Face it, if you are a grandparent, you are officially getting old. Even if your first grandchild was born when you were 40, your body is chugging along towards aching joints and bad digestion. But a study out of London suggests that grandchildren can actually help you feel younger, by encouraging you to take part in the activities you loved as a kid. Yes, being silly can keep you young.
Grandchildren are the perfect excuse to play Crazy Eights or War, card games with simple rules and satisfying moments of victory without any strategy required. They are the ideal partners for walking through the neighborhood pretending to hunt for bears or bad guys. They give you a reason to dress in silly clothes and drink pretend tea with teddy bear guests. They offer you the chance to chant nonsensical nursery rhymes and dance to songs about brushing your teeth.
Even as they get older and think they are too cool to act silly, there are ways to get them laughing with you. Try a game of “Would you rather” where you offer them two ridiculous options and they have to choose one. (“Would you rather only be able to walk or all fours or walk sideways like a crab?”) Let them know what your answers would be, too! Find some great questions here.
Want some help plugging into your silly side? Here are some of our favorite books and songs:
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Whether your grandchildren live across the world or just next door, writing them notes and letters creates a place for them to share their lives with you, and for you to share yours with them. Even today, with our ability to see and hear our grandchildren instantly no matter where they are in the world, there is an important place for the written word.
If Your Grandchildren Live Far Away
Did you ever have a pen pal as a child? Do you remember the thrill of getting a letter in the mail? (Let’s face it, it’s still exciting to get real mail!) If your grandchildren live in another city, state or country, establishing a habit of regular postal correspondence can bring you closer. Even before they can write, there are ways to make a pen pal out of your grandchildren.
If Your Grandchildren Live Nearby
Just because your grandchildren live close enough for frequent visits doesn’t mean there isn’t room for written exchanges. In addition to the ideas above, there are some special ways to engage your grandkids.
Need letter writing inspiration? The Art of the Personal Letter: A Guide to Connecting Through the Written Word is a great resource!
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