Caryn is an authentic and trusted mid-life voice sharing the wisdom she has gained in her first 50 years over at The Midlife Guru. This post was originally featured there.
I’m off to see my two adorable grandsons. Since visits are not as often as I would prefer, I want to make sure I plan activities that are memory makers too.
Generally, I can count on their mom to have local activities set aside for all of us to enjoy. But what I like best is to boot the parents so that I can have as much one-on-one time as possible with just the grandkids.
Before leaving town, I like to put together a few activity ideas so that I can be ready to play. My tried and true go-to activities are usually based on an upcoming holiday that includes an art project and a cooking project of some sort. What else? Here you go!
13 Tips For Having Fun With The Grandkids
- Yoga. Believe it or not, my grandson loves to get out a yoga mat and follow along while I do my practice. It is all I can do to keep a straight face when he experiments with some of the poses.
- Hide and Go Seek. Indoors or Outdoors.
- The 3 P’s: Play-Doh, Paint, Pantomime
- Water Play. Run through the sprinklers, swim in a pool, go to the beach. Fill up a cookie tray with sudsy water and play “Car Wash” with their play cars (or heck, wash the real cars)
- Go on a walk and play “I Spy with My Little Eye…”
- Make a Fort under the dining room table. Equip it with flashlights, add fun books to read and snuggle up in (from Bonnie Petrie Dingus,writer of the the homeplaceblogger)
- Bring a special book that can be “your” book to read to them. Maybe bring a few to choose from the first time so they can decide which one they like best. (from Anne Parris, notasupermom.com) I suggest you put that book in a special “Grandma bag” only used for Grandma visits.
- Bake cookies. Shortbread cookies is like playing with Play-Doh. You can add food coloring and then cut out shapes and decorate with all kinds of fun sugary things. Also, Pinterest is full of kid-friendly baking ideas ( from Connie McLeod, My Creative Journey). Also, Pinterest has all kinds of ideas. Why stop with cooking?
- Relay Races. Have them race against themselves. Time how long it takes them to ride their bikes around the street or how long it takes to go from one driveway to the next. They get a real kick out of this – and it eats up a lot of energy! (from Penelope Lemov, grownchildren.net )
- Make up games like Dry Cleaners. Janie Emaus, staff writer at In the Powder Room, says “I am usually the customer. They set up a system of moving the clothes around the room from station to station. They put them on hangers and we set up a cash register to pay. So much fun!”
- Card games. Nancy L Wolf, of yourbridgeforward, recalls, “I remember visiting my own grandmothers – one, the bridge player, taught me to build elaborate structures on the floor with her cards”
- Camp out in the living room. Also from Nancy Wolf who remembers that her other grandmother often “let all of us girl cousins sleep over on the floor of her apartment’s living room, staying up late and being allowed to eat ice cream in our pjs!”
- Treasure Hunt. This idea was shared on the Lisa Carpenter’s blog, Grandma’s Briefs: “Before making the trip, I save little surprises like a package of Gummy Worms, a new book, a Slinky or yo-yo, some little toys in a basket and pack those in my suitcase. When I get there I make clues and hide them around the house.”
The key with all these activities is to show a genuine interest in your grandchildren. Enter their world, on their terms, and discover the lives they lead when you aren’t there. And most of all: just LOVE those grandkids unconditionally. Oh, the memories you’ll make!
What activities did I leave out? What activities do you have when you visit your grandkids?