One of the most important things that I have found to do is take the time to play with my grandchildren. There are so many things that you can do with them that cost very little money and they are more in need of your time than money. For instance, flying a kite with your grandchild is something they will always remember.
Infants – Enjoy cuddling with your infant grand baby. Gently sing or rock her. It doesn’t matter what you sing, the important part is she hears your voice. Often when you are cuddling, your own children can get some things done around the house. If you live far away, make sure you regularly phone, web cam or SKYPE your family. When your son or daughter tells you funny things or milestones the baby has done, write them down in a journal and date the entry. Often the parents are so busy they do not do this and later you can give it to them. Your kids will know how much you care about your grandchildren, even when you can’t be with them.
One Year Olds – As soon as you can and your grand baby is able, get him helping you in the kitchen. He may put wooden spoons into a holder or put pots and pans into a cupboard. Or, together, search for lids for the pots or plastic containers.
Two Year Olds – Put together a book of photos of friends and relatives. Look at it together and talk about who you see. Ask questions like “Who is that?” If you live far away you can mail them the album.
Three Year Olds – A game you can play in person or on the phones is “Opposites.” You say “boy-girl; up-down; black-white; big-small.” These words are opposites. Then you say to your grand baby, I’ll say one word and you say the opposite like “up-down.” Say the first word in the pair and then pause and wait for your grand baby to fill in the other one.
Four Year Olds – This age loves jokes. Share “knock, knock,” jokes. Laugh and giggle together. “Knock, knock, Who’s there? Ken. Ken who? Ken you tell me another joke?”
Five Year Olds – Make a comb kazoo. Cover a fine-toothed comb with waxed paper. Get your grand baby to press her lips gently against the paper and hum a song. If you live far away you could mail one to you grand baby and then when you phone or use your web cam you could play your kazoo along with your grand baby.
Six Year Olds – Play dominoes with your grandchildren. You will help them learn to take turns and recognize patterns. After a game, your grandchild will like to build with them.
Joan Craven is an author, professional speaker, creator of http://www.inexpensivekidsfun.com grandmother, mother and has a Bachelor of Education and an Early Childhood Diploma.
This mother of two grown children and two grandboys believes old-fashioned fun is the much-needed prescription for building a happy, healthy life-long relationship with any children in your life.
For over 14 years Joan Craven was the much-respected weekly parenting columnist for a large daily Canadian newspaper. She has written hundreds of articles, a book Help! School Starts in September, an activity book What Can I Do Today?, and four activity calendars.
Joan has a Bachelor of Education and a Diploma in Early Childhood. For over 25 years she has been writing and researching parenting articles, giving workshops and seminars and is a frequent contributor to radio and TV.