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What’s Your Grandparenting Superpower?

By Laura James

Grandparents everywhere have superpowers! Unfortunately this power is often dormant because many grandparents don’t even know they have grandparenting superpowers.  No, it’s not flying or shooting spider webs from wrists, but it does involve spiders of another sort: “Itsy Bitsy Spiders.” As handy as flying and web spinning would be for wrangling little ones, grandparent superpowers are far better and have a greater impact on the world.

The Power of Play
The superpower that all grandparents have is play; it is something that we all share, but like Peter Pan, grandparents sometimes forget how to play. If only there were an app for that. Well, now there is: Together Time with Song and Rhyme is a new app that helps grandparents and parents bond with their preschoolers through fun, tickles, songs, and rhymes that support early childhood development.

grandparenting play makes for super grandparents“Together Time makes grandparents even more FUN for kids!” says Laura James, the app’s creator and founder of 7Potato.com. “Childhood is a once-upon-a-time opportunity, it only lasts a few short years. It’s easy for grandparents to spend too many of those years focused on trying to getting kids to behave in our adult world, when we could be using our superpower to make us child-like again. Grandparents are better served when they practice living in their children’s world and play. “It’s more of a Jane Goodall approach”, says James, “where you observe and behave like the little creatures, to try and understand kids and their world, instead of trying to make the little creatures fit into your world.” This immersive approach helps grandparents gain trust and paves the way for a more fun and seamless childhood.”

Play not only helps kids acquire critical early development skills, it makes everyone’s life more fun. Play has been proven to strengthen the parent-child connection, which inevitably, helps reduce the natural friction that can often occur with new experiences and patterns of behavior.

Play: Helping Kids Prepare For Future Activities
Creative play, or even a playful attitude, can help break the cycle of noncompliance that many children develop toward seemingly mundane activities, and encourage children to think about these activities from another, more engaging perspective.

Does your grandchild refuse to get in the car? Start singing “Windshield Wiper” before you even get out the door. This helps set expectations for where you are going, rather than the seat they have to be strapped into, while giving your child a sense of fun.

Trouble getting the kids to go to bed? Help settle little creative minds for dreamland with this 5-second tickle before reading their bedtime stories:

“The moon is round, as round as can be.
Two eyes, a nose, a mouth, like ME!”

“These types of grandparent/child bonding activities give children the ability to experience their world with more of their senses; sight, sound, and touch. The sing-songy, repetition helps them expand on their learning, intuitively and exponentially, with some sense of understanding and even control,” says James. “It also encourages positive behavior and supports early literacy in language, math, and science, which in turn helps them become active learners and lead more engaged lives. Put simply: play encourages possibility in the world.

“Play is the work of children; it supports their ongoing development physically, cognitively, and emotionally. When grandparents and parents decide to take a little time to find their inner child, play can have the power to transform their lives, giggle-by-giggle, into a magical wonderland. One of the best parts of having kids is that it gives you an excuse to relive childhood. It goes by fast so have fun, play often and connect! If fun is the focus, learning will be the outcome, every time.”
grandparenting play
To download Together Time, visit: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/together-time-song-rhyme-for/id500577597?mt=8

GrandparentingLaura James, former children’s TV Producer and creator of Together Time: the app for parents, grandparents and educators, filled with fun activities that promote learning. Laura is also the Founder of 7Potato: the new online activity library for parents, grandparents, kids, and educators 

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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