- Family and Parenting
When the Grandkids Come to Visit
Fun Activities to Share with Grandchildren
I recently had my grandson to stay for a week over the holidays. I live in Florida, where the weather is often quite nice in the winter, only this year it wasn't. It was cold and rainy a lot of the time and I had to find ways to keep my six-year old grandson occupied.
Fortunately, I have been a Children's Librarian, a Teacher, and a Recreation Leader, so I was able to reach back into my past and dig up some things to do that we both could enjoy.
I'd like to pass on some of the ideas I came up with.
Perhaps you will make some memories and maybe your grandchildren will pass these along to their children and grandchildren.
Taking Silly Pictures
My grandson and I love to dress up and take goofy photographs. We put them on the computer and then choose the ones we want to print. When we have our prints, we make an album of his visit so he can share it with his Mom and his friends at school.
In these photos, we put on those funny Marx Brothers glasses with the big nose and the eyebrows. We had some good laughs and made some great memories with these pictures.
Scrapbooks for Your Kid's Memories
Sharing Childhood Photos
My grandson and I had many enjoyable hours looking at photos of me when I was a kid. He also got to see my parents and my brother, Great-uncle Robbie.
He asked lots of questions and learned about his family heritage. I got out the globe and an atlas and showed him places I had lived as a child.
You and your grandchild could make a scrapbook about your childhood. This could very possibly end up being a priceless family heirloom!
Scrapbooking with your Grandchild
Making a Fort
Most kids love to make tents, forts, and other hideaways under tables, beds, and in closets. They love it when you pretend you can't find them.
Fruit Cocktail Sculpture
Here's a fun activity which you can eat. Take a can of chunky fruit cocktail. (The tropical fruits work well because the chunks are usually larger than the standard fruit cocktail pieces.) You will also need a box of toothpicks.
Use a pancake or a piece of bread or toast as a base and join pieces of fruit together with the toothpicks. You can make a tower, a robot, animals, people, anything you like. When you get tired of building, have a yummy fruit snack.
Other "building supplies" include banana slices, grapes, strawberries, raisins, marshmallows etc. Use your imagination.
An adult should do any cutting or slicing.
Carving Fruits and Vegetables
Make a neighborhood out of a large potted plant, some miniature houses, matchbox cars, and other items. This planter is actually a metal kitchen lampshade turned upside down. It's filled with potting soil, an impatiens flower, and some houses and a small car. We put the houses on foundations of ceramic tiles to elevate them a bit. More tiles form a road for the car. A mirror would make a nice pond but we haven't found one yet.
Use your imagination and look for some other elements to build your very own mini-neighborhood. Try exploring flea markets, garage sales, and thrift shops for small cars, houses, and other tiny treasures to incororate into your garden community..
Colorful Garden Community
If your grandchild enjoys messing around in the garden, help her make a tiny community in a flowerpot.
Dancing is Fun!
Many kids love to dance, so get out your lively music and have a blast. It's great exercise and it's fun to entertain each other. Broadway tunes are great for a little family choreography. Oldies are a fun way to share the music of your youth. If it's too cold and rainy to go outside, put on some party music and dance together.
Improve Reading or Math Skills
This may not seem like the most fun activity in the world, but if your grandchild is having trouble in school, this could be a very worthwhile activity. And who is to say it can't be fun. Make a competition or a contest out of it. Think of some rewards for improving the skills. Give an award of some sort. Make it fun.
Flash Cards Can Improve Skills
Cigar Box Habitat
Cigar box crafts are fun to make and they make interesting decorations for a kid's room as well. Take a cigar box and glue favorite small treasures inside. Things like dinosaurs, reptiles, sea shells, butterflies, tiny dolls, toy soldiers,cowboys and indians, you name it. Fasten a picture hanger on the back and hang it on the wall.
The dollar store is a good source of tiny treasures.
This cigar box features Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, and a collection of snakes, turtles, alligators, sharks, and other creatures.
Make Some Puppets
Have a Puppet Show!
I did puppet shows when my children were young. In fact all of them at some point came with me as my special helpers. They handed me puppets and props and turned the music off and on. They were very good assistants. Your grandchild will be too, I bet.
I have several lenses on puppetry: making puppets, building a puppet stage, doing an interactive puppet show. I'm going to refer you to these lenses, so I don't repeat myself.
Puppetry is a lot of fun and kids are naturals. In fact, almost everyone has an inner ham. So, indulge that inner drama queen or king and have a great time with your grandchild.