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Best Gift Grandparents Can Give: Playtime

Best Gift Grandparents Can Give: Playtime

Feeling just a little bit guilty because you're having so much fun with your grandkids ... maybe more than you had with your own kids? All the joy, and none of the daily grind, right?

Forget the guilt! Keep on playing with those little munchkins as they grow up, because you're doing a lot more than just having a blast. Turns out doing simple things together, like gardening, cooking, shopping, and taking a staycation, has big health and happiness benefits for the whole family.

Among them:

  • Feelings of self-worth, self-esteem and life satisfaction rise faster than that loaf of bread you bake together.
  • Understanding and communication improve, too. Kids see that grandparents aren't just geezers; they have skills and know-how to share ... and grandparents see what whiz kids their grandchildren are (start with their uncanny grasp of high-tech gadgets.) When grandkids realize they can teach grown-ups a thing or two ("Hit the escape button"), it helps the youngsters to forge ahead in a brave new world.
  • Playing around with the young set also satisfies that need to leave a legacy and impart what you've learned. Besides, since you're probably gonna live a lot longer than your grandparents did (thanks to healthy eating and exercise, right?), you'll have more time to bond across generations.

Are you as young—or as old—as you feel? Take the RealAge Test to find out.

Remember: The family that plays together stays together. Have fun doing it. Check out some other get-happy strategies.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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