School is out or nearly out for your grandchildren and you’re hoping to spend some quality time with them this summer. Well, don’t wait and just hope it happens, be proactive and get the ball rolling.
Parents, especially those who have full-time jobs, often find the summer months to be challenging. They look forward to more time with the children, but they also are stretched to pay for babysitting or daycare. They also must come up with finances for those special summer trips to the beach or camping or other summer fun.
Here’s where you, the grandparents, can grab some time with the grandkids. You can be available to fill in the gaps and ensure that you’ll have fun times with the grandkids. Follow these tips and solve one of the biggest problems we grandparents have: spending quality time with each grandchild.
Get the the calendar out early and plan with your children for the times you wish to be with the grandkids. This may look like a whole family gathering, or it may be individual time with just the children. You might want to schedule one on one time with each grandchild. Whatever you want, get it on the calendar early before the days are all booked up and unavailable to you.
Maybe your children want to take an adult vacation without the kids. Bingo. That time may be perfect for you to schedule time with the grandkids. Or maybe you live near enough to offer childcare for certain days or weeks in the family summer schedule. Offer to be the one who takