( A guest post by Brigitte Evans )
When you think back to your childhood, your favourite memories are most likely the quality time you spent with your family. And in case didn’t have the chance to experience these moments – you know exactly how much you miss them.
But parenting and grandparenting isn’t easy and after a long day, it’s easy to say “we’ll do family time tomorrow”. But one too many tomorrows, and your kids will be all grown up, so use the time you have and make sure to spend time together whenever you can. Here are some ideas, and feel free to come up with your own!
This one is especially great for all the grandparents out there who are struggling to connect with the youngsters. Bust out the family albums and show them what your life was like well before they were even born. Show them that their parents were also kids once upon a time and tell them about the mischiefs you’ve done when you were young.
If you have any pictures from your childhood, share them with the kids. They will love listening to the stories – but make sure it’s something they can connect with. Tell them which ones of their ancestors they look and act most like and tell them stories of their own lives that they might not remember.
If you have some valuable skills that you want to pass on to the next generation, it is the perfect way to spend time together, by them helping you when you are doing that activity. Then, if they take interest in it, you can teach them, without forcing it upon them.
A perfect example of this is gardening. Have them join you in the garden and help you when you are tending to the plants. Or if you are knitting, they can unwrap the yarn and prepare it for you. Or, if you like to bake sweet treats for the family, let them help you weigh and mix ingredients, choose the flavours and decorate the finished product.
Keep up with the times
Whether we like it or not, the future is digital, and our kids are picking up on that faster than anyone else. But using computers, phones and the internet is not just an interest anymore – it’s a necessity. And one way kids love to explore that is video games – which completely falsely get a bad rap. Knowing what games your child is playing is not only completely necessary, but a great way to connect with their interests.
And games are not only fun – they can be educational too! Playing turtle games helps your kids learn spelling and different puzzle games help them develop problem solving skills. Video games can also help your kids learn new languages, practice teamwork and help them understand some difficult life concepts.
Do good together
Helping out and doing good deeds simply feels good and can be an amazing, positive experience. Take your kid to volunteer with you in a community kitchen, a shelter or simply go to your favourite local beach and pick up some thrash to make it clean again. You can also teach compassion with the small things: walk the neighbour’s dog together, help someone with their groceries or clean the street around your building.
Take a walk
We are always rushing to get to sports practice, school, doctors’ appointments and play dates, most often taking the car. And when you are driving, you have to be focused and you can’t spend too much time with your children. So simply planning out your time a bit better and leaving home earlier will allow you to walk to the places you need to be, giving you plenty of time to talk about anything you want. We are also more relaxed while we are walking, so it might be easier for your child to open up to you and tell you something that’s been on their mind.
Spending time together is crucial for any tight-knit family. It strengthens the family bonds and develops trust, making it much more likely to stay close as the kids grow up. Make sure you include all of the family members and that everyone is willingly participating. Respect your kid’s time alone and they will be much more likely to participate in family time.
If you’ve got grandchildren that you spend a lot of time with, then the chances are that you try to make every visit to your house as fun and memorable as possible. After all, you want your grandchildren to enjoy spending time at your house, so it’s important to take the time to plan activities that they will enjoy.
In addition to planning all of the usual activities - baking, playing board games and watching movies - you might be wondering about trying something new. Well, then how about starting a new hobby with your grandchildren?
Like the idea of trying a new hobby with your grandchildren? Below is a list of a selection of hobbies that are suitable for children of all ages and are sure to be a big hit.
For kids of all ages (five and over), coin collecting can be a great hobby to share with them. For kids, hunting for coins is like hunting for treasure, which makes the process even more fun and enjoyable. You can buy coins online, from specialists like LPM.hk or you can choose to hunt for them second-hand at bootsales, charity stores, and from second-hand online selling sites, there are also various coin collecting Facebook groups that you can join. Coin collecting can be a lot of fun, especially when it’s a hobby that you share with your grandchildren.
Children love insects, which is what can make insect tracking such a good hobby to do with them. Kids love the idea of tracking insects because it’s so fun and adventurous. You don’t catch the insects, you can simply take a photo of them, note down where and when you found them, and then send them on their way.
The idea is to build up a profile of your garden, their garden, and anywhere else that you go together, to see what insects there are around. This is a fun and quirky way to get the kids outside, while doing something together.
This might seem like a slightly old-fashioned hobby but it’s actually made a major comeback. If you know how to cross stitch, then you could spend your time with your grandchildren teaching them how to cross stitch.
There are so many cool patterns to create, from movie characters like the superheroes of Marvel to animals - there’s sure to be a pattern that your grandchildren will love. It might take a while to teach your grandchildren how to cross stitch, depending on their ages of course, but once they’ve got the hang of it, it’s a skill that they will have for life.
