Five Surefire Ways to Entertain the Grandkids... for FREE
Yes! At last! You’ve got a whole weekend alone with the grandchildren! You’re cooking their favorite meals, you’ve got some outings planned, and you’ve stocked up on all their favorite snacks. But...now what? You don’t have the variety of toys that they have at home, so how will you keep them occupied on their visit? You want your time with them to be special, and above all you don’t want to hear the dreaded, “Grandpa, it’s boring here!” Have no fear...here’s a list of five fun things to do with your grandkids. All of them are easy...and best of all, they’re free!
1. Cook with the Kids - It may sound cliched, but spending time in the kitchen with Grandma or Grandpa is something that can’t be beat. Play it up! Give your grandchildren the title of “sous chef” and let them have them some hands-on time in the kitchen, with close supervision, of course. Together, make a favorite recipe that other family members love, whether it’s a staple at Christmas dinner or a dessert that’s to die for! It’s great fun to deem one item “a secret ingredient” and allow your grandchild to put it into the dish, after solemnly swearing never to tell anyone what that secret ingredient is. As a special treat, save a portion for them to take home at the end of their visit.
2. Movietime...Starring You! - Dust off the VCR and show your grandchildren home movies from years gone by. Do you have videos of your children when they were toddlers? Kids love seeing their parents as children...especially if “Kid Mommy” was caught on camera being mischievous! After giggling along with your grandchildren, make some modern home movies with your cell phone camera. Your grandchild will love getting behind the camera and recording you, then watching their handiwork on the screen. Or, send the movie clip to Mommy and Daddy so they can see their future moviemaker at work!
3. Take a “Favorite” Walk - If it’s a nice day, consider taking a walk with your grandchildren. But instead of an ordinary walk, make it a “favorite” walk. As you stroll along, take turns picking “favorite” specimens of everything you pass. For example, point to a fence post and say, “This is my favorite fence post.” Then, ask your grandchild which fencepost is their favorite. Once in a while, ask why he or she chose that particular item as a favorite, or explain why you made the choice you did. “That rock looks like a heart, so it’s my favorite,” or “That cloud looks the fluffiest of them all,” can lead to fun conversations, comparisons, and laughs, all while getting some fresh air and exercise.
4. Dance Party, Then and Now - Pump up the volume and dance! Dig out those old cassette tapes and introduce your grandchildren to your favorite tunes from way-back-when. Share stories about the times you remember listening to your favorite songs and talk about why you like them. Point out favorite parts of the music. Maybe your grandson will also love that guitar riff that you can’t get enough of! If you’re brave, ask your grandchildren to share their favorite music, too. But be prepared…“Baby Shark” will linger in your head for days!
5. Hunt for Treasure - Every kid loves a treasure hunt! Have your grandchild help you draw and color a map of a room. (Pro tip: Make a color copy of the completed map so you design more treasure hunts, quickly and easily!) Then, have your child turn his or her back as you hide a treasure in the room. The treasure can be a shiny object, a cookie, a favorite toy, or anything you think your grandchild will enjoy finding. Mark the map with a big red X to mark the treasure spot, and give the map to your treasure-hunting grandkid. For older children, a little prepwork may be needed. Instead of finding the treasure immediately, place a clue to a new place in the X-marked location. You can place several clues in different locations, allowing the child to search from place to place until the treasure is found.
No matter what you do with your grandkids, the end of a busy day is a great time to get cozy with a good book. Be sure to visit NoMeLoMe.com to sign up to be informed of our Kickstarter launch. You’ll be one of the first to take advantage of great deals!
A former elementary school teacher, Carolyn Mikelson has always loved children’s literature. She enjoyed the whimsy of creating spontaneous stories for her kindergarten and first grade students, and later treated her own four children to a new oral bedtime story every night. Carolyn was thrilled to move into the world of publishing after her children became a bit older, and began working as a children’s literature editor at TRP in 2014. Carolyn makes her home in the far west Chicago suburbs, where she enjoys spending time outdoors, at the theatre, and at other fine arts and cultural events. During her free time, she teaches reading, writing, and speaking English to immigrant women in her area. Carolyn is member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.