Grand(parenting) is all about having a loving, fun relationship with your grandchildren. It’s definitely one of the best times in our lives, but it’s not always easy! Today’s kids can be a hard bunch to please, and scheduling is tricky between all their sports, lessons, and other activities. But usually, they will be excited to spend special time with Grandma or Grandpa, because it’s quality time focused on them that is sometimes difficult for their parents to give (who often have more distractions of house, work, and all the demands of a busy young family). It’s a win-win for grandparents, parents, and the kids too.
But what do you do that’s entertaining for both grandparents and kids? A key thing to remember is to keep it simple and fun. This isn’t the time to press for perfection. Let them be kids! If you have several grandchildren, mix up your activities with group times vs. one-on-one dates. Give each one their special time with Grandma or Grandpa. Here are some easy ideas that are amusing — and give you time to talk and enjoy one another. Plus, most of these things can be done for no money at all.
Being with children outside in the fresh air, no matter what age or activity is a delightful way to spend quality time. A long walk creates a wonderful way to discover the beautiful outdoors, plus it generates conversation. Needless to say- take advantage of day and night- warm days to do just about anything imaginable, and starry nights for stories and exploration.
Cooking Make your grandchild’s favorite treats together. They learn a valuable skill, you have some great time together, and then of course, you get to share the yummy part of your cooking.
Tune up a bike If the kids have bicycles, they may be in various states of disrepair, and fixing it up together can be fun. Learn how the gears work, add air to the tires. A ride around the neighborhood afterward is the extra bonus.
Board games Show them the PlayStation isn’t the only game in town. A board game offers better conversation, utilizing skills that require sportsmanship, imagination and opportunities.
Blow bubbles Simple and easy and is sure to bring a smile.
Make a dollhouse together from thin cardboard such as shoeboxes.
Start a collection What is your grandchild interested in? Share things you may have loved collecting in your own childhood.
Jigsaw puzzles There’s one for every level. You can work on a complex puzzle on a continual basis, or do one that is simple to finish right away.
For girls, how about an appointment at Grandma’s salon? Fancy hair and nail polish can offer giggly fun.
Older grandchildren might enjoy a photography lesson Learn about exposure, aperture, and cropping. Maybe they’ll have a thing or two to teach you about uploading photos and cellphone cameras!
If you have a scout in the family, there’s probably a merit badge you could help them get completed There’s one for practically any interest.
Visit the local fire station You will want to call first, but most stations are glad to have you.
Make a family newspaper with a word processing program It’s easy for kids to take their own pictures for a project like this, and they love nearly anything using computers.
Make a time capsule together and bury it in your yard (to be opened in five or ten years) There are many more ideas out there, but the main thing to remember is to make it fun and focused on the child. Let them know this is their time, and if they have an idea of their own, roll with it. What you do is not the important thing, but that you are together, building that relationship you’ll treasure forever.
Pirate Treasures Beach weather, or lake weather, is upon us. Build or buy a box of some sort and fill it with goodies. Create a treasure map with dashes and a big red X. Make it look authentic by burning the edges. Go to your local beach or lake and bury your box of goodies. The kids can spend the day searching for the buried treasure. We can remember mom and dad doing this for us when we were kids. We have never forgotten how much fun we had!
Outdoor night adventure Kids love to explore. How about a flashlight scavenger hunt? Create a list of items for the kids to find and set out on a nighttime walk. The warm evenings are a favorite part of summer. Why not get out and enjoy them.
Backyard movie night Stay close to home and keep costs down. Lay out the blankets and get out the lawn chairs. Set up your TV and VCR in the backyard and put on a movie. Don’t forget the s’mores over the bbq!
What does your family do during the summer months? We would love to hear your family fun ideas.