. Visit AARP’s genealogy resource guide for helpful websites where you can uncover information.
Plan a movie night (or two).
Do you remember going to the movies as a child or enjoying watching movies with friends? You can create a fun experience with grandkids, whether you get to be with them in person or through the computer screen. Pick a movie screening time, create digital or paper admission tickets, and provide a mix of snacks. If you’re creating a virtual experience, then you can order a meal for kids and watch a movie through the screen together.
There’s no limit to the imagination, here. You can dress up in costumes, use props, and create new language and accents. You may discover something about your grandkids’ talents! One simple way to start out is by thinking up a holiday-themed poem or song together.
Teach each other a new skill.
Maybe you rarely have the chance to show off that you are ambidextrous. Perhaps your grandkid knows how to say “I love you” in Kiswahili. There is no shortage of skills that we possess and can share with each other. Allot some time to learn from each other.
Share a traditional recipe with your grandchild or create a recipe together. If you are able to be together in person, then plan a trip to the grocery store to buy the ingredients, or improvise in the kitchen and see how things taste!
Design a trivia game.
Create the questions, point system, and a set of rules and — bam! — you’ve got a trivia game. Test it out on loved ones. If it’s well-liked, then it could become a tradition.
Take a class together.
Learning a new language or a new dance together can be a way to bond with your grandkid. Check a listing of virtual and in person classes at your local museums or community centers. Be sure to stretch, take deep breaths, and prepare for laughter.
Start a journal.
Our stories are the foundation of who we are and they can be our greatest teachers. You can use an old-fashioned voice recorder or use a voice memo app on your phone. Dedicate as much or as little time as you’d like to sitting down and journaling. Not sure where to start? Begin with whatever thought comes to mind.
Color or paint together.
Pull out the markers, pencils, crayons, pens and paint to create a masterpiece. The work of art that you create can serve as a decoration or a conversation piece over a nice meal.
Visit a winter market.