Call 7 days a week for free advice

0808 303 7503*

13 fun things to do with grandparents and grandchildren

6th February 2024


It is great for grandparents and grandchildren to spend time together as it gives parents a respite and allows grandparents to spend quality time with their grandchildren.

With the generation gap and especially for those with limited mobility, it can sometimes be difficult to find things to do together.

In this guide, we highlight some fun things for grandparents to do with grandchildren. Whether you are a parent looking for how your child can have fun with grandma and grandpa or a grandparent seeking things to do with your grandchildren, you will discover a host of options below.

Fun things for grandparents to do with grandchildren

Outdoor activities

Go to a sporting event

When it comes to things to do with grandparents, watching live sports is a great option, especially if it’s a sport both the grandchild and grandparent enjoy.

Christine from Grand Magazine, a specialist magazine that provides information to grandparents, recommends the following:

"It doesn’t matter if it’s a professional or a local high school sporting event; this will be something entertaining and enjoyable for both you and your grandchildren. Have the whole sport experience: Eat stadium food and cheer on the team! Teaching your grandchild about the sport, if unfamiliar, is also a bonding and learning experience that you’ll both enjoy."

READ ALSO: Every premier league team ranked by accessibility

Go for a walk


Going out walking is a great form of exercise and the perfect way to get some fresh air. If the grandparent or grandchild has a dog, then that gives you even more encouragement to go out for a stroll.

Teresa from Nana Hood shares: "The most important thing grandparents and grandchildren can do together is to talk and communicate. It's easier to do this while doing an activity together. Walking is good, and if the child has a pet, walking the dog is even better! They can discuss the benefits and joys of pets."

The Grand Magazine’s Christine recommends going on a nature walk: "Nature walks and hiking are certainly memories involving my grandparents that I’ve held onto as I’ve gotten older. It was so much fun exploring the woods with my grandfather, and I felt special when he even made me a walking stick just like his. Nature walks instil healthy habits into children and offer a great opportunity to spend quality time with each other."

READ ALSO: The UK’s best walks for older people

Go for a picnic

Picnics can be a key ingredient for memorable days out for grandparents and grandchildren. Pick a nice sunny day and a pretty spot and enjoy some tasty food and a few games.

Grand Magazine says: "Picnics are an activity in which grandparents and grandchildren have fun without fail. Ask your grandchildren to help you make your meal and pack the picnic basket. Bring books and group games for activities, and plan on doing something in your picnic area."

Those with limited mobility can go for a picnic in their garden to save walking a long distance to a park.

READ ALSO: How to make the perfect picnic

Visit the zoo


With a whole host of animals in one place, visiting the zoo is another perfect outdoor activity grandparents and grandchildren can do together.

Christine from Grand Magazine adds: "The zoo is always a fun place for kids. They get to see animals they’ve never seen, and zoos always have fun activities that adults and kids alike can engage in. A day at the zoo is something kids rarely forget, especially when they go with a loved one."

READ ALSO: Best zoos to visit with your grandchildren & Grandparents' guide to Chester Zoo

Visit the local nature park

Another great outdoor activity that grandchildren will love is visiting the local nature park, as this combines going for an energetic walk with some wildlife spotting.

Christine says: "Some of my fondest childhood memories with my grandparents were when they would take me to a local park that had a lake and picnic areas. We’d fish, collect fun things like rocks, watch wildlife, and have picnic lunches. Then, when it would get dark at night, we’d collect fireflies in jars."

READ ALSO: Grandparents' guide to Kew Gardens

Indoor activities



Most children love hearing stories, but this beloved activity doesn’t have to be withheld purely for bedtime. Grandparents and grandchildren can enjoy story time at any point of the day.

From simple books for very young children featuring lovely illustrations to more sophisticated family-friendly stories that can whisk them away on an epic adventure, storytelling is a brilliant indoor activity.

If the children are a little bit older, a longer-form book can be read to them over numerous sessions. If it’s a story they start to enjoy, it can be something they look forward to hearing more of whenever they spend time with their grandparents.

