a special feature from Lynn Wilson, author of A Handbook For Grandparents
Over 700 Creative Things To Do And Make With Your Grandchild *
Looking for something to do with your grandchild? The following activities using natural materials or objects that are inexpensive and around your house, will provide you and your grandchild with hours and hours of fun!
A Special Shoe Box: Each time your grandchild visits put something new and interesting into a decorated shoebox. Place it near the front door and watch your grandchild head for it every time. What a great way to start the visit!
Marble/Golf Painting: Painting with marbles or golf balls on a tray lined with paper is great fun. Add a dollop of paint in the middle of the paper and add a variety of marbles in different shapes and/or golf balls. Roll and tip the tray and watch what happens!
Under Water: Glow sticks and other submersible lights add a whole new experience to tub time.
Ice: Place ice cubes in the bathtub. For even more fun, create ice sculptures by placing water into a variety of plastic containers in different sizes and hiding small toys inside each. As the ice melts in the tub, the toy becomes more accessible. Add food coloring for even more interesting blocks of ice! A great idea for a hot day!
Little Ice Rinks: Fill several baking sheets with edges with water. Let freeze. Remove from the tray and your grandchildren now have an ice rink of their own. Add “little people”, cars, trucks etc.
Magical Closet: A fun idea is to gather up glow-in-the-dark sticks, flashlights etc. and prepare a secret hideout in a closet. Add some big cushions and this can be a place to read books by flashlight or a camping light fastened on a headband. You might even add some glow in the dark stick-ons like stars and moons to the walls and the ceiling!
Magnet Fun: A simple magnetic experience is to start with a metal baking tray. Glue magnets on the bottom of objects such as small cars, left over puzzle pieces and place them on the tray. Run a magnet under the tray and watch them move.
Rainy Day Suitcase: Small, easy to manage suitcases can be filled with all kinds of interesting props and materials. This suitcase might be saved just for this occasion — filled with interesting dress up clothes, jewelry, fancy hats, purses, scarves, boas, pirate hats, eye patches, chef hat etc.
Happy Letters: Slip a happy letter into your grandchildren’s take home bags or backpacks, to be opened when they get home. Talk about the fun you had together, how proud you are of them, a major accomplishment or just how much you love them.
Plant Something Special: Plant a rose bush or a favorite tree for each grandchild. Perhaps you can find a plant that has the same name as your grandchild – Iris, Dahlia, Rosemary, Daisy etc.
*Lynne Wilson is an accomplished professor and published author, specializing in early childhood development. She is the recipient of a National Teaching Excellence Award from the Association of Canadian Community Colleges and the author of two early childhood education textbooks. This, her third book, is a professional, yet personal guide for any grandparent looking to make more of the time they spend with their grandchildren. To purchase A Handbook for Grandparents, go to: https://www.grandparentshandbook.com