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Fun Activities for Kids and Grandparents

July 15, 2012

Looking for ideas to help kids to have fun and build a relationship with their grandparents? Holly from the Kids Activities Blog came up with a terrific list of activities. You can visit her post, or read them below.

Grandparent Activities, from the Kids Activities Blog

  • Reading together – This is one of my boys’ favorite things to do with their grandma.  She is more patient than I am and will read the same book over and over.  The boys notice this and always have a book picked out for a day she visits.  It is a time that they can snuggle on the couch and the kids don’t even notice the extra hugs and kisses.  When they spend the night at their grandparents, their grandpa is legendary for reading multiple bedtime stories while the younger grandkids drift off to sleep.  As my boys have learned to read themselves, they have liked practicing their new skills with grandma on our homeschool days.
  • Sharing a sport – Baseball has become a very big deal to my oldest son.  He is 11 and watches every Ranger game faithfully.  His “Bampa” is also a huge fan.  If we go to the game we send pictures and texts back to Bampa with information and commentary.  If Ryan is watching from home, Bampa often calls after an important play or an unfortunate loss.  Sometimes we schedule visits around the game schedule so the two can watch together.  They share game stats and a love for the game.
  • Playing a sport – For the last two years, Thursdays has been golfing with grandpa.  My dad picks up Ryan and they go play a 3 par course not far from our house.  The game always ends with an oversized milkshake.  Ryan has benefited from his coaching and looks forward to Thursdays.  This summer, Reid(9) has joined them a few times.
  • Playing a game – During a grandparent visit, there is nothing more fun then playing a game.  My youngest delights in beating grandma at Connect 4 or challenging Mimi to a frantic game ofPit.  We have found that Lego’s Creationary is a great game that levels the playing field {actually, the boys almost always win}.  If a visit isn’t possible, games like Words with Friendsor Hanging with Friends are fun for grandparents and kids to compete long distance.
  • Sharing art – Mimi has always had paint-by-number sets that are available at her house to paint.  She will sit down with painting grandkids and help complete the work of art.  My boys have loved painting with Mimi and proudly bring home finished artwork that reminds them of the experience.  Sending kids’ artwork to a grandparent is also a fun way to stay connected.  Many kids are prolific artists who would be thrilled to have an off-site gallery of their works by an admiring collector.
  • Telling family stories – A photo album or old home movie can be the perfect way to spark kids’ interest in their family tree.  My kids love to look at old pictures of their dad and me and hear about how we were as kids.  I think it blows their minds to think about how we were once their age and had siblings {their aunts and uncles} that we fought with {no way!} and grew up with.  Sharing stories together passes down family legacies and traditions in an organic way.
  • Building together –The building/construction gene skipped a generation in my family.  Both my dad {grandpa} and my father-in-law {Bampa} are skilled in this area.  My boys love spending time with them building and fixing things.  They are learning things that their dad and I can’t teach them.  My youngest who is 6 is working on an elaborate set of “blueprints” for a life-size pirate paddle boat that grandpa will help him build.  He has spent hours at home planning and if anyone can help him bring his ideas to life, it is grandpa!
  • Baking together – Hanging out in Mimi’s kitchen is a favorite activity.  Helping her bake a cake or make pancakes for an impromptu 2nd breakfast mid-morning is always a hit.  Mimi is much more liberal with what she allows the boys to do and eat.  They embrace it completely!
  • Measuring growth – Mimi has all the family’s growth marked in pencil and pen on the back of her pantry door.  It isn’t just the kids that get measured on a regular basis, it is everyone.  Even past pets.  I am proud to report that I am still holding steady at 5’8″.  The boys study that door on a regular basis.  It is fun to see that they are just an inch shorter than a cousin was at the same age or how they are gaining on the next generation.
  • Teaching/Learning – Every once in awhile the perfect teaching moment comes along to bring in grandparent support.  This happened a few months ago as Ryan prepared for a Famous Texan presentation.  He called up Bampa for inside information on who might be a good choice for his speech and some stories about what he remembered about that person.  Mimi was the source behind a paper on what life was like 50 years ago.  Grandpa is teaching my boys to play chess.  Each of these educational moments bring them closer together and give them something else they have in common.

Have fun!!

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