Weekend visits with grandchildren, although cherished can be quite challenging for those not used to being around the high energy and demands of youngsters. Half the battle is having a plan in mind before they step foot in your door. Often overlooked but a crucial part of a successful grandchild visit is being prepared for an emergency. By taking care of these details on time, you’ll be prepared for subsequent visits.
1. Secure copies of your grandchild’s shot record and birth certificate – preference would be to order a duplicate birth certificate from your local Bureau of Vital Statistics.
2. Prepare a notarized Medical Power of Attorney – If your grandchild would need to be treated at the emergency room, you will need this valuable document; otherwise the hospital may not treat the child until reaching a parent. To download free copies go to free-legal-document.com.
3. Assemble a first-aid kit – Cuts, bug bites, sprains: the list of possible mishaps your little one can incur is unending. Be prepared to administer first aid. It is handy to have supplies assembled in one area. For a variety of inexpensive first aid kits take a look at: cheapfirstaidkit.info.
4. Complete a CPR certification – CPR (as well as first aid) courses are now available on-line at cprtoday.com.
5. Keep an updated list of your grandchildren’s allergies. Include allergies to medications, foods and environment.
Food is an important ingredient to a successful visit with your grandchildren. Grandparents have the luxury of creating mealtimes that are void of a hurried schedule often found in their own home. Take full advantage of this by preparing his/her favorite foods. One successful method is to set up an informal buffet with finger foods available throughout the day. Include cut up melons, vegetables, and fruits. Stuffed celery is often a crowd pleaser. For desert, have the grandchildren bake sugar cookies. They will still be talking about the cookies the made the next time they come to visit!
Crafts can be an enjoyable activity if kept simple and age appropriate. Three inexpensive and simple crafts are foam door hangers, foot painting and making a kite. Purchase supplies on-line or in the crafts section at Wal-Mart.
By creating a foam door hanger, your grandchild will create a personalized souvenir commemorating their visit. Simply purchase pre-cut foam shapes and glitter glue. Set your child at a pre-covered table with supplies within reach and let them decorate until their heart’s content. When dry, punch a hole at the top and insert a ribbon for hanging over the doorknob. Every time they enter their bedroom, they will remember the fun they shared with their Grandparents.
To create foot paintings, simply purchase a roll of freezer wrap paper and tempera paint. Lay a long piece of the freezer wrap out in the yard. At one end of the paper, place a cardboard box lid (the top off computer paper works great). Place tempera poster paint in the box. Instruct the child to walk in the box covering the bottom of their feet with paint and then run down the length of the freezer wrap. Repeat this process until he/she feels they have completed their masterpiece. It’s best to wash off their feet outside with the garden hose.
Flying a kite that you’ve made and designed is thrilling. Start this project the first day so it can dry overnight and be ready to be flown the last day of their weekend visit. For detailed instructions on how to make a kite click this link.
For those serious Grandparents, an investment into a Wii gaming console is sure to make you a hit. Although this venue comes with Wii Sports you’ll really impress the little ones with the top rated game this year: Super Mario Galaxie 2. This is a series adventure game where the plot is Mario attempting to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser in Mushroom Kingdom. Rendered mostly in 3-D this visually vibrant version is complete with Yoshi. In two player assist mode, you’ll be quickly on your way to collecting the coveted 70 stars. Rent it free at gamefly.com using their 10-day trial or buy it new for $49.99.
Opportunities for children to pet animals are often few. For those who can afford it, contracting a mobile petting zoo to bring an assortment of animals will be a memorable experience. While prices vary considerably, an internet search will provide the best deal. To find a mobile petting zoo near you call (800) 705-4386.
In the evenings it is nice to relax to a movie before hearing bedtime stories. Having a subscription to Netflix gives you the ability to preview and download movies to your television. This gives the children an opportunity to easily cast their vote for the movie of their choice. Also if inclement weather sets in, there is no limit to how many movies you can view. For a free trial or a monthly subscription of $9.99 register at netflix.com.
After the visit with your Grandchildren is complete, contact their teacher. If not already established, encourage them to create a Grandparent bulletin board where you and other grandparents can post photos, postcards or stories of your visits. This encourages an ongoing connection with your grandchild while subtly instilling a deeper appreciation for their elders that will last a lifetime.