For those of us with grandchildren, retirement has yet another perk: spending quality time with these little ones and becoming more involved in their lives. But whether they live close by or only visit once a year, you may be wondering about creative activities that will keep them happy and make your time together even more special.

Here are our top five suggested things to do with grandkids:

1. Gardening

Do you have a green thumb? Would you like to pass on the love of gardening to your grandchildren? In today’s rushed world, it may not be easy for busy parents and families to tend to a garden, but a grandparent-grandchild gardening session can be very special. Even if you don’t have an outdoor patch, indoor gardening can be just as fun.

2. Lunch Dates

If you have more than one grandchild, it may be hard to carve out special time for each one. If it’s feasible, schedule a lunch or dessert date with each one. With simple visits to a local café or restaurant, some solo grandparent-grandchild time can build lasting memories. Take photos or write journal entries together to help those memories last.

3. Library Visits

Instilling the love of reading is one of the best gifts we can give a child—and the wonders of libraries continue, even in today’s modern age. Check to see if your community has storytime, where together you can listen to a librarian read a story. Or check the calendar for seasonal activities your library may offer.

4. Picnics and Cloud Watching

On a beautiful day, sometimes the best thing to do is enjoy a picnic and then lie back on the grass and just watch the clouds move above. Finding shapes in the clouds never gets dull, and often these relaxing activities result in conversations with your grandchild that you may never have had otherwise. Picnics don’t need to be elaborate—a quick sandwich and a drink are all you really need. But eating outside and spending time together is what makes a picnic a happy and memorable experience.

5. Building Pillow Forts

On rainy days or days you’d rather stay indoors, building pillow forts can provide hours of entertainment. A pile of sheets and a few couch cushions are all you need to make a cozy fort together. Add a flashlight, some books and a few snacks, and you’re all set for an afternoon of stories and laughs.

There are so many activities you could do with your grandchild, but the important thing is the time you spend together. These memories will strengthen your mind and lead to a fulfilling and close relationship as they grow.

While close relationships with loved ones is important, there are even more ways to age successfully. Discover everything you need to know in our free resource, The Vitality Guide: Nutrition, Exercise and Health Care for Seniors.

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