- Family and Parenting
Summer Fun with Grandchildren
Camp Grandma and Grandpa
Summer activities with grandchildren are a great way to have fun and make wonderful memories together. I always remember the great times I had when I visited my grandparents for a week each summer and I wanted my grandchildren to have the same great memories. Our two oldest granddaughters are Rachel (8) and Ella (6) and they live about 600 miles away from us. We try to see them several times a year, but because of the distance we don't get to see them nearly as much as we'd like. This makes their visit to us in the summer even more special.
This year they stayed with us for 10 days and we were able to plan lots of activities together. In this photo you see them having donuts with Grandpa. They call him their "Donut Buddy" and having donuts together is a treat for all of them.
On this page I will tell you about the activites we did during our time together this year. These are activities that were available in our area, but I'm sure you can find similar ideas in your area too. I hope this will give you some ideas of ways to create those special memories with your grandchildren.
photos by Mary Beth Granger unless otherwise noted
Activities with GrandChildren - a fun filled time
Here are the activities we did with our granddaughters in the 10 days they were at our house. We also allowed time for sprinkler play in our yard, watching Cardinal baseball with Grandpa, baking cookies with Grandma,swimming at the YMCA and time for them to color and draw.
This is the third year they have come to stay in the summer so we had already visited many of the big St. Louis attractions and were looking for some new activities for them. Prior years attractions that they enjoyed included: Magic House, City Museum, Butterfly House, Science Center, Missouri Botanical Garden Children's Area, the Arch and Museum and the Zoo.
Here are the highlights from this year.
- Picking Strawberries
- Learn a Hobby-Photography
- St. Louis Zoo and Forest Park
- Owl Prowl
- Driving Adventure-Ferry Boat
- Visiting Great Grandma in Nursing Home
- Lantern Festival
Strawberry Picking - fun and good eating too
It was strawberry time when the girls came for their visit and neither of them had ever picked strawberries before. A nearby farm had strawberry picking so we got up early on a Saturday morning and went strawberry picking. The girls loved it. They picked 5 1/2 pounds of strawberries and we enjoyed them all week long.
More Ideas for St. Louis Visits with Children
St Louis has some wonderful architecture to share with your grandchildren. I bet your home town does too!
Learning to Take Good Photos
a great hobby for children and adults
Learning to take good photographs is a skill that I feel is very worthwhile. Both of the girls were interested, so I got out two of my point and shoot cameras and told them they were going to go to photography school. They always like to play school so this was right up their alley. I spent about 15 minutes explaining how to hold the camera and how to line up their photos. I then sent them out into my flower garden to capture some images. After they had each taken 10 photos we loaded them into my computer and they each critiqued the photos. They had fun looking at each photo and saying how it could be better.
This process was repeated several times during our week together and by the end of the week both girls were taking some really good photos.
A Day at the Zoo - and Forest Park
Forest Park in St. Louis has much to offer for children and adults alike. We were going on an Owl Prowl in Forest Park in the evening so we decided to start out at 1 pm so the girls would not be too tired by evening.
We first went to the zoo where the girls wanted to practice their photography skills. The photo above is one Ella took of Rachel in the bird house. They also took photos of the prairie dogs, giraffes, monkeys, birds and many of the sculptures around the zoo.
Ferry Ride across the Mississippi - Great River Road
Just across the Mississippi river from St. Louis is the Great River Road, which goes alongside the river on the Illinois side. On one day Grandpa took us all on an adventure up the Great River Road. We stopped in Alton for the girls to see the statue of the world's tallest man (Alton Giant), we took a photo stop at the Piasa bird carved into the side of the bluffs and visited the Grafton lighthouse.
Next, we took a ferry ride across the river and back. The girls were really excited to take the car on the ferry boat. This was a new experience for them. After the ferry rides we stopped in Grafton for an ice cream.