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As much as we love our kids, as parents it’s our duty to set boundaries so we can raise children who are able to live happy, full lives. However, as grandparents, we can be more free to use our precious time with our grandchildren to have a bit more fun with only some ground rules that are necessary so we can respect their parents’ wishes.
Grandmothers and grandfathers can enrich children with an invaluable amount of experience. In return we are blessed with seeing our grandchildren grow and learn. With research showing that grandparents who are actively involved in their grandchildren’s lives have fewer symptoms of depression, it is beneficial to keep your family close.
With the end of the school year and the beginning of summer holidays coming, these relationships become even more important as we can help give their parents some much needed time to themselves. As grandparents, we see quality time spent with our grandchildren as far more valuable than any gift we can be given. So, we’ve collected a few ideas for you to try with your grandkids this summer to make the most of your time together.
Help in the garden
Gardening can be messy work but showing children how plants grow can be a rewarding experience that can give them skills they can use for the rest of their lives. Planting, watering, weeding and harvesting fruit and veg from the garden can easily be an experience of a lifetime, especially when you taste the difference between homegrown and store-bought food. Even in bad weather, you can plant seeds or seedlings in pots and place them on the window sill to get sun.
Look at old photos
On rainy days, take a family photo album and tell your grandkids about the people or events captured in the photos. Show that we weren’t always old either. Share with them what your childhood was like, how you lived without the internet, mobile phones and gadgets. We can also talk about what kind of kids their parents were like, what pranks they played at home or at school. Kids are very inquisitive and if we do it well, they will love recalling the past with you.
Make a time capsule
It is a natural human desire to leave a mark on the world and we can develop our relationship with children by creating shared memories that have the excitement of not seeing until many years or even decades later.
To make a time capsule, first get a dry, airtight, preferably dark coloured container. Pick some personal but essential items and maybe even a photo. Get a piece of paper and write a list of all the items. Add a message for your future selves and don’t forget to add the date! Fill the container with the items and the letter and then ceremoniously close it. Decide how long you want to seal your time capsule for. Label your time capsule with the planned date of opening, and even though it’s quite traditional, don’t bury it (a lot of capsules are lost that way). Instead, look for a safe indoor spot for it. Then all you have to do is make sure that no-one forgets about it.
Swim at home
Fortunately, you can go to the beach at home. While the weather is warm you can dust off or buy an inflatable paddling pool. It’s one of the cheapest ways to splash around at home. If you live in a house with a garden, you’ll certainly easily find a place for a soft-walled pool, but don’t be scared if you don’t have enough space for that. Young children shouldn’t be left unaccompanied around water even if it is only a few inches deep so make sure that you have a few fun games or activities to play with them.
A bath can provide a beach atmosphere at home. Let the water cool down in the tub, look for some beach games. Children can get into the bathtubs with the UDOOR Bathtub door easily and safely, and getting out is just as easy.
Camp in the garden
An older but still usable tent can make a wonderful fort or cave. You can arrange the tent in advance for your grandchildren’s arrival, but older children might enjoy helping you set it up, or even be able to set it up by themselves with a little instruction. A private play area, like a tent, makes a wonderful place to play, shelter from the sun and nap. We’re sure that given the opportunity in a matter of moments, it will be loaded with toys, and maybe they will want to even want to spend the night there. A beautiful summer evening under the starry sky is also a wonderful experience for kids.