University of Illinois Extension
Skipnavigation Nibbles ... Ideas for Families

Kids & Food
Help Your Child Succeed
Your Child's Health
Challenges of Parenting
Learning to Get Along
Playtime Is Fun Time
The Day Care Routine

Play Time is Special.....
With Children and Grandparents

Grandparents often bring important qualities to your child's world:

  • love for children
  • life skills they are willing to share
  • time and patience
  • acceptance of children
Play time shared by grandparents and grandchildren can be enjoyed by all generations. Parents may be free to work on other chores while grandparents and grandchildren play. Young and old may be less bored when they get together to play. Play activities help people to feel involved. Play is one way to learn new skills. People relax and have fun when they play. Exercise is fun if it is also play.

It's important to find something both grandparents and children will enjoy. Children may become bored with adult activities. Grandparents may become bored with children's activities. It's okay to say, "It's time for me to stop now. I cannot play as long as you can."

Researchers have found that many grandparents and grandchildren would like to share more time with each other. Here are some ideas for playing together:

  • make believe, children have active imaginations
  • art
  • games, try being partners to avoid winners and losers
  • singing, playing, or listening to music
  • storytelling, grandparents can teach new words and share family history
  • water play
  • cooking cookies, funnel cakes, pizza
  • picnics
  • treasure hunts
  • fishing
  • kite flying
  • puzzles
  • trips to museums, apple orchards, airport, farms

Prepared by Geraldine G. Peeples, Extension Specialist, CHEP/PREP, and Marie Purnell, Extension Specialist, Adult Life and Aging.