When it comes to spending time with your grandchildren, naturally you want to ensure that the time you spend together is fun and memorable. While watching movies and playing games can be fun, after a while it can get a little repetitive. By starting a shared hobby, you can create an amazing bond, and will always have something to do together and discuss.
If you have kids or if you are a grandparent who wants to spend some time with the grandchildren then there are plenty of ideas out there.
Go to an Arena Show
If you want to go to something that the kids will love then why not spend the day out and then go to a fun-packed arena show? You can easily go to see some of the many child-oriented shows out there and they are all packed full of crowd-interaction. You can even stay at the AC Hotel Guadalajara if you want, and this is a great way for you to spend some time socialising with other people as well.
Build a bonfire
Another great thing that you can do is get out there and build a bonfire. You can do this on the beach or you can even do it in your own backyard. When you do build a bonfire, make sure that you have plenty of marshmallows and even pack some fruity snacks as well to make the whole thing come together. This is a brilliant way for you to really relax and the kids will love it as well. The best thing about this is that you can easily make the whole thing a family event and it is something that everyone will enjoy.
Squirt Gun Art
If you have a water gun then you already have nearly everything you need to have a great time. You can get the whole family outside and if things get messy then you don’t have to worry about anything at all. You can use your garden hose to spray the whole garden down and this will remove any art that doesn’t really belong in the garden. To do this, all you have to do is dilute a bit of paint and then put it in an old water pistol. It helps to have a couple of these on-hand because it means that you can easily have one for each colour, and the kids will absolutely love it.
Go Watch the Fireworks
If the weather is great then why not go and watch some fireworks? There are plenty of destinations that offer this kind of thing and it is very easy for you to find a show near you. Watching the sky light up with kids for the very first time can be a magical experience and most of the time you don’t even need to travel far either. All you have to do is wander down to your local park and see if there is anything being hosted. You can even have some hotdogs on the way home and this is one of the best ways for you to have an incredible experience without breaking the bank.
Kids will have tons of fun making their own ice-pops and it is a great way for you to cool them down after a very long day. They can have hours of fun doing this and the colours when they are frozen are unlike anything you’ll have seen before! Try adding fresh fruit for a nice twist.
(Yep... affiliate links are included which means, if you buy through me, I get some coffee money ... though not enough for the raisin toast as well. :) Full disclosure listed below.)
"That's it! I've put it off long enough! I'm cleaning out the cupboard."
Yep.. that was me last week and I started well, filled with enthusiasm. That was, until I pulled out some of the old scrapbook photo albums that I'd worked on when the kids were small. Ahh.. can you believe how little they were?
So, of course, I had to sit down and go through all of them. Did you get hooked on the scrapbooking craze? Or maybe you still enjoy it? I love it, but it's soooo time-consuming.
But there's something special about taking out a photo book, turning the pages with someone else, reliving the moments and sharing the fun and laughter together.
As a family, we regularly upload family photos to TinyBeans as a safe way to share digital family memories with our family. But my parents can't remember how to log-in or forget to check it and so miss the beautiful memories that are regularly uploaded. A photobook is a better option for them.
I have made some photobooks from other sources. But, in the most part, they're simply a book of photos without much option for placing and presenting the photos in a way that I like.
Now, I've discovered MixBook. The photobooks created with this program are wonderful! I can change the backgrounds, alter how many photos are presented per page, add embellishments like scrapbooking... even produce a book in a night if I need a book quickly. Since it's all online, I just use my computer, or create a photo book with my iPad while relaxing and watching the TV.
The completed book is printed and delivered to the door. And they make wonderful gifts- just think how thrilled your mother or father would be to receive one of these special books filled with memories.
So... check out the simple instructions below.. and start!
Share wonderful family memories together as you read through your photo-books.
Why bother... I have my photos on iCloud
So perhaps, I'm guessing you're wondering just why you should go to the trouble to creating a photo-book. After all, you have all your photos, your memories on your computer, your smartphone or iCloud.
Well, yes ... but just consider: sure, you have all those wonderful photos on your computer. But, not only are they taking up a big hunk of memory, they are also hard to view together as a family.
And... it's so fun and simple to do. You'll feel like a professional when you see the results.
A family heirloom
A photo-book is an unique picture of your family and the 'moments that matter' in your lives. Whether young or old, everyone will enjoy looking through this special book.
Create one as a gift
These photo-books are so beautiful, you'll want to make and give them as gifts- if you can bring yourself to part with them. They'd make a treasured Mother's or Father's Day gift. Send one to family who live overseas. Make a special book to mark milestones within your family or your kids' lives.
