...a simple guide to creating fun activities, and building memories, at home with your grandkids.
The way we enjoy spending time with children when we are younger is one thing. However, once we start to reach an older age, the things we are capable of change. Driving them for four hours to the beach may no longer be an option. Running after them in the park for an afternoon may be out of the question. A variety of other activities and fun things you could have done when you were a mom, not a grandma, may not longer be possible.
However, this by no means implies that you can’t still have huge amounts of fun with your grandkids! The purpose of this guide is to suggest a few activities that you will be able to manage that they will love. Being a grandma or grandpa need never been restrictive again! Here is a handful of ways you can make a day with your grandkids a fun one!
An Outdoor Playhouse
Playhouses are fantastic for keeping children occupied. On a dry day, they can keep themselves occupied while you sit close by in the garden! When it comes to deciding which Playhouse you will invest in, find reviews from real families who have already got one. Also, be sure to look carefully at the information provided, and check things like sizes and how to put it together. A review of the Little Tikes classic castle online, for example, gives the answers to pretty much every question you might have!
A Cupcake Decoration Class
Let’s say you and the kids have enjoyed the outdoors for a while, but now you want to bring the fun back inside. Or maybe it’s raining- boo! Either way, there is still lots of things you can do inside the home that are fun. Baking or cooking with kids can be utterly chaotic. If you don’t want to handle the chaos (and having flour everywhere), skip straight to the end part. Do a cupcake decoration session. Cupcakes are great because they are small, easy to hold and relatively inexpensive. You could even get shop-bought ones, so you don’t have to make them yourself before the grandkids arrive! Don’t forget the icing sugar in some different colors and sugar sprinkles!
A Splashy Bathtime!
Before the day ends, you may want to do the parents a favor, and get the kids washed and cleaned for them. So, make bath time an activity in itself. It doesn’t need to be hard work for you. As long as they are old enough, you need just sit by the bath with them, and help them dry off afterward. You can pick up a box of bath toys up pretty cheaply. For little kids, sponges and clothes in the design of their favorite cartoon character are great fun. Slightly older? How about some plastic balls, like the type you’d find a ball pit? Don’t forget the bubbles! Be sure to use ones that won’t sting their eyes if they splash themselves in the face You might end up a bit damp yourself, so wear something appropriate! The end result? Squeaky clean kids and very grateful parents!
When it comes to fermented foods, yoghurt is probably the first thing that springs to mind. However, there are more tasty recipes, food and drinks that you should consider. Don’t worry - all these ideas are great for your gut, too!
Here’s our top 9 delicious cultured and fermented foods to try at home, that are great for your gut:
Have you tried any of these foods yourself? Share your recipes and experiences in the comment below.
Buying gifts for children can be tricky. You might spend a long time trying to get the perfect gift for a niece or grandchild. Then they just look at it and are more interested in someone else's gift or the box that the gift came in. Then it just puts you off wanting to buy more in the future, doesn’t it? Here are some tips for buying gifts for children.
Buy Them Online
Toy shops can be overwhelming. Have you ever been looking around in toy shops and just had no idea where to start? If you don’t have children yourself or don’t have children the age you’re looking for, there is so much choice. So it can be easier to buy the gifts online. Somewhere like Bubbalove sell kids toys online, and you can narrow down your search to certain age groups and genders. Then you don’t need to search through lots of different aisles of toys. You will just be given a smaller selection to choose from. It saves time and your sanity!
Choose Toys for the Right Age Group
There is one reason why the child will be bored of the toy you get them; they can’t understand it. If the toy is too complex to understand and aimed at children older than they are, they won’t play with it. Simple as that. Many toys and games have age guidance on it. So play attention to that, as they are there for a reason.
Choose Toys That Are Child Led
Another reason why your child might be bored of a toy is that they don’t enjoy it. A lot of toys these days are electric ones. They just want the children to press buttons or do certain things. When a child can’t be creative, it makes them bored of the toy. The novelty of the toy will wear off quite soon, and that is not a good choice. So look for toys that allow creativity and allow them to stretch their imagination. Think about things like building sets or a tea set. If they can use the gift for imaginary play, then you will be making a good choice.
Choose Crafty Gifts
Children love crafts and love to get messy. So you can’t go too far wrong with a craft or art set. Think of things like play-doh, markers, glitter, paper, and glue. Again, make sure that the craft set is suitable for their age. Glitter wouldn’t be a good idea for a toddler, but it would be better suited for a child that is school age. Chalk is always a good idea and works for a variety of ages.
