If you’re a grandparent, we’re guessing that your grandchildren are one of the great joys of your life. Building and nurturing deep relationships with your grandchildren is incredibly meaningful because it allows you to be an important part of their lives, share your knowledge and history, and pass on family traditions. Plus, it’s just fun – kids are different at every age, and every age has its wonderful moments. While they’re learning from you, you can also be learning from them.
“The special bond between grandparent and grandchild is something that will last for a lifetime,” says Devon Sicard, Executive Director of Waterstone at Wellesley. “Although they will grow, perhaps move away and start lives of their own, you will always be a part of their lives and their fondest memories.”
Devon says that finding opportunities for grandparents and grandchildren to create meaningful moments is definitely a part of life at Waterstone at Wellesley. “We love when grandchildren visit here because they bring such fun energy and excitement,” says Devon. “It’s very fulfilling for us as a staff to help residents find ways to connect with their loved ones.”
Whether you live in a retirement community, across the country from your grandchildren or are right next door, there are always opportunities to forge special bonds with your grandchildren. Here are some ways for you to make meaningful moments with your grandchildren, wherever you may be. Choose something that gives you the opportunity to laugh, learn and bond.
Explore the great outdoors.
Being outside is great fun – you’re basically taking full advantage of nature’s playground. Kids, particularly younger kids, love getting outside and exploring everything nature has to offer in every season. Whether you’re seeing grandkids in spring, summer, fall or winter, there are plenty of outdoor activities you can do. Here are some ideas:
- Work in the garden or plant a tree. Ask your grandchild to help you come up with future plans for the plants – what will you do with them? Will you harvest some herbs and make a meal together? Will a fruit tree be a good place to picnic next year? Talking about possibilities will get both of you excited about all the things you can accomplish.
- Go for a walk in nature. Collect and identify leaves in the fall. Look for and name the birds you see on the way. Start a rock collection. Go on a nature ‘scavenger hunt’. Take photos of insects or plants you see in nature.
- Go to an outdoor event. Farmers’ markets, sports events, festivals and more – there’s always something going on year-round.
Create memories indoors.
Outdoors is fun, but inside is fun, too. There are so many things that you can do indoors, from playing games to baking cookies to making art together. Here are some idea starters to get your creativity rolling:
- Regale the kids with stories from yesteryear. Get out old family photo albums and go through them together. Tell them stories that come to mind when you look at the photos. It can be really interesting to see photos of when you were little or when your grandkids’ parents were little.
- Learn a new hobby together. Is there something your grandchild would like to learn – and is it something you could learn, too? Having a “hobby buddy” is a fun way to bond and learn something new together.
- Pass on a family recipe. All families have some food or treat that’s a favorite. Maybe it’s a special bread-baking technique or an elaborate cake that your mom made every year for Christmas. Pick something fun to make together, and not only is it a fun activity – it’s a delicious treat when you’re done.
- Have an indoor movie night. Pop popcorn, buy movie theatre candy, grab a blanket and watch some old favorites together. Or, perhaps there’s a movie that neither of you have seen but would like to watch together. Even just sitting together can be meaningful!
Become pen pals.
Whether you communicate electronically or by snail mail, it’s always fun to write and receive letters. You could also become “text pals” or play online games together like Words with Friends.
Grab your smartphone and start clicking. Whatever you do together, document it with pictures and short videos. After the visit, share them with your grandchildren (and with other friends and family, too). These snapshots will be even more meaningful as time goes by.
Kids are full of energy and ideas. It can be exhausting at times, but very fun as well. Let your grandchildren guide you and use that energy to be spontaneous, yourself. Turn on the radio (or Spotify) and throw a little dance party. Eat ice cream for lunch. Do something a little daring and fun. After all, the best part about being a grandparent is spoiling your grandkids.
Spending time with your grandchildren is a gift that benefits both you and them. You don’t have to plan meaningful moments in order for them to happen. Simply be open to opportunity, be creative and give yourself permission to be a little silly. By doing this, you and your grandchildren will be able to spend countless meaningful moments together and create memories that will be cherished forever.
Beautiful Riverfront Community
Located on the banks of the Charles River, Waterstone is Wellesley’s only senior living community, offering premier independent and assisted living. But that’s only the first of many differences that sets Waterstone above and beyond other communities.
Celebrating Dynamic Living
Here, our residents live independently in their own private, spacious apartments – but without any worries or concerns about homeownership or living alone. All meals are expertly prepared. There aren’t any chores to be concerned with. No home maintenance or repairs to worry about. Just opportunities around every corner and time to spend as they choose – in the company of new friends.
Our vibrant community encourages residents to engage in a variety of recreational, cultural and social programs and activities. Enjoy a fitness class. Swim in the sunny indoor pool. Take a stroll on a walking path. Partake in a favorite hobby or pastime. Discover a new interest. With Waterstone at Wellesley, there’s a world of opportunity waiting right outside our residents’ doors.
Confidence of Care
The hallmark of Waterstone assisted living is the peace of mind we provide both our residents and their families. Knowing that care and support are available right on site instills a sense of confidence and calm one can’t find living alone.
For prospective residents or their families interested in residing at Waterstone at Wellesley, please contact us at 781.591.7113.