By Heather Agun, Edited by Becky Pearsall
*Created under the direct legal supervision of Stephen Waltar. See Disclaimer
Photos by Heather Agun
Summertime is here! Your grandchildren are out of school and your kids will be calling to ask when you want them to come over. That means it’s time to start planning some activities!
Spending time with your grandchildren is so rewarding for all. As a grandparent, you can be a joyful and calming presence in your grandchild’s life, and being there for them may help them more than you would think. A University of Oxford study showed that children who spent more time with their grandparents were more likely to be free of emotional and behavioral issues and had greater emotional intelligence than children who weren’t involved with their grandparents.
It won’t just help your grandkids, though. Other research suggests that spending time with your grandkids can greatly reduce depression for both parties. Legacy Estate Planning Client Services Director and Legal Assistant Adam Snow, who has specialized and practiced in Child Therapy and Parent Training, as well as Marriage and Family Counseling, says, “There is not a simpler way to increase one’s own psychological, social, emotional, and spiritual health than spending QUALITY time with loved ones. Additionally, research has consistently shown that children who spend time with their parents or grandparents do significantly better in school, develop stronger and more positive emotional coping mechanisms, show advanced social skills, and demonstrate significantly less risk for behavioral issues, such as drug use or violence, and much less risk for mental illness, such as depression or anxiety. Time together is an amazing and powerful gift to others and to yourself!”
“There is not a simpler way to increase one’s own psychological, social, emotional, and spiritual health than spending QUALITY time with loved ones.”
So how should you spend your important and precious time with the most cherished members of your family? We’ve thought of three great activities for you to try out this summer.
Have a Picnic in the Backyard
Yes, you could go on a picnic in the park… but it’s twice the work for the same amount of fun! Instead of worrying about whether you packed every single item, you can take comfort in knowing that extra utensils and glasses are just inside. It’s also a relief to know that soap and water are readily available for the kids’ inevitably sticky hands.
Try to bring as much as you can in your picnic basket, so the kids still feel like they’re on a little adventure, “away” from home.
Just grab your favorite picnic blanket and find a quiet spot in the backyard. Try to bring as much as you can in your picnic basket, so the kids still feel like they’re on a little adventure, “away” from home. You can set up some lawn games like horseshoes or a beanbag toss. If you don’t want to set anything up, just play games like “I Spy” or “20 Questions.” This a great way to spend a fun and memorable day.
Making a scrapbook or photo album is a wonderful way to preserve your memories. Check out our blog post on scrapbooking to get more ideas on how to make the best scrapbooks for your family.
It can also be a great activity to do with your grandkids! As a girl, my Grandma Alice gave my brother and I scrapbooking supplies when we went to visit her one day, in lieu of our regular coloring books and games. We had so much fun making our own unique books! I still have mine on a shelf in my home, all these years later. It’s a great reminder of my time with her, and the pictures it holds have great sentimental value to me.
To scrapbook with your own grandkids, clear off the kitchen table and put down a disposable plastic table cover. You can usually find these in multipacks for less than 2 dollars a table cloth on Amazon or at your local party or craft store. Then set out the photos, embellishments, paper, and supplies. If they are very young, you can be the designated paper-cutter. Get creative with your supplies and encourage them to try many different types of papers and embellishments. By providing decorations with varied colors and patterns, you can help them make something truly unique. They’ll leave your house with both a book of memories, and the memory of creating it with you.
Go on a Day Trip
Everyone remembers those long, summer road trips with friends and family: jamming to their favorite music, playing license plate games, and stopping at interesting new places. What a great way to bond with your grandkids! You can have all the fun of a road trip without all the hassle by taking the grandkids on a day trip to a local destination.
The trick here is choosing somewhere far enough away that it feels special. The journey is usually most of the fun, so don’t be afraid to put in some extra drive time!
You can pick a destination that’s a few hours away and find an interesting “bonus” stop like a historical site on the way to your final destination. Plan to spend at least a few hours at your endpoint before turning around, and be sure to pack plenty of snacks! If you live in the Seattle area, we’ve found a few ideas for you.
Whidbey Island, Washington – 1 to 3 hour trip, including a ferry ride.
Whidbey Island has several fun destinations packed with beautiful views, like Oak Harbor, Coupeville, and Langley. You can go whale-watching, hiking, shopping, or hang out at the beaches and parks.
Check out some of these destination ideas on Whidbey!
Olympia, Washington – 1 to 2 hour trip.
Olympia has plenty of great places to take kids. You can see our state’s capitol, explore Tumwater Falls Park, and go to the Hands-On Children’s Museum. Olympia is also known for its great eats, so be sure to grab lunch while you’re there!
Check out some of these destination ideas in Olympia!
Leavenworth, Washington – 2 to 4 hour trip
Leavenworth isn’t just for Oktoberfest and Christmas anymore! In the summer, it’s a gorgeous, scenic, and sunny option for a day trip. Whether you take I-90 or Highway 2, this summer drive will offer fabulous views. Once there, you can wander through the Bavarian-styled village and look through the shops, or take the kids down to the Waterfront Park for a taste of mountain nature. The Upper Valley Museum at Wenatchee River Institute also offers some interesting history exhibits, though you may want to check in advance if they’re open.
Check out some of these destination ideas in Leavenworth!
Make some Memories!
It’s time to get out there and make some memories! We’d love to see what fun ideas you come up with, so share your stories and pictures on our Facebook page with the hashtags #Summer2019 #LegaciesThatMatter.
*This blog post was written under the supervision of an attorney, Stephen M. Waltar, and all legal opinions shared are that of the attorney.