A Grandparents’ Guide to Screen-Free Holiday Time

Picture of grandparent with grandchild

Whether you’re a “Nana” or a “Gigi” a “Pops” or a “Grandpa,” you undoubtedly love spending time with your grandkids. And with the holidays coming up, you’re probably looking for ways to spend quality grandchildren time that doesn’t involve them staring into a screen. According to a recent study in the Journal of Children and Media, kids spend roughly half of their time on screens when they are visiting with grandparents. In general, grandparents have a harder times saying “no” and tend to let their grandkids overindulge in screen time. 

This year, instead of saying “no” to them, say “yes” to our list of fun, screen-free activities and ideas. Start by sitting down with your grandkids and making a Holiday Bucket List. Know that grandparents play an important role in grandkids’ lives, and be a good role model by giving them your full attention and taking time to listen to their thoughts and ideas. Make sure to include a variety of activities that allow you to interact together without screens and create special holiday memories. Here are some fun ideas to get you started.

  1. Explore the outdoors. Grab your jackets and scarves and head outside for a nature hike, bike ride or scavenger hunt.
  2. Learn a new craft together. Stop at the hobby store and buy supplies to make homemade holiday-scented candles, festive beaded-jewelry, DIY winter snow globes or gingerbread houses.
  3. Teach them about your generation. Bring out the vintage clothes from your closet, play your favorite old tunes and show them your (ah, cringe) dance moves.
  4. Let them teach you something from their generation. Let them show off their Lego expertise or how to play Pokémon cards.
  5. Build something together. Draw up a blueprint for a fort or a bird feeder or a doll house, gather the supplies and start building. 
  6. Bake something together. Enliven this grandparent go-to, by letting them pick a new recipe for cookies, homemade pizzas or holiday candy.
  7. Plan a special outing times two! You pick a place that you’ve been wanting to visit like an art museum, or live theatre event, and then let them pick one that they’ve been wanting to visit like the zoo or aquarium. 
  8. Work on a challenging puzzle. Pull out a card table for the holidays and start a challenging puzzle that you can work on together over time. When you are finished, glue it to cardboard, frame it and then hang it in special place. 
  9. Have an outdoor (or indoor!) campout. Kids don’t care if you roast marshmallows on an outdoor fire pit or in the microwave, as long as there are s’more ingredients to go with them. Tell ghost stories by flashlight and cozy up together under the sleeping bags. 
  10. Play a new game together. You just might win “Coolest Grandparent of the Year” if you have one from Starlux Games. For younger grandkids, choose a magical, glowing game like Protectors of the Rainbow https://www.starluxgames.com/product/protectors-of-the-rainbow-by-starlux-games/ where you can be the leprechaun and they can pretend to be unicorns, racing to find hidden glow-in-the-dark gems. For older grandkids, check out Vikings of the Northern Lights https://www.starluxgames.com/product/vikings/ which can be played outside in the snow or in the sun. And, for all ages, choose Glow Battle https://www.starluxgames.com/product/glow-battle-ninja-game/ and show them just how ninja-like and fun you can really be. 


Capture the Flag REDUX Game Box Cover

Capture the Flag REDUX

Experience this classic game with a modern glow-in-the-dark twist

Glow Battle Ninja Game

Glow Battle

Battle like a ninja samurai using harmless glowing swords

Wizards and Werewolves Game Box Cover

Wizards & Werewolves

Transform your backyard into an imagination-fueled competition of mythic proportions

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