6 games to share with the grandkids

girl playing hopscotch The news is full of reports that say today’s kids aren’t getting enough physical activity. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers some eye-opening statistics:

  • Less than half of time spent in sports practice and physical education class gets kids moving enough to be considered physical activity.
  • Children and teens spend an average of seven hours or more each day engaged with TVs, computers, phones and other electronic devices.
  • 1 in 3 children in the U.S. are overweight or obese.

So what’s a grandparent to do? Why not channel your inner child and introduce your loved ones to activities you once enjoyed! Not only will it benefit everyone physically, it can also help strengthen family bonds.

Don’t worry about being active for the full 60 minutes at once — it’s OK to break it up into 20- or 30-minute blocks of time.

These tried-and-true games get muscles moving, encourage critical thinking and let everyone enjoy the outdoors.

  • Hopscotch. Get some sidewalk chalk to draw your board and start hopping.
  • Jump rope. Sing along to rhymes like “Three blind mice” or “Jack be nimble.” If you’re up to it, challenge older kids to double Dutch.
  • Hide and seek. Ready or not! Don’t be too quick to find your little ones — they’ll be thrilled to outsmart grandma or grandpa.
  • Fly a kite. While you could buy an inexpensive kite, why not spend some time building one together, then see how long you can keep it aloft.
  • Hula-hooping. Play some tunes and see whose hoop can stay moving the longest.
  • Marbles, jacks and pick-up sticks. Boost kids’ dexterity and counting skills.