Avoid Complex Gifts
You aren’t going to be any of the parent’s friends if you get complicated and complex gifts. So avoid things that require lots of batteries or need lots of supervision. It then might be a gift that hardly gets used if they have to buy new batteries regularly. So think about the longevity of a gift when you buy it.
There are pros and cons to getting a dog for your kids. However, providing your kids are ready for the dog, the benefits can greatly outweigh the cons. Here I’m going to tell you just a few benefits you can enjoy from getting a dog for your kids!
Give Them A Sense Of Responsibility
The first thing getting a dog for your kids will do is give them a sense of responsibility. Your kids will have a new life to help take care of in the home, and providing you’re all on the same page, they’ll want to help look after it to the best of their abilities. You should give them chores regarding the pooch to help them learn. This could be anything from walking them to giving them their revolution for dogs.
Give Them A Way To Get Healthy And Active
When your kids have a dog to walk and play with, they have another way to get healthy and active. If your kids aren’t all that active as of yet, a dog will give them good reason to start. If they are, they just have another way to go about it! They can help to walk the dog and play games like catch. You can even walk the dog as a family and get exercise that way. This is a great bonding exercise for everybody to take part in too!
Teach Them Important Life Lessons
Dogs can teach kids all kinds of important life lessons. Lessons such as what it takes to look after another life, how to have compassion for others, and so much more. Your kids will be better people as they grow for having a dog while they are young!
Give Them More Self Esteem
Yep, science has proven that a dog can even help give your kids more self esteem. This is because they listen to their problems and even respond to things they do with encouragement via their wagging tail. This makes your kids feel good about themselves! Their self esteem can go through the roof as a result, and some parents even find their children begin to do better at school.
A Non Judgemental Friend
A dog is often a child’s first best friend. Better yet, they are a non judgemental friend who they can go to when they feel lost or down. Plus, dogs are the best at keeping secrets!
Dogs Can Help Kids With All Kinds Of Problems
There are service dogs that can help with all kinds of problems. If your child has autism, is deaf, or even has troubles with mobility, a dog could be the perfect helper. A dog will give them more confidence, and even be their ears and eyes. Of course these dogs need to be specially trained, but it just goes to show how special these creatures are.
If you feel your household is ready for another mouth to feed and you’re all prepared for the money commitments, getting a dog could prove to be so beneficial. You can rest peacefully knowing that your dog is helping your kids grow into well rounded, caring, confident individuals! What more could you want?
Does any of this sound familiar?
"My life is so busy- I seem to be juggling 20 balls and it never seems to stop!"
"I usually find I've left it to the last minute and have to pay extra postage for next-day delivery."
"There is so much to do! No matter how much I rush around, I can't seem to get it all done."
If so, it's time to transform your chaos into calm and enjoy a better life.
And a simple weekly and daily planner is part of the solution. You'll find that you can relax, find balance, develop some positive habits and find time to focus on those things that are really important to you.
So, how can you find more time in your days and particularly, time for those things that you enjoy? And, just how can a planner help?
One of the first things to do to achieve anything meaningful in your life is to sit down and create realistic and doable goals. This involves doing a number of important things.
Write It Down – When you put something down in writing, it makes it more concrete and real.
Break It Down – When you know the goal, take it apart and make it into small steps that are easier to accomplish.
Prioritize – Put the steps in order. There is always a logical way to do something. For example, you can’t run the dishwasher until it’s been loaded. You can’t load the dishes until they’ve been rinsed.
Set Milestones – You want to check up periodically on whether or not you’re on track to reach your goals. If you set deadlines for each milestone, you will have a realistic expectation of when you will reach your goal.
Be Specific – When you write your goals down, be very specific and detailed. You’ll have much better results if there are no gray areas.
Track Actions – Using a spreadsheet or other app on a computer, or a paper calendar, keep track of the actions you are taking to reach your goals.
Measure Progress – Is your plan, and the steps you’ve set up, working to get you closer to your goal?
One Thing at a Time – When you set up your steps, it’s important to understand that you can only do one thing at a time.
And yes, a simple way to do all this, is to use a monthly, weekly, daily planner. You can find a beautiful planner pack here ready to download, print, write down your tasks and achieve your goals. Always, keep your planner open and beside you so that you can check it and track your progress.
