Activities for Kids & Grandparents

by Dana Hinders Google

    The bond between grandparents and their grandchildren is priceless, but it can sometimes be hard to figure out how to entertain your grandkids if you aren't able to see them on a regular basis. If you're looking for fun activities to do together, keep in mind that creating special memories doesn't necessarily mean spending a lot of money.

    Most children love learning about their family history. Make a scrapbook showing your grandkids what all of their family members were like as children. Dig out photos from your own childhood as well as pictures of your grandchild's parents, aunts, uncles, and older cousins. Share a fun fact about each person, such as what their favorite subject was in school or what they liked to do for fun when they were the same age as your grandchild.

    Even if you don't live near an amusement park or a zoo, many everyday destinations exist that are fun for children to explore. Call your local fire station and ask if they offer tours for children. Check out a children's story time program at the public library. Visit a local history museum. Spend the afternoon volunteering at an animal shelter.

    Playing board games is a wonderful way for grandchildren and kids to spend time together. Toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy playing card games like "Go Fish" and "Old Maid" or board games such as "Memory" or "Candyland." Children ages 5 to 10 will enjoy playing special junior versions of grown up games such as "Monopoly" or "Scrabble" and the ever-popular "The Game of Life." Games like "Checkers" and "Chinese Checkers" are always popular, as well as the card game "Uno." For preteens and teens, look for "Risk," "Stratego," "Clue," "Pictionary" or "Trivial Pursuit."

    Children are naturally creative, so investing in a few basic craft supplies is a great way to keep your grandchildren entertained. Young children love coloring books or making sculptures with homemade play dough. Combine 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, and 1 cup water to make a simple salt dough mixture that can be air dried or baked to create permanent keepsakes. If you enjoy hobbies such as sewing or woodworking, older children may enjoy helping you to complete a simple project such as sewing a pillow for their bedroom or making a birdhouse for the backyard.

    Learning how to cook is an important life skill that can provide a great bonding experience for grandparents and their grandchildren. Use toasted English muffins, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni slices to make mini pizzas. Decorating cupcakes with colored frosting and sprinkles is another simple kid-friendly kitchen project for younger children. If your grandkids are older, consider teaching them how to make a special family dish, such as the pumpkin pie you always serve at Thanksgiving.

    Unleash your inner actor or actress by making costumes for everyone using old clothing, jewelry, and makeup. You can either act out classic fairytales like "Cinderella" or "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" or have your grandkids write a completely new story for you to perform. If you have access to a video camera, don't forget to record the performance so their mother and father can watch it later!

    About the Author

    Dana Hinders is an Iowa-based writer. She earned her B.A. in journalism and mass communication from the University of Iowa in 2003.

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