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    « Ode to my eldest daughter | Main | Sunday morning warming »

    40 Things to do when visiting your grandchild's house

    Jim and I chatted with our grandsons via FaceTime the other night, and one thing I mentioned to Bubby and Mac was that they should come up with some ideas for fun things to do when PawDad and I visit them next month.

    As I don’t want to leave the boys fully in charge of the agenda for our visit, I set out to make a list of options myself. I first considered perusing Pinterest for ideas, then I thought of a more relevant resource: the Grilled Grandmas.

    One of the questions I ask of Grilled Grandmas is “What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house?” Below are some of their answers — including more than a few I plan to do with my grandsons. Some you may want to try, too… or maybe already do.

     40 things to do when visiting grandchildren

    “See their rooms! They always have little treasures to share or new toys and/or clothes to show off! It’s awesome to see their interests and personalities reflected in their matter what age!” ~Joan

    “Make crafty things and bake.” ~Verna

    “I love building Lego creations with the two older ones, and Play-Doh is fun with the younger one.” ~Melinda

    “Liam likes to make tents.” ~Suzanne

    “I love to tuck them into bed. We have our own [made up] song we sing.” ~Anita

    “At their house, they sometimes talk me into trying some of their computer games and then laugh at me for my inability to comprehend how they work.” ~Olga

    “Believe it or not, when we go to visit the families I find I also enjoy spending time with my own children as well as the grandchildren.” ~Edna

    “Teaching them bad habits to torment their mothers is always fun.” ~Jeanne

    “We'll play football, basketball, baseball, swing, go to the park. We also like to play TAG which is so much fun with them. The laughter is priceless.” ~Maryann

    “At their homes, we have tea parties, watch funny movies, or sing karaoke.” ~Linda

    “I enjoy meeting the friends of the older grandchildren.” ~Susan

    “We play outside and discover things in nature, like seeing our reflection in a puddle or taking a walk and smelling the roses. We also love to hula hoop, jump rope and swing on their swings.” ~Donne

    “We have tea parties at Barnes and Noble!” ~Marilyn

    “I love letting their parents get much needed rest in the morning, and having them all pile into bed with me for extended wake-up time cuddles…” ~Ronda Kay

    “I adore watching them pursue their interests such as dance classes, gymnastics, and tennis lessons.” ~Laurie

    “My grandson and I have to go for sushi anytime I go and see him.” ~Janie

    “I help with school projects and planning upcoming events.” ~Joyce

    “THEIR favorite thing when I visit is the Treasure Hunts. Before making the trip, I save little surprises: like a package of Gummy Worms, new book or Slinky, yo-yo, some little toys in a basket and pack those in my suitcase. When I get there I make clues — and hide them around the house.” ~Cheri

    “...Walk to a park with a stream and look for frogs and lizards... Depending on the season, we walk to a nearby nursery and buy flowers to plant.... [and we] play store and beauty salon and read books.” ~Kayann

    “The best thing is to find a time and place to just chat, time with them equals value and listening to them equates putting value on them as a person.” ~Nancy

    “Walk around their neighborhood.” ~Carol

    “My favorite is playing that I am a student at school and Hannah is the teacher.” ~Nita

    “We play hide and seek, which they love.” ~Carmen

    “I always take freshly baked cookies so we can have a little snack.” ~Vee

    “Take walks in the mountains looking for signs of wildlife.” ~Linda

    “The oldest ones and I have always had a 'date.' That's when I take one grandchild at a time and let them decide what they want to do.” ~Gabriele

    “I try to recall things I enjoyed as a child so that they might have new things to experience.” ~Janie

    “Sometimes, we take flashlights into the basement and play in a little, pink tent. We imagine we are camping and making s'mores. There is nothing like imaginative play.” ~Kay

    “I love to cook for my children and grandchildren when we go to their house. I call ahead and "take orders" for what they want me to make for them when I arrive.” ~Karen

    “It is a special thrill for me to play catch with my grandson.” ~Linda

    “We read books, play, talk and tell stories. The time is filled with snuggly hugs and my very special 'noisy' Grandma kisses.” ~Nezzy

    “We have a great time playing 'ball tag' in their back yard (throwing soft plastic balls at each other to ‘tag’ a person. It’s easier than the traditional Tag — nice for them AND me).” ~Kaye

    “Color and put puzzles together.” ~Liz

    “I love to see all of their school projects, graded papers, report cards.” ~Carol

    “We love to pick wildflowers for a bouquet on the mantle.” ~Robin

    “We play trucks together!” ~Diane

    “I am rarely the doting grandma who makes cookies. We make healthy smoothies instead.” ~Karen

    “Getting to know their world… meeting their teacher, going to the playground, attending their concerts and games, and getting to know their friends.” ~Sue

    “Walk down to the park by the river and feed the ducks, squirrels, etc and take photos of the kids and their friends.” ~Mary

    “I mostly just hold them and kiss them as much as I can.” ~Nina

    Today's question:

    What would you add to the list?

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    Reader Comments (9)

    Sprawl out on the driveway with them, grab some sidewalk chalk and create.

    January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNonnieKelly

    Tell them stories about things their Mom (or Dad) did when she/he did as a child.

    Great list from the Grilled Grandmas!

    January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

    Great ideas for fun times with grandkids, whether they live near or far.
    I always love being assigned a part in whatever "pretend" game they are playing. I am often the patient being taken to the hospital in their ambulance. They know me well enough to make a quick stop at Starbucks on the way to the hospital. :)

    January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJeanie

    This one is kind of hard for me as going to Amara's house is more of an everyday thing. Maybe not every day but 3 or 4 times a week..... but on those rare occasions I go there to babysit or something we almost always read books! (And talk about who got in trouble in school recently! She is at such a fun age!)

    January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGrandma Kc

    My suggestions are for grandparents who can't physically move around much. Write stories together, share stories from your past and when your children were little, share pictures of ancestors and stories from their lives, do the treasure hunt idea with help hiding etc. watch their favorite shows with them. Have little surprise gifts to bring out through the trip at times when they need incentive to clean up the house etc.

    January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEdna

    I love this list. The theme seems to be showing interest and love in your grandchildren. Also, thanks, Edna, as some of us do have mobility issues.

    January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda brock

    We ask them to play their new songs on their guitars or piano - visit and a concert all in one.

    January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJudy@grandparentsplus2

    I like to cook dinner when I visit them. I let them help to the extent that they can, and it gives me a chance to let my daughter have a little time off from her daily grind.

    January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVicki

    What a great list! I wrote a book called "Boppy and Me", about my daughter and her grandfather. Their favorite things to do together is to take nature walks and art. The time they spend together has bonded them forever. It's a beautiful thing!

    January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGabrielle Mazur
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