Did you think life as a grandma would involve sitting in a rocking chair and relaxing? Well, you were wrong! Grandparents have been and always will be a safety net. So, when the grandkids need a guardian at short notice, you are the number one draft pick. And, because it’s cheap labour, the odds are high that you’ll get the job on a permanent basis.
Grandparents love looking after their grandchildren because it’s one of the perks of the job. There’s no need to discipline, refuse them treats, or do any of the yucky stuff involved in parenting. However, you do have to fill the hours and that isn’t easy as kids are energetic and get bored without difficulty.
If you are running out of ideas, you have come to the right place. Here on At Grandma’s Place, we aim to please and help out take the strain of grandparenting. With that in mind, below are six fun and educational activities grandmas and grandchildren alike will love.
An old faithful but one a grandmother should stick to regardless. Why? It’s because, over the years, you have baked millions of cookies and cupcakes for your kids and grandkids. Now, it’s time to get them involved in the process. All you have to do is plant the seed and watch it take hold because children love the idea of eating junk food. “Hey, should we bake a cake?” is all it takes for kids to want to be apart of the process because they can see the sugary pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Of course, baking is incredibly practical too as it involves measuring ingredients and setting timers. In their head, your grandchild will be using their mental arithmetic to make sure the bake has a warm and gooey centre. Plus, they have to read the recipe and follow the instructions.
Arts And Crafts
Baking is a no go unless a child has an apron to protect their clothes. So, rather than buy one from a store, make your own at home with the grandkids.
You don’t need much material and the cost will be as cheap as buying one. Even better, the activity will keep them occupied and they will love every minute. Start by finding the raw materials, such Burda tissue paper and one metre of nylon. A post on the John Lewis website also points out you shouldn’t forget a sewing machine or a sewing kit. The kids won’t be able to use them, but they are essential to creating an apron from scratch. Next, cut out the material in an apron shape which is long enough to cover a child’s body. Then, follow an instruction manual or a set of guidelines! Arts and crafts can encompass pretty much anything, so don’t let their creative side only focus on an apron. A simpler activity is a painting session or playing with Play-Doh.
Kids love to sit and watch TV. The problem is they watch too much and don’t get out of the house enough. As a grandparent, you want them to be happy but don’t want them to be lazy or put on weight. So, spending a day at a cinema may not seem like an excellent idea. Indeed, their mum and dad may not be thrilled when they hear about it at the end of the day!
Still, TV is incredibly educational and enjoyable at the same time. Okay, the physical benefits may not be off the charts, but it’s only one day. The trick is to buy a day-pass at the local movie theatre and immerse them in the experience. Kids love going to the cinema because it’s a grand affair with sweets and sodas.
But, theatres also show educational documentaries and kid’s films with an underlying subtext. The “March of the Penguins” is a prime example as penguins are cute yet the film focuses on relationships and hunting. At the moment, “Earth: One Amazing Day” is in cinemas and details nature’s amazing events over the course of one day.
Sticking with the animal theme, why not see them in real life instead of on a screen? Children love animals and a zoo is a perfect place to see exotic creatures like tigers and elephants. Not only do they get to watch them in real time, but they can interact too. Nowadays, lots of zoos having petting stations where attendees can touch and hold domesticated animals. SeaQuest even lets its paying customers swim with stingrays in a controlled environment.
The ultimate zoo experience, though, is a safari park where the animals roam around without cages. Seeing a giraffe eating from a tall tree is a humbling experience because most kids won’t get to replicate it ever. The same goes for walking past a herd of elephants or driving through an enclosure which is home to a pride of lions. Of course, as you go around, the kids can listen to an educational guide or read a pamphlet and learn all about the creatures they see.
Older kids hate the idea of taking part in science experiments. Grandma, it just isn’t cool! Thankfully, the younger ones aren’t as bothered about their image and just want to have fun. Science, contrary to popular belief, is full of enjoyment and may encourage the kids to study harder at school.
After all, learning is about having fun.
All you need is a basic science set with cool ingredients which make clouds of smoke and erupt over the kitchen table. Don’t worry because you don’t have to be Neil deGrasse Tyson or have a PhD to take part. A simple experiment such as putting Mentos in a bottle of coke will leave them in awe. To take it one step further, buy or make a lab coat and hand out goggles to make them feel like actual scientists.
Spending time with the grandkids is the greatest way to bond. With these tips, you also be able to teach them a trick or two.
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.