Being a mom or dad is rewarding, but most would argue that being a grandma or grandpa is a lot more fun. Think about it. You get to relive the joys of little ones’ first words, first steps, wedding days, and all of those hugs and kisses. But unlike having your own kids, you get to send grandkids home! This means that you get to be the fun role model your grandchildren adore and have time to recover later.
While being a grandparent is great, there is no denying that kids like to be busy. Whether your favorite little ones are with you for the day, weekend, or week, they will appreciate these five activities that include one-on-one time with you and memories that will last a lifetime.
You want them to stay little forever, but chances are, your grandkids are in a hurry to grow up. We aren’t telling you to teach them to balance a checkbook, but they will enjoy doing things that make them feel big. For example, let them help you bake, plant flowers, or work on a project in the garage. This is a great way to teach life skills while having fun and making memories. A few projects or dozen batches of cookies and 25 years later, you will have a grandchild remembering, “I’m thankful my grandpa taught me to change my oil,” or, ““My grandma taught me how to sift flour.”
What you might think is trash or should be recycled may be your grandchildren’s new favorite toy. Did you know you can make a playhouse out of a refrigerator box, a maraca out of a toilet paper roll, or a doll/action figure boat out of a shoe box? These kinds of crafts are inexpensive and allow you and your grandkids to be creative together.
This may surprise you, but many kids enjoy looking at old photographs, especially pictures of when their parents were kids. You now have a reason to pull out the family albums! Show your grandkids pictures of your kids as babies, playing sports, with their old friends, or on family vacations. Grandchildren will enjoy seeing their parents as peers. Plus, it’s always fun to laugh at Mom and Dad’s old haircuts!
Board games and cards are timeless and great for most ages. Plus, what kid doesn’t want to beat Grandpa at something? Keep a few games at your house and pull them out on rainy days or when you feel like it’s time for a break. Laughter — and maybe a little competitive joking — will be shared by all.
Your grandkids probably have a room and yard full of toys. However, if something is only at your house, it will be more special. For example, do your grandkids have a trampoline, slip and slide, pool, or specific game at home? If not, there’s no reason you can’t have one at your house. If you don’t want to go that far, you can make a small activity something that only happens at your house, like hot chocolate for breakfast, playing dress up with Grandma’s jewelry, or lines for an official-looking football field in your backyard. Talk to your children about having something that is specific to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. This will give you and your grandkids something only you can bond over and will have them saying, “Mom and Dad, can we please go see Grandma and Grandpa? I really want to play football.”
Don’t underestimate how much you and your time mean to your grandchildren. What seem like little moments now will be fond memories later, and years from now, your grandkids will tell their grandchildren, “When I was little, my grandparents used to . . .”