By Sue Rice
This is the time of life when things get so much more interesting with our grand- kids. They have opinions (about everything). They spend hours (and days) on their cell phones. It becomes harder (and more fun) to find new ways to entertain them and make your time together truly memorable. Here are 10 things we have done with our now 14 and 16-year-old grandkids that you and your teenage visitors might enjoy.
You know it’s all about the connection. They believe it’s all about the experience. So, while you are connecting with the kids, keep in mind they want to do something while they are with you.
1. Download Words with Friends on your phone or computer. This is a fun scrabble-like game that anyone can play. If you don’t know how to download the game – ask your grandchild to show you how to do it or do it. This is also a great way to stay in touch when they return home.
2. See if there is a company near you that will allow you to try Segwaying. We have done this while on vacation. It is really easy. Our guide had everybody up and riding in under 10 minutes. He bragged that he had clients as old as 95 who did just great with this fun activity.
3. Try an Escape Room. Plan to spend half an hour to an hour. Your group will be assigned a theme room where you will work together to find the clues that will help you discover the code to get out of the room. It’s fun to see how each person contributes and what skills each one brings to the table.
4. Sip and Art or Sip and Paint classes are an interesting way to spend an afternoon or an evening. Generally, you bring your own beverage(s) and a professional painter will guide you through the creation of your own masterpiece painting. Teens and grandparents will enjoy the chance to work with a professional on this interesting project.
5. Go ziplining. So long as you are ambulatory and adventurous this should be fun for all of you. The anticipation and thrill of the ride make it new every time you go.
6. Teens generally like to shop. Talk about their interests. We have one who loves antique stores. Your teen might have a hobby that allows you to find a store that will support her interest. Of course, if you can give your grandchild $10 or $20 to spend, then it will be ever so much more fun!
7. Card and table games are generally well-received. Have them teach you a new game. We like to play a card game called Golf that our grandson taught us. It’s easy and fun and can be played with 2-? players. You can look it up on the internet. Same holds true with Left, Right, Center. This is a table game you play with 3 dice. You can purchase it for around $6.00. You each start out with $3.00. If you roll a L, R and C, you have to give one of your $ to the person to your left, one to the person to your right, and put one in the center. You are not necessarily out at this point, since the person to your left or right may also roll a left or right and give you a dollar. The person who is last to hang on to his money wins the pot in the center. This is a great activity for after a family dinner. You do not have to use dollars. One Easter we used plastic eggs. The winner received a prize at the end of the game.
8. There is always something new and exciting on a teen’s phone. Have him show you how to use Snapchat or Instagram or whatever the latest and greatest app is that he likes to use. You will learn something new and he will have fun being the teacher.
9. Get out the old pictures of his/her mom or dad when they were young. You will all get a kick out of looking at the then-popular hairstyles and fashions.
10. Take a bus trip together. I took our grandkids to NYC for a long weekend last summer. It was a mostly senior trip through AAA. Though they were the only young people on the bus, they had their favorites among the older folks and sought them out to sit at our table when we went out to eat. The seniors enjoyed them too. We didn’t have to worry about parking or finding the places we wanted to see. I wasn’t the only one keeping track of them, and It didn’t cost a fortune. They want to do another trip this summer.
You may have some ideas to add to this list that you could share so that we can offer a new activity the next time our grandkids can fit us into their schedule.