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Categories > Aging Well > Grandparenting

Get off the sofa!

You’re babysitting your grandchildren and all they want to do is watch TV. Don’t let them sit inside all spring; turn off the tube and get them off the couch! By encouraging your grandkids to participate in active and fun activities, you’ll help them live healthy lifestyles.

Get inspired by the ideas below. Many can be done right in your own home or backyard—free of charge.

  1. Shake your groove thing. Whether you turn on the radio, blast a CD or hook an iPod up to some speakers, get the kids dancing. They can get loose on the dance floor freestyle, or teach them some moves like the salsa or the waltz. And the tunes don’t have to be all children’s songs or hip hop; play some favorites from your generation to expose them to different musical genres.
  2. Play an active board game. Chess and checkers stimulate the mind. But get kids’ hearts pumping with a game like Twister or Hyper Dash (a version of tag). You can also try exercise-heavy video games like Wii Fit or Dance Dance Revolution.
  3. Strike a pose. A yoga pose that is. Follow a yoga video online, or rent one and pop it into a DVD player. You may not get as much of a workout as a traditional yoga class but you’ll likely still break a sweat as you contort your body into different positions.
  4. Cook up a family recipe. Let kids in on a secret—and healthy—family recipe. Teach them how to make your famous baked apples. Show them how to whip up your favorite smoothie. You’ll bond as you cook—and eat.
  5. Enjoy the great outdoors. Find a field and let the kids run free. Push your grandkids on the swings at a park. Take a walk around the neighborhood. Not only will the kids get exercise and fresh air, but you will, too.
  6. Grow a garden. Plant a garden in your yard or theirs. Select fast-growing herbs, vegetables or flowers. Children will love watching the garden flourish and eating the fruits of their labors.