Tag Archives: being a grandparent
Most kids’ activities don’t last long so don’t obsess about perfection. Just give them some fodder and see what happens. You can always add to the canada goose hybrid gloves outlet that engage them. If you spend a lot of time organizing a perfect activity and it’s over in 10 minutes it will just frustrate you. Some of these canada goose hybrid gloves outlet need some prep, some are based on canada goose hybrid gloves outlet you normally have around the house but life will be much happier if you organize a few things so that there’s something to do when you need it. Or even better a few choices. These do not involve screens or TV or pop culture, just ordinary every day stuff! I have not organized them seasonally.
1. Make play dough and play with it. Simple recipe for no-cook play dough: 1 cup flour,1/2 cup salt, 2 tablespoons cream of tartar, 1 tablespoon oil, food colouring, 1 cup boiling water. Mix all the dry ingredients together and pour in the boiling water with the food colouring mixed in. You can divide it up or increase the recipe if you want more colours. This keeps reasonably well in the fridge but not as well as the cooked varieties. Watch the boiling water around the kids. They can help knead it when it cools. You don’t need fancy cutting sets to play There are all sorts of things around your kitchen. Be creative.
2. Get an art box together ahead of time and let the kids be creative. Some ideas: construction paper, yarn, pom-poms, glitter, scissors, drawing paper, markers, crayons, water colors, stencils, stickers in picture, letter, or number form, a ruler, a compass, triangle or circular forms, pipe cleaners, a hole punch, string. I had an old IKEA box that we repurposed.
3. Make treasure boxes. Each child can fill theirs with their own idea of what are treasures. You’ll need plain boxes and stickers or paint. You can paint the boxes and learn to watch paint dry while you prepare your decorations. If you don’t have stickers cut out pictures and glue them on. In that case you may want to varnish over to preserve a little longer.
4. Have an impromptu picnic – finger food on the floor or deck is just as much fun as a formal picnic. Or walk to a local park and take a blanket to sit on.
5. Or an impromptu tea party. Crackers and veggies with hummus works if you don’t have treats.
6. Bake the scones for the tea party first. (If you’re having jam and clotted cream on them it is always jam-first.)
7. Make cookies or cupcakes or muffins. Eat them while they’re warm.
8. Play a board game. Or several.
9. Play Sardines (reverse hide-and-seek). The child who’s “It” hides. All the others search. Each child that finds the hider squeezes in and soon they are like sardines in a can. The first child to find the hider gets to hide next time.
10. Create a scavenger hunt for outdoors (or indoors if it’s raining). Ideas outdoors might be a pine cone, different coloured leaves, different coloured flowers, a small stick in the shape of a letter, a stone with a stripe, a stone with spots. Notes: 1. Good idea to check if the things are nearby so there’s no disappointment. 2. Have rules such as no raiding neighbours’ yards for flowers. Indoors you might have to hide a few things especially if your house is organized and tidy. But some ideas: a piece of Lego, a pencil or a pen, a sock, a cushion, a plastic container, a placemat, a rock (well my house is full of rocks – yours might not be.).
11. Go for a walk with rubber gloves and a garbage bag and be “Litter Patrol”. Don’t ask me why my grandson loves to do this but I thought of the rubber gloves after he started wanting to pick up garbage.
12. Collect leaves and do leaf rubbings with crayons.
13. Make a flower press and press leaves and flowers. You can make lovely pictures when they are done too.
14. Take some paper and coloured pencils on your walk and find something to draw. Wild flowers are good because you don’t want to pick them.
15. Be an angel: Do something for a neighbour such as shoveling their sidewalk in the winter or raking their leaves in the fall.
16. Build a fort with cardboard boxes and strapping tape or duct tape. Masking tape isn’t strong enough. Let them decorate it with markers.
17. Make a mural. Tape newspaper on the floor and a large piece of art paper. Let them create a scene. Some examples of colourful and famous murals might get their imaginations pumping.
18. Check out books or audio books from the library. Some libraries have games. Or garden tools.
19. Play hopscotch. I am thinking of making some garden tiles in number form this year. But sidewalk chalk works just as well.
20. Draw with sidewalk chalk.
21. Go for a bike ride. Or scooter. Or wagon. Or sleigh.
22. Cloud watch. Use your imagination. Have the kids tell a story about what they see.
23. Star watch. If like most people you only know Orion and the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) there are night sky vistas you can print out and laminate or put in a plastic sleeve. It might turn into a life long fascination. My son at 20-something called from a work placement job he had in Mexico to have me send a laminated night sky print for him to show his kayaking guests.
24. Make or buy some bubble solution and blow bubbles, preferably outdoors.
25. If it’s warm and rainy, play in the rain. Wearing rainwear and boots play, dance and jump in puddles. I hope you have a mud room. and lots of dry warm clothes.
26. Play in the leaves in the fall. You can collect, learn colors or even rake.
27. Run through the sprinklers on a hot day.
28. Write a family newsletter. It can be either physically written on paper with cut out pictures or if the kids are older everyone can email their contribution to an “editor” who can publish it.
29. Play freeze tag.
30. Teach kids to garden or grow herbs in containers. Let them harvest the bounty.
31. Find worms or ants or caterpillars and watch what they do. You can create a mini world for them for a while but be sure to let them go. My grandson has a bug collector and this year a caterpillar that we put in actually hatched. It was so exciton that we may have created an entymologist.
32. Use a magnifying glass to study things: leaves, flowers, bugs, rocks.
33. Create a mini volcano with rocks. Add soil if you want, we didn’t. Insert an empty container in it. Add 1/2 cup baking soda. Pour in 1/2 cup vinegar with or without food coloring and watch it erupt. We used an empty plastic container and kept the lid to cover it between eruptions. Notes: 1. Purple lava is fun 2. I don’t think Grandpa approves. 3. The eruptions are short. We had to ration the number of eruptions or we’d have had to buy a vinegar company.
34. Paint rocks. Little strawberries, bugs, faces, ladybugs, whatever suits your fancy. Someone special made a doorstopper for me. It is not for sale.
35. Make popcorn and watch a movie (preferably non-violent).
36. Play old-fashioned card games: Uno, War, Crazy Eights, Hearts, Skat, Euchre.
Have fun! Suggestions welcome!