Did you know spending time with your grandkids offers benefits that reach far beyond the simple joys of family time? According to one Oxford Study, research shows that “a high level of grandparental involvement increases the well-being of children.” Contributing to your grandkid’s state of happiness, excitement, and centeredness, not only boosts their emotional state but also increases your bond. And what better time to spend quality moments with your little loves than on a holiday centered all around love!
Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to strengthen the connection you share while making memories to last a lifetime. Taking time out to play and be creative encourages a deeper confidence—and it’s just fun! So, if you find yourself on Valentine’s Day babysitting duty, or just looking for some fun things to do, we’ve come up with three (grandkid approved) activities to help you spread the love.
1. Cooking together: One of the best recipes for creating connection is cooking with those you care about. While whipping up favorite recipes, you create valuable one-on-one time and a space to share those special family stories. Retelling your own tales (or stories of other beloved family members) keeps histories accessible and provides kids with a sense of their culture and traditions. Besides cooking family dishes, there are many other meals you can prepare together like homemade pizzas and tasty soups. And if cooking isn’t your bag of flour, you can make some memories by picking out yummy holiday cookies or treats at one of the many bakeries around town. Try Heitzman’s Traditional Bakery, Plehn’s Bakery, or Gigi’s Cupcakes.
2. Create a memory book: Studies show that displaying family photos can boost a child’s self-esteem and having photos around helps solidify memories of that particular event. So, why not spend time crafting a book of your own memories? Whether you decide to create a one-page collage or an entire book, that’s up to you! Print out photos of you and your grandkids together, and then talk about the memories you have of those adventures. Glue or tape the picture onto the page and write your recollections down underneath. (Have younger kids dictate remembrances for you to write out.) Get crafty and use stickers, paint, or markers to decorate.
3. Build a fort: Remember the magic of creating a tiny space all your own? Couch cushions, blankets, and chairs magically come together to make a family room fort. It’s in this cozy sanctuary, books, snacks, and dinner parties can all be had. Fort building helps kids improve their problem-solving skills and working together gives them an understanding of teamwork. So, jump in and show ‘em how it’s done—and build a few long-lasting memories while you’re at it! (You can also invest in pre-made fort building kits that are easy-to-assemble like this 16 Piece Color Block Fantasy Kit at Hearth Song.)
By Tonilyn Hornung