Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day Play Day: Green Seniors Enjoy Playing Too!

Every Kid Should Experience
Listening to the Ocean
inside a Seashell

Isn't it amazing how our society is growing old so much more gracefully? I don't mean Botox or facelifts or tummy tucks. What I am referring to is the increased activity level of our older generations.

Recently my aunt and uncle visited Florida from the north and enjoyed outdoor activities every day they were here, for nearly a month. I certainly hope I can do the same in my 70s.

I have been surprised at the number of senior citizens I see in the sport of dog agility. There have even been a few competitors using walkers or "scooters" during competition. To me, that was heartwarming.

Many seniors are no longer content to sit on the front porch and rock all afternoon. Look around you. They can be seen swimming at the gym, playing tennis, taking evening walks, taking the grandkids bowling, and gardening. I can remember feeling that gardening was not much exercise, until I got more into it as an adult. Sometimes things can really surprise me.

Gardening is great exercise, and the therapy derived from working the earth and harvesting what you sowed cannot be described adequately. I find it invigorating to eat Bruschetta made from my own, home-grown basil.

For all you grandparents out there who are looking to enjoy a May Day with your grandkids, I thought I'd propose a few of ideas for something green to enjoy together:
  • Aside from growing a garden together, there can be great fun in going to a farm during "u-pick" season. I remember doing this with my grandmother and thoroughly enjoying it. Perhaps making jam or a special dessert together could be a project for the next day.
  • Making a time capsule together could be a fun project for 2 separated generations. Picking the items to include could be quite an adventure. Choosing small, yet meaningful, culturally-significant items will be a joint challenge, particularly if you keep the theme Green. Don't forget to also enjoy the process of burying it in a special place where another generation will likely find it later.
  • Take a nature walk or canoe a nearby river. Grandparents are a wealth of knowledge about nature, and can be seen by their young charges as masters of the universe, while describing the way a bird builds a nest or how a Raccoon washes all its food.
  • If you live near the ocean, a walk on the beach to collect shells and watch sand crabs could be as exciting for you as your grandchild. Don't forget to bring a guidebook along:

Perhaps you'd just like to make Organic Bruschetta together. If you'd like to make a quicker version, use Hoagie rolls or a baguette, sliced in half lengthwise, and then into slices for eating. Add the toppings and pop them in the oven. The result will be a soft inside, with a crispy exterior. Sometimes this is easier for kids to eat, and a little less crumbly. Easier cleanup is always a plus.

If you'd prefer a more kid-friendly recipe, try my Organic Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. They're super healthy and packed with lots of fiber and nutrients. The grandkids and the big kids will all love them.

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