This gorgeous weekly overview and daily planner with coverpage features a watercolour flower design with quaint birds. You can easily schedule and review your tasks and priorities for the week. The A5 daily planner allows you to list your daily tasks and includes added features such as daily water intake, top priorities, appointments,dinner planning and more. Now, you can have all you need to pause, refocus and achieve all that you set yourself to accomplish for the week.
Download, print and present as a beautiful set
Once you have downloaded and printed copies of this weekly and daily planner, you can hold the sheets together with a clipboard. I printed an extra copy of the planner cover-page and used it to cover the front of the clipboard. Then I added a small ribbon bow to the top of the clip.
Alternatively, you can print off the required number of pages for your planner and take it to a printer to be bound. (Officeworks bound mine into a tear-off pad and charged only $0.75. Or, you could use a spiral binding.)
Do you need to take your planner with you?
How about storing your weekly/daily planner in a slimline document case. All your planning is kept together and you can take it with you, along with pens and other stationery items for easy-to-access planning. I added the cover-page to the front of my slimline document, too. (Included in the download.)
Clipboard folders come in all sizes and covers, too, so search around for something you like and add some ribbon and trim for an individual touch.
Make more planner sets to use as gifts
As this planned pack is downloadable, you can print extra copies and package them up as gifts. Not only will you be creating an attractively packaged gift, you will be providing the means for others to achieve simplicity, clarity and peace of mind with their own personal planners.
Kitchens can get full of items, non-functional and become a mess if you let this happen. You can create a system to keep this room tidy and clean which works for you.
Here are 6 smart strategies to keep your kitchen clutter-free and well organised. They are tried-and-tested and will help you arrange your items and keep them at hand whenever you want to use them. Use these strategies to tidy and arrange a functional kitchen.
1. Keep the worktops clear
Resist the temptation to store different items like keys, mail, small appliances, etc. on your worktops. This way you will be able to use them whenever you decide to cook. Most of the problems with cluttered kitchens come from overcrowded worktops. They have to be bare and clean at all times. Put only items that are used for cooking and preparing food like cutting board on your worktops.
2. Keep your kitchen items in closed cabinets and drawers
It is better to store your utensils, cutlery and sets of porcelain and other items in cabinets with doors. Open shelves can make your kitchen look crowded and the glasses, plates and other items you keep in them become greasy. If you insist on having open shelves display on them only the prettiest sets and containers with food ingredients. Keep in mind that the glasses and plates your store on open shelves should be washed before using. Hide the clutter and most items in closed cabinets and drawers.
3. Put everything on its place after using
This rule is important to reduce the clutter and ensure a well organised and tidy kitchen. Right after you use an appliance or item you should provide its cleaning if it is necessary and put it on its place. Make sure you don't have items that don't belong in the kitchen. After using the coffee machine, clean it and move to its place. The same goes to plates, utensils and other items. Don't forget cleaning and putting them away.
4. Don't display magnets, notes, paintings, photos, papers and other things on the fridge door
People often overcrowd the outside surfaces of their refrigerator with magnets, photos, notes and reminders. This makes the kitchen cluttered, unsightly and smaller than actually is. Remove all items from the fridge door and keep it clear.
5. Don't pile items, but find better ways to store them
There are a few things that look good piled one over the other and these are patterned napkins, white plates and bowls. Trash bags, small items, knives, pans and pot lids definitely don't look good piled. MoveOutClean East London recommends to use rollers to keep trash bags tidy, pots you can hang on a wall, use organisers for keeping smaller items and knives tidy. This will make your kitchen neater and easier for cleaning.
6. Leave the kitchen in a better condition than you found it
This strategy is important to reduce the dirt and mess in your kitchen. Make sure you wipe the table regardless if you have used it or not, put the water glasses and plates from the sink to the dishwasher. Cleaning and keeping this room neat is necessary to be done by all members of your household. It tends to gather a lot of dirt and as this is the place where the food is prepared it should be perfectly hygienic. Do a few chores every day instead of trying to do all of them at once.
Cleaning and tidying your kitchen will be easier and more effective if you apply the presented above strategies for a clutter-free room. Use them and you will have no mess and less dirt in the room which needs more time for maintaining.
(Guest post by Sebastian Harvey- thanks, Sebastian.)
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.