Oh, yes we did: Bracelets with boys

Oh, yes we did: Bracelets with boys

This past weekend, Jim and I kicked off fall with a quick visit to see our grandsons in the desert, as I’d mentioned here was on the calendar. During the visit, I did indeed make bracelets with the boys, just as Declan had requested.

Thing is, despite his enthusiasm upon seeing the paracord bracelet kit I’d brought in my Grandma Bag, Declan bowed out of the bracelet making in mere minutes. Which worked out for the best as bracelet-making was quite a feat for a five-year-old. Well, a feat for this grandma — who’s 10 times that and more — as well.

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Gramma learns a lesson: boys and bracelets

Gramma learns a lesson: boys and bracelets

My long-distance grandsons have what they call “the home phone,” an iPhone Brayden, Camden, and Declan all have equal access to for communicating with friends and family (approved by Mom and Dad).

Occasionally my phone dings and pings over and over as I get a flood of gifs and goofy emojis texted from “the home phone.” As my grandsons don’t indicate who it is doing the texting, I have to guess according to what the message contains. If text is included, it’s typically Brayden …

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Grandma Christmas crafts matter

Grandma Christmas crafts matter

The year my husband and I were married, his stepmom, Diane, whom I had never met and Jim hadn’t seen in years, sent us a lovely joint Christmas stocking she had made for us. She also sent an adorable handmade one for baby Brianna, who was born soon after we married.

Diane sent another precious stocking the following year, when Megan was born. And another two years after that for our baby Andie.

When Megan and Preston married and…

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Grand spinners from Krokotak! Plus GRAND Social No. 316 link party for grandparents

Grand spinners from Krokotak! Plus GRAND Social No. 316 link party for grandparents

Grand spinners from Krokotak!

I'm always on the lookout for cool and creative crafts for kids. My grandkids in particular. Because the majority of my grandkiddos live more than 800 miles away, I rarely execute said crafts with my grandsons, but I do love to collect ideas for "one day." (Much like I collect cookbooks and recipes... yet make the same standards again and again.)

Anyway, if you like Grandma's Briefs on Facebook, you may already know one of my favorite sources for clever activities for kids is Krokotak. I'm not sure what the name means or who's behind the magic, but I…

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Throwback Thursday: Sponge bombs for summer fun

Throwback Thursday: Sponge bombs for summer fun

This #TBT feature originally published on Grandma's Briefs April 14, 2015—when Brayden was two months away from 7 and Camden soon to turn 4. Thank you for reading my rerun!

Super simple, sloppy, summer fun!


  • Basic rectangular household sponges in various colors (two per sponge bomb)

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Thanksgiving theatrics: Family fun galore courtesy What Happens at Grandma's

Thanksgiving theatrics: Family fun galore courtesy What Happens at Grandma's

My friend Grandma Joyce from What Happens at Grandma's has done it again: crafted a creative and clever holiday activity for kids! This time it's for Thanksgiving, and this time it's unique among Thanksgiving arts and crafts found online because it's performance art — a three-act play for grandkids to perform for friends and family on Turkey Day. Thank you for sharing, Joyce!

The kids don't know it yet, but they're going to superstar in a post-dinner Thanksgiving play at grandma's this year. Considering their love of theatrics, I'm confident they'll gobble up this opportunity right along with savory sweet potatoes served on the rapidly approaching family day of thankful...

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12 crafts for grandmothers and others

12 crafts for grandmothers and others

My friend Joyce is the most creative and crafty grandma I know. A quick perusal of the colorful and clever posts on her  blog, What Happens at Grandma's, confirms my assertion.

Joyce recently told me she thinks crafts are one of the top things grandmas search for online. Now, I trust Joyce's instincts, hence fully believe she's right in that grandmas hanker for handicrafts to make themselves or with their grandkids.

So I searched my own site to see what comes up. To my surprise, the result presented more than a few crafts. (After eight-plus years of blogging, it's easy to forget...

