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for grandparents & those who love them

Amusing and Engaging the Whole Family

Entertainment these days comes in so many different ways.

For some of us, a simple movie night out or even just dinner would be fine. For others, movie, dinner and a club . . . but that’s for adults. What about the grandkids?

Trip to the Theatre
Well, of course a movie would be fine, but not a lot of movies come out that ‘all’ kids can see. Every summer they release at least two good children’s movies. If you want to spend the large sum for a movie outing (e.g., tickets, popcorn, sodas, candy), it is a great pleasure for kids ages 5-10. Younger children often get bored halfway through the movie and want to wander. IMAX also offers a change of pace with more engaging moments and 3D fun.

Movie at Home
With the cost of seeing a movie in the theatre, it’s simply cheaper and easier to rent or buy the movie when it comes out on DVD or Blu-ray. A home movie night with the whole family can be great fun. You could have a special dinner, either carry out or homemade, and enjoy a complete family night from the comfort of home.

If time and energy allow, it is sometimes miraculously possible to watch more than one movie before the birds go to bed. Or, leave a little time for a Hen double feature, where parents and grandparents get a movie night after the kids are asleep.

Dining Out
An evening for actually going to dinner can be fun too. Often children get bored waiting for the food. It’s always best to choose a restaurant that caters to kids. That way you may not have to wait so long. Also, they may have a way to keep birds busy, like crayons or games, until the food comes.

Learning Night
Another way to enhance your HENtertainment factor is a learning TV night. Each person in the family can select a show, that’s fit for all and educational, to watch together. This may also include a nice smorgasbord-style meal (i.e., lots of snacks and finger foods like a little bird buffet). Carving out this time one or two nights per week is enjoyable and helps keep the routine fresh, particularly if you choose to swap TV for a board game now and again.

Tech Time
Children today are very up on technology! Even at two-years-old a child can handle a computer. Making sure they have educational games and enriching software is very important. There are quite a few sites that cater to kids. Just make sure you have parental blocks set up on your system before the birds prepare to play.

And, on a funny note, here are two of my grandsons with my son, all immersed in new tech toys on Christmas afternoon.

Creative Hands
Hands-on learning for all children is important. This helps their own imagination come out. They may not produce items or pictures that you understand. But if they explain them and enjoy them, what difference does it make? They are learning. Give them time. Coloring, painting, writing practice and reading. Kids are learning to read very early these days. Most children need to know all of their letters and numbers before they start school. So begin as early as you can and inspire them to love learning.

All in all, there is so much that you can do to help children these days. Computers, DVDs and paint. I think one of the best is simple paper and pencil. So much can come out of a bird’s mind if they have the time and energy to open up and let it out!

Patricia McClellan is mom to six, grandma to four and step-grandma to two teens. She studied music, focusing on the violin, before marrying the love of her life and starting a family. She later shifted her career to finance and customer care, while balancing her time as full-time mom.

As a Hen, a widow and a dynamic woman, she enjoys working with children to build relationships, support education and find ways to help us all remain young at heart.

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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