The joys of being a grandparent are immeasurable, and the school holidays are the perfect time to create precious memories that children will remember forever. But you don’t have to break the bank (or your energy) to keep them entertained. Sometimes, going back to basics is just what they need for a fun day out with grandma and grandpa.
Here are 7 simple ideas for a fun-filled time with your grandkids.
1. Get your bake on
These days, most parents don’t have time to cook for fun with their kids, let alone teach them a few basics. So why not spend a day or two in the kitchen getting them to help you bake a cake, a healthy meal or even pass down a much-loved family recipe?
Tip: If you’ve got extra-little ones, even something as simple as stirring the bowl, using cookie cutters or tipping in ingredients will bring them joy.
2. Go through old photos and videos
Few things will give your grandchildren a giggle like seeing photos or videos of their parents or relatives as children doing silly things. Pick out some family albums and show them a little bit about your family’s history.
Tip: Be mindful that little ones might bore easily but you can keep them interested by making them guess who the photo is of. You could also get them to draw pictures of their family to put in your album.
3. Pack a picnic and head to the park
Depending on where you live, there might be a few kid-friendly playgrounds nearby or a council-run botanical garden where you can spend the day. Pack bikes, balls, scooters and bring plenty of sunscreen, food and water, because kids always get starving when they’re away from home. They’ll love being able to roam free and enjoy being at one with nature.
Tip: Make sure you choose a place with toilets because you know that’ll be the first thing they’ll need to do on arrival, regardless of whether they went before they left home.
4. Start a scavenger hunt
This can either be done in and around your home or at a nearby reserve, park or playground. The idea is to challenge them to find everything on a list you create. For example, get them to find a green leaf, a stick that’s as long as their finger and a feather. As a treat for finding all the treasures you could take them for ice-cream afterwards!
Tip: For little ones who can’t read, you might have to draw images instead, and it doesn’t matter if you’re not an artist, that’s half the fun!
5. Visit a local farm
With many children spending less time outdoors these days, a surprisingly large number of them aren’t aware of where milk, cheese and other goods they consume come from. So, if you’re close to farms that allow visitors or have friends or family who own one, why not take the kids on a trip to show them how important life on the land is?
Tip: Don’t forget to pack a change of clothes for the journey home just in case the kids get messy, as they almost always do.
6. A trip to the zoo
Teaching children a love and respect for animals goes a long way to making them responsible and caring adults. If you’ve got a zoo nearby, they will get a kick out of seeing animals they’ve only ever seen on TV or read about in books. Again, pack plenty of things to eat and drink as food at such places are usually super expensive.
Tip: Check to see if you can get any deals online before arriving at the zoo, you might even get discounts with certain organisations you are members of.
7. Arts and craft (outside of course)
Kids of all ages loves arts and craft, but usually don’t get to do it much at home or school because of time constraints. If you’re not adverse to a little mess, grab an old sheet and put it on the grass outside in the shade and let them go nuts with paint, glue, paddle pop sticks and stickers. If you’ve got an old bucket lying around let them give it a makeover!
Tip: A thoughtful present idea for your family or friends is to buy some cheap blank canvases that the grandkids can paint or draw pictures on. You might be surprised at what they come up with!
Most importantly, just enjoy the time you have with your grandkids, you are not only teaching them a little bit more about your generation, but you’re creating memories together that will last a lifetime.