One of many things we loved to see happen at Discover! was watching grandparents bring in their grand kids. Some would comment that it was a fun place to award them with during their stay, others said that they didn’t have near the amount of toys to entertain them with at home, and it was also mentioned how busy their little one’s were and they needed some extra fun! We were happy to provide so many grandparents and their grandchildren with a fun place to play together, and we honestly feel a little guilty that we’re not open right now. Therefore, we thought we would make up for it by doing a post about some great ways to entertain the grand kids when you have them over!
Have a Tea Party: Invite the kids to bring their best friends (stuffed animals) and dress up in their finest clothes. Set up your china and tea cups and serve kid friendly drinks and snacks. Some great Tea Time snack suggestions are PBJ sandwiches, veggies and dip, decorated cookies, and fruit. The more involved they are in preparing the tea party the better. You can have them help you prepare the table and snacks, as well as create a center piece!
Go on a Treasure Hunt: This activity allows you to include the little ones too. First make your treasure chest. The sky is the limit in the materials that you use. Look for buttons, bows, tape, paint, glitter, and wrapping paper to create a lovely masterpiece. The kids will have a ball and remember the time they made an awesome treasure chest with Grandpa/Grandma. Then comes the fun part, figuring out where to hide everything, and writing the clues to find each item. After all of the treasures are collected, have the kids draw each item on an index card, then you can play a memory game with them. They can also write down a story about each one, so the memories can be written down forever!
Get your Hands Dirty: This was one of my favorite memories with my Grandmother. Plant seed in pots and let them grow, when they are ready to transplant, let the kids help you pick a spot to plant them. This will become a repetitious activity to do, each time they come over. Little by little they’ll see what the plants are doing, and you can give each kiddo a journal to write down their observations. The journal entries can be about how tall the plant is, what bugs they found, if it was hot or cold outside, was there any flowers, and whether or not the fruit/vegetable were ready to harvest. If they do plant a vegetable, they can take the bounty home to mom and dad to share. They’ll be a green thumb in no time!
Make a Jigsaw Puzzle: Have them help you pick an image to print off, then glue it to a piece of cardboard. You can use cardboard from a cereal box. On the cardboard, trace out or draw puzzle piece shapes, then take an X-Acto knife and cut out each shape. Now the kids can put it back together.
Have a FUNdue party: Kids love this! Melt chocolate chips and gather a bunch of yummy morsels: strawberries, bananas, pretzels, marshmallows, and whatever else would strike your fancy. Dip in and have Fun!
Fruit Smoothies: The kids love these, and it taste just as good as ice cream. All you need is to add your fruit, frozen yogurt (your choice of yogurt), and orange juice to a blender. You can go online and see hundreds of kid friendly recipes.
Sing Like a Rock Star: Make your own instruments and become a band. The internet is full of ideas for making some home made instruments. Here is a link for five simple instruments: www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Simple-Musical-Instrument
Take a Trip to the Library: Some children aren’t exposed to this until they are in school. So take the opportunity to show them what fun it is. Many libraries have a children’s program once a week that you can attend. Each time a story is read and followed with a craft. For local story time in Centralia, Chehalis, Mountain View, Packwood, Salkum, Winlock, and Morton go to this link: www.trl.org/Locations/Pages/LibraryInformation.aspx?lib=ch
During your visit, you can pick up books that you placed holds on in advance, or let the kids pick some out. Then take the time to sit and read to them. You can read at the library or outside, either way your grand children will start to be able to have some fond memories of reading with you!
Bubbles: This is by far one of the funnest activities that seems to make time pass by. You can purchase large bottles of bubble liquid at local stores, which typically come with a bubble blowing wand. Or make your own! However, you can use different types of things to blow bubbles with. Straws make lots of little bubbles when you blow quickly through them. You can also use your hands by putting the soap on them, then make a circle with your thumb and pointer finger. When a film is over the circle you just made, blow and make giant bubbles. You can also use tennis rackets, hangers, and more too!
Some More Fun Activities!
Make: sock puppets, kites, cookies, scrapbook, works of art, or crafts.
Go out and about: picnics, visit a pet store, local parks, trails, ice cream, or frozen yogurt. Go a little further to the ocean, the zoo, or aquarium.
No matter what you decide to do, the most important part is spending time with your grandchildren. The time that you spend makes an incredible difference in your grandchild’s life. From you they learn to enjoy different things, they observe how you interact with them and others, and ultimately make numbers of memories to last their life time.
We hope this is helpful while we are shut down temporarily, and we are excited to see you again when we open our new museum! Happy memory making Discover! Grandparents!