One great joy of being a grandparent is the special bonding time with your grandkids when they come to visit. And, those visits happen more frequently during the summer months when the schools are closed. Whether the visits are for one day or for longer periods of time, grandparents who are retired want those occasions to be filled with memory-making fun activities while still remaining within their monthly fixed income.
The following is a list of both indoor and outside activities that will result in fun-filled days for everyone. Regardless of the fun activities done together, remember to take lots of pictures to share with other family members.
When spending time outdoors during the hot, sunny, humid days of summer it is important to prepare for extreme weather conditions. This means that everyone needs to:
a. Use sunscreen on all exposed skin, including noses and ears,
b. Wear wide-brimmed hats,
c. Wear sunglasses, and
d. Wear loose, light-colored clothing
1. Water Sports: A slip-and-slide game is always a favorite water sport for backyard fun on a hot summer day. Another water sport is letting the grandkids play a game of water pistols where everyone gets wet while expanding lots of energy. Grandparents can monitor the fun, hand out bath towels when the games are over, and having bottles of fruit juice or water ready to quench the grandkids’ thirst.
2. Car Wash: Grandparents can get the grandkids to help them wash the family car. While the car may not be as sparkling clean as when using a car wash, the fun is in having everyone working together. As a reward for this joint activity, the grandparents can take everyone out for a ride in the newly cleaned vehicle to get a frozen slushy or ice cream.
3. Planting Flowers: Let the grandkids plant flower seeds in small flower pots that they can take home with them when their visit is over. Then, when the flowers bloom, the grandkids will have a visual reminder of their special time with their grandparents.
4. Backyard Picnics: Let the grandkids help plan and pack a picnic basket that will be carried out to the backyard patio for a special outdoor lunch. One child can make the sandwiches, another child can prepare the cold drinks in re-usable cups, while another child can wrap cookies or fruit for dessert. The grandparents can make sure that there are plenty of napkins and a damp cloth put into the basket to wipe sticky mouths and fingers. While eating the special lunch, each person can talk about what they like the most about the day.
Sometimes going outdoors for activities is not possible because the temperature is too hot or it is raining. On those days, the fun can continue indoors.
1. Jigsaw Puzzles: The wonderful thing about jigsaw puzzles is that they come in different levels of difficulty. There are puzzles with less than 20 pieces for young-aged children and more complex puzzles for older-aged children. To help make the puzzle games memorable, they can be put together on a blank poster board and then framed at a craft store. The framed puzzle will become a family treasure.
2. In the Kitchen: Working in the kitchen is a wonderful way to spend a rainy afternoon. Everyone can join together to make cookies with the grandparents handling the oven controls. While the cookies are baking, let the grandkids help make lemonade or fruit-flavored drinks. When the cookies have cooled down, the grandkids can decorate them with different colored icing and sprinkles. Then, everyone can pick a few cookies to eat with their self-made drinks. Grandparents can take plenty of pictures that show all of the steps worked together during this special time together.
3. Bean Bag Toss: Grandparents can clear an area in the kitchen or living room to set up a game of bean bag toss. The grandkids love to compete against each other to see who can toss the most bags into the hole. The winner can select a movie to watch after supper before going to bed. The opportunity is there for a new winner each time the game is played.
4. Board Games: There are plenty of board games available for children of all ages. And, win or lose, there is the fun of doing this together.