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Friday flashback: How to make a pillow chaise for children

My bonus grandson, Bud, turns 9 tomorrow and we'll be celebrating his birthday (along with his dad's, which was Wednesday) on Sunday. Brianna requested I make Bud a pillow chaise like the ones I made Bubby and Mac a few years ago — back before Bud was part of the family — so he's more comfy lounging on the floor on movie nights.

Bud's favorite color is red so I gathered the goods to create a red birthday chaise.

pillow chaise for children 

As I'll be spending a portion of today putting the present together, I figure it's a fine time to feature the post on doing so as today's Friday flashback. (Speaking of time, it's likely time I create a pillow chaise for Jak, too, as he wasn't around either when I made the original ones for his brothers.)

(Originally published January 10, 2013)

Every once in a great while, I surprise myself and do something that exceeds my expectations. Most recently, it was the making of the pillow chaise lounging thingees I gave my grandsons for Christmas. They turned out far better than I expected, and were received with far more appreciation than I thought might be the case, especially considering they weren't toys — which, as I learned here, are far preferable to practical presents.

What? You missed my post about giving Bubby and Mac their pillow chaises? Well take a look at their joy and ability to play slug in front of the television, thanks to a soft and comfy gift from Gramma.

pillow chaise for kids

At the time I posted that, many readers wondered...

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Friday flashback: Tie-dye for tots... and older kids, too

I've been publishing Grandma's Briefs for eight years. Which means I have an archive jam-packed with activities and other grandparenting goodies I posted long ago that deserve to be shared again for those grandmothers and others who may have missed them the first time around.

The following is one of my favorite — most simple and most colorful — crafts I've done with my grandsons. Which is why I've chosen it for my first Friday flashback feature.


Originally published April 23, 2013

My youngest grandson, Mac, doesn't have the penchant for craft-making that his older brother does. Bubby's attention span can handle a craft that has, say, six or eight steps, knowing there's a grand payoff at the end. Mac, on the other hand — because he's younger and always on the go, go, go — can handle a craft with one quarter that number of steps, and instant payoff of some sort is key.

Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), finding a craft that pleases both can be a challenge. This one, though — a tie-dye project of sorts — was a success. Mac created one or two and was done; Bubby made one after another until the food coloring bottles were nearly empty. Yes, success!


What you need:

• Coffee filters

• Food coloring...

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Kite Flying Day? Plus GRAND Social No. 242 link party for grandparents

Kite Flying Day?

Now, I don't know about you but I certainly don't consider early February prime time for kite flying. Not in Colorado, anyway. It's too darn cold for flying fun, and any breeze blows in more hurricane like than gentle enough to lift colorful kites to wondrous heights.

Nevertheless, February 8 — this Wednesday — is National Kite Flying Day, special celebration of getting outdoors and letting your freak flag, err, kite fly. Up to the highest heights.

So grab the kids, a couple of kites, and go for it!

Weather not in your favor? Then grab the kids and the makings for a few, and create a kite or two. For when the weather's just right.

Here's a simple tutorial for making kites (that will fly) using materials most grandmas have readily on hand.


Whether fashioning kites or flying them...

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From the archives: Four for Valentine's Day

The annual day o' love lurks right around the corner and Cupid will soon be sprinkling hearts and flowery fun far and wide.

Following are four of my previously published posts to peruse, a collection of sweet and silly sorts of stuff focused on ensuring grandkids feel the love — and laughter — this Valentine's Day.

valentine's day activities


Click each graphic to see the full post featuring lovey-dovey ...

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Last-minute holiday helpers, plus GRAND Social No. 236 link party for grandparents

Last-minute holiday helpers

Wow! Is anyone else as flabbergasted as I am that it's less than a week until Christmas? How. Did. That. Happen?

Are you ready? Or do you still need a few things?

Here are a few holiday helpers to perhaps fill one of the needs remaining on your to-do list (click each graphic to access the full post).

Need another cookie?

spritz cookies 


Need a holiday breakfast?...

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