Share the memories
Everyone will enjoy reliving the fun times and remembering those special family moments as they look through these beautiful books.
So... let's get started..
You'll need to create an account.
Your first order will be 50% off as a special promotion from AtGrandmasPlace so use the promotion link to access MixPhoto. Then, sign up to start your first photo book creation.
Choose the photo book option
Although there are many wonderful projects to try later, you just need to select the 'Photo Books' option to start your first photo creation.
Choices, choices and more choices ..
Now comes the fun part. There are lots of different styles, sizes and themes of photo books. Think about what you really want for your book and who it will be for and choose according. For example, there are lovely softcover photo-books that would be a great gift idea for mothers or grandmothers. You might prefer a square shape for your book especially if you're going to include a lot of your Instagram images.
The themes and page layouts are wonderful. In fact, there are over 370 different themes to choose from for your photo book. And so many of the themes have scrapbook-like accents that really add appeal to your pages,
You can change the page layouts or the number of photos displayed on each page, add stickers, change the backgrounds and more.. Each photo book truly is your own unique creation.
Simple drag and drop format
The format is simple - upload your photos from your computer, or device. Then just choose the photo you need, then drag, and drop the photos or stickers to your page. Position and resize them until you’re happy with the arrangement.
Not happy with the layout? Click on 'layouts' and choose a different layout or different number of photos for the page.
And yes, additional text can be added in any page.
And, if you're really busy and need to create a stunning photo book in a hurry (like, in a night), just choose the instant insert feature.
It is really sooo simple. But more than that- it allows you to be as creative as you want and add as little or as many stickers and accents as you'd like for your book. You don't need to buy the stickers. You don't need to search for scrapbooking papers. There's no need to do any cutting or sticking.
And the competed book will then be posted to your address.
Start your own treasured piece of family memories now.
Disclosure: At Grandma's Place is committed to high standards of integrity and quality. I do not promote any brand I do not believe meets these standards, and I only promote brands I would purchase myself. If I don't love it, and don't think you'll love it, it won't appear on my blog.
You are probably looking for various ways to keep your children busy but at the same time, you want these activities not to cause a gigantic mess? Say no more.
(Guest post-- Alex Farley)
Most parents are feeling worried whether they would be able to clean the mess after a craft project, for example. I know out of a personal experience that there are many fun activities which often turn into an apocalypse.
No matter how many times you tell your kids to be careful, your words go in at one ear, out at the other. Kids will be kids. I am here to share with you a number of tips which I hope to come in handy. Roll up your sleeves.
Take the fun activities outside
If the weather allows it, there is no better place to play than outdoors. My kids can spend hours playing in the sandbox, for an example. I love this option because when they are done playing, it is so much easier to clean after them. Even if it is a craft project, it takes me a couple of minutes to clean up. Of course, it depends on the activity but can you imagine what it could be if the kids play with sand or water inside?
Make sure to cover the play area
Trust me, the best way to accomplish mess-free crafting is to cover the entire area where your kids play. For instance, you can cover it with a blanket or a shower curtain. There is another plus- you can easily toss the blanket in the washing machine, or wipe down the shower curtain when the play is over.
Take advantage of the bathtub
If the weather does not allow outdoor activities, my children are used to be playing… in the bath. No, I am not kidding. Initially, I thought it was ridiculous but I got sick and tired of the mess so I had to take action. Because I am the only one who deals with the housework, I took matters into my own hands.
Since that moment, my kids use the bath as a vessel. To be honest, it is the ideal playground for messy kids because the bathtub contains all the mess. Once they are done crafting or playing, I just run the water till the mess is gone. You should definitely try it!
Washable art supplies
Have you thought about replacing the art supplies with washable ones? If you want to keep your children’s clothes from getting stained, you should take my advice. Since my kids use only washable art supplies, I can easily wash their clothes without me having to worry whether the stains would come out or not.
Limit the materials for a mess free crafting
In the very beginning, I did not think that this trick could actually turn out to be efficient. But still, I decided to try it out. I gave my children materials in small amounts. They love drawing and crafting a lot. So I provide them with a small amount of paint, and I do not add more till the first supply is completely gone. This trick does minimise the mess because kids do no romp about.
The ugly truth is that no matter how many times you tell your kids to be more careful, no matter what kinds of measures you take, there will be always a mess in the presence of kids. Anyway, if you are concerned about the mess you have to clean instead of enjoying your time with your kids, you deprive yourselves of the fun. :)
YOU MIGHT ALSO BE INTERESTED IN:
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.