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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Outdoor Fun With Grand Kids

When Spring is in the air and summer is coming up. Kids love to be outside and be active. But what if your physical state limits you in participating in many activities? Then you think of fun things everyone can do!
Here are a few tips:

Go fly a kite.

Head out to the park with the grand kids, and launch a kite. Once it's aloft, the kids can do most of the running, but you can guide them in the finer points of letting out enough string to keep the kite soaring steady and high.

Take a hike.

Conduct a nature hike through a forest preserve, and distribute an "I spy" list of flowers, birds and trees for the kids to try and spot. Beach walking is a favorite of Forrest and Linda Blanchard, of Palmetto, Fla. Their older grandchildren look for the flattest stone, which later is marked with the child's name and the date of the outing.

Grow together.

Planting flower seeds in a windowsill garden with grandchildren is fun and educational. Take a trip to your local garden center, and allow the kids to choose the types of flowers they want to grow. Label each seed packet with the child's name, and attach it to a marker. They can check their plants' progress on return visits.

Bust out the bubbles.

Blowing bubbles with a large wand in the backyard provides a fun outdoor activity. Grandparents can join in or watch from the comfort of a lawn chair, while the grand kids run around trying to catch bubbles before they pop.

Host a backyard “formal” tea party.

Allow the children to choose their own outfits from a dress-up trunk filled with old party clothes, hats, neckties and costume jewelry from your closet or purchased at a thrift store. Set up a card table and chairs on the lawn, and decorate the trees with balloons and streamers. Serve finger sandwiches, fruit, cookies and punch.

Suds it up.

Washing the car can become a family project. Put little ones in charge of doing everything below the door handles. Afterward, they can run through the sprinkler to rinse off. Then reward a job well done by treating the kids to ice-cream cones.
~Arthritis Foundation.

I got a tip of my own which I can see us do when our little critters are getting older:
while taking a walk on the beach or in the woods, look for all kinds of finds. Those could be shells, drift wood or anything else that washed ashore, leaves, seeds, pretty stones, odd twigs etc. Collect it and have the kids make a collage with it (a nice indoor activity for a rainy day!).
Tips are always welcome, so please share!

Try not to be discouraged when you can't participate in an activity and do not make the mistake to withdraw and put yourself on the side lines. There are many others things you can partake in. Maybe a fun thing to do is, have your grand kids come up with activities and games you can join as well. You might be surprised. :-)


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