READ ALSO: The ultimate guide to being a new grandparent

Decorate T-shirts

This activity might not seem the most obvious one, but it is fun and will certainly keep younger grandchildren occupied if the weather is bad and you are unable to venture outside.

Grand Magazine shares its tips for decorating T-Shirts: "Decorating t-shirts is always a fun craft idea for kids. Go to your local craft store together and pick out your t-shirts and all of the items you’ll need to decorate them. Here are some decorating item ideas:

- Paints

- Tie-dye kits

- Stencils

- Feathers

- Sequins

- Glitter

READ ALSO: Easy arts projects you can do with your grandchildren

Practice applying make-up

If your grandchild is into beauty, then practising applying make-up is a great activity.

Barbara, who runs Nanas Corner, talks us through how her oldest grandchild loves practising make-up with her:

"KC, our oldest grandchild, is a 16-year-old who likes to practice applying make-up, so I ask her to help me with mine, trying new products each time we do this together… to help me look younger as I get older… and we get to share stories about boys, teaching, and family heritage."

Cook and bake with grandchildren


Cooking and baking are really fun things to do with grandchildren as not only can the children learn how to cook, but they will also enjoy getting involved in the various tasks.

Jen Walshaw, freelance writer and blogger at The Madhouse, says: "It is wonderful for grandparents to cook and bake with children, share family recipes and discuss family history at the same time. Grandparents have the time to help and teach their grandkids to cook, but also, they are often much calmer and have some wonderful skills and recipes to pass on to the younger generation. I am not sure I would have even considered being as hands-on with my children if it wasn’t for the fantastic role model my mum was and the way she interacted with my boys in the kitchen."

READ ALSO: 9 recipes older people can try with their grandchildren

Play cards or a board game

Playing cards or a board game is a tried and tested activity for grandparents and grandchildren to enjoy together. Sometimes these types of games are often only brought out over the festive period, but it is a really fun way to keep the grandchildren happy at all times of the year.

Nana Hood's Teresa says: " I have lots of memories of playing card games with my grandmother. Anything you do is a way to build a relationship, and that's a wonderful legacy for your grandchildren!"

Christine from the Grand Magazine agrees: "Other memories I have with my grandparents when I was young involved card games. Card games, like Slap-Jack, Hearts (for older grandchildren), War, etc., are an activity that both you and your grandchildren will have fun playing!"

READ ALSO: The best board games to play with grandchildren

Make a family tree

Making a family tree is another great indoor activity to consider, as not only will it be interesting for the older grandchildren as they grow up, but it can be fun putting it together.

Christine from the Grand Magazine shares: "This is something that I wish I had done when I was younger. As children get older, they’ll wonder where their ancestors came from, what they did, and what they accomplished. Spend time making a homemade family tree with your grandchildren. This will be something they’ll enjoy when they’re young and cherish when they’re older."

Grandparents are in a unique position to provide a family history, so they can help build a family tree and tell grandchildren about their relatives and great-grandparents.

Sue Johnson, Julie Carlson, and Elizabeth Bower, who are co-authors of Grandloving: Making Memories with Your Grandchildren, 5th Edition, add: “Who better than Grandparents to pass along family history and the stories of how your son and daughter-in-law met, or what your grandchild looked like when he was born. If you build a strong bond with your young grandchild, you might be the one they turn to when they are teens.”  

READ ALSO: How to trace your family tree

Draw together


Especially in the winter months when the weather is variable, grandparents need to think about activities that are great for indoors and one of the best activities to do is drawing.

Owner of Nanas Corner, Barbara, says her grandchild enjoys drawing: “So when we are together, she gives me drawing lessons, and we discuss her career interests… which now include graphic artist and computers."

Drawing can be a great way to keep up with a grandchild’s interests and children often just find great joy in being creative. There are lots of things that you can draw with them, such as their home, favourite Disney characters or animals.”

Make home-made ice cream

One type of food that most grandchildren like is ice cream, and it is a treat they can eat any time of the day.

Grand Magazine agrees that making ice cream together is a great way to keep the grandchildren and grandparents interested:

"Everyone loves ice cream. Get to the grocery store with your grandchildren and let them pick out their favourite sundae ingredients. If you have the time, you could even make homemade ice cream together. There’s no need for a fancy ice cream maker; there are recipes all over the internet for do-it-yourself home-made ice cream."

Top tip: Pick an activity the grandchild likes


The above are just some of the many fun things for grandparents to enjoy with grandchildren. The key for grandparents, however, is to consider what their grandchild might enjoy most.

Make the activity all about the grandchild, as they will want to be kept entertained with fun activities that interest them. The best way to do this is to take part in lots of activities that the grandchildren like.

Grandloving's authors, Sue Johnson, Julie Carlson, and Elizabeth Bower, say: “We would recommend following the child’s lead and doing things together that the child enjoys. If they are into swimming, attend their meets; if they like animals, take them to the zoo; if they are into computers, ask them to help you get up to speed with some of the new social media.

“Whatever their passion, follow it and build on a common interest. One-on-one interaction and spending time instead of money is most meaningful – take them on a trip that they’ll remember. Memories last, things don’t. You might also take on a volunteer job with older grandchildren – the opportunities are endless, and bonding while helping others creates a special closeness.

“What you send a grandchild isn’t half as important as that you communicate frequently. Remember how long a week or the summer was when you were a child? Well, it’s the same with your grandchildren. Though time goes quickly for us now, you have to remember it doesn’t for a child.

“There are so many simple, fun ways to stay in touch. Tuck a love note inside a balloon and put it in an envelope with the instructions to ‘blow up the balloon, pop it, and read my note.’ It shows your grandchild you are thinking of them.

“The key is to stay grandchild oriented. When you’re with your grandchildren, clear your calendar and plan things that the two of you will enjoy doing together.

“If you’re visiting at your grandchild’s home, take the opportunity to get to know their world – visit their school, get to know their friends at the playground, let them take the lead and teach you what they’re doing in their spare time. You’ll build common interests that will help keep you connected when you’re apart."

READ ALSO: The ultimate tips for making your home grandchild friendly

The importance of grandparent and grandchildren activities

Barbara at Nanas Corner says there have been many studies and other kinds of research that highlight the importance of grandparents and grandchildren doing activities together:

" The University of Oxford has shown how grandparents play a vital role in children’s wellbeing, and the results have been informing UK family policy.

“Professor Buchanan has now re-analysed her original grandparent data, looking at the impact of grandfathers’ involvement on child wellbeing. This shows that grandfathers’ involvement, independent of grandmothers, is associated with child well-being, but their involvement is different; whereas grandmothers are more involved in nurturing, grandfathers get involved in activities and mentoring.”

Doing activities together will bond grandparents and grandchildren, and when the grandchildren grow older, they are more likely to talk and discuss problems with grandparents, which will take away some of their fears. Grandchildren are more likely to open up to grandparents they trust and are emotionally connected to, especially if they find it tough to talk to their parents.

ALSO READ: How to babysit grandchildren for the first time

Things to do with grandchildren

  • Go to a sporting event
  • Go for a walk
  • Go for a picnic
  • Visit the zoo
  • Visit the local nature park
  • Story time
  • Decorate t-shirts
  • Practise applying make-up
  • Cook and bake
  • Play cards or a board game
  • Make a family tree
  • Draw together
  • Make homemade ice-cream

We hope this article has been helpful and provided you with some inspiration for fun things to do with grandparents and children. For more tips, guides, and advice, visit our news page.

READ ALSO: Tips and advice for grandparents

This article was brought to you by Handicare, working with Age Co, who provide a range of home mobility products such as stair liftshomelifts and bathing solutions. For more information about how they can help make your home more accessible, please get in touch.

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.