Most of us have fond memories of our grandparents. Sunday dinner, listening to the stories about the good old days, grandma in her apron, grandpa in his chair and certain smells will never fail to remind us of them. However, in this day and age, children are involved in so many more activities, parents are usually slugging out a
career and grandparents are young acting, busy baby boomers. When grandparents do get to see their grandchildren sometimes it is just easier to take them to the movies or out to dinner but the memory of the outing is fleeting and creates little bonding. Nowadays giving your grandchild a memory may take a little more
planning but it will be worth the effort.
Amazingly, just sitting aside a weekend each year can make a big difference to a child. It would cost very little but
the payoff could be worth more than you imagined.
Since kids love to be outside why not plan a flower planting party. Planting flowers is great fun and digging in the
dirt with their own shovels has never failed to please children. Of course, the best age to engage them in this activity and keep their attention is over four years old.
Set a weekend date in the early spring when there are less planned sports activities for the children, usually
around the spring break or before Easter is best. Also, this is usually when the local nurseries have just
received their first batch of perennials and annuals in the four inch pots. Most are blooming and are cheap,
colorful and there is more of a variety. If possible let your grandchildren go with you to pick out the flowers but
limit the amount to five or six pots especially if you are creating with more than one child. Also, you don’t want to
spend the entire day planting or the next day finishing up.
If you don’t have a corner of a yard or a garden area even a small patio will work. If you plan on making this an
annual event each child can have a planter box or window box to use every year. Let them do the planting, the watering and packing in the dirt to give them a sense of responsibility and you can always do a little rearranging
If you have the time and energy you can couple the flower planting party with a craft time. Children of all ages love
to paint but especially those aged six and up. One year buy the lower priced plastic flower pots and let them design their own pots. They love to make gifts for mom or dad or they can leave them at your house for future
planting. Before you hand them the paints be sure you have spread newspaper on every surface and protect their clothes. Keep a couple of your large t-shirts that you would have normally thrown away to use as cover-ups.
clothes. Nothing is more fun to a child more fun than wearing an old shirt of grandma’s or grandpa’s!
Another project which can be done on the patio table are treasure boxes. Many of the craft stores have small
unfinished boxes that can be decorated or painted. The cost is minimal and you can decorate them with things
around the house. Christmas ribbon, birthday paper, buttons, tiny rocks, old costume jewelry or pieces of yarn or
If you have more than one grandchild a sleep over or slumber party in the living room with grandma, in pajamas,
is usually a hit. A kids movie with popcorn or fruit will start them unwinding. Before they fall asleep talk about your
day together. Let them tell you what the best part was and what they might want to do different next time.
Remember, it doesn’t matter that the house got a little messy, or the dishes didn’t get done or there is dirt on the
patio. You have given them a wonderful memory with their grandparent that they may treasure for the rest of their
lives. It just might make them better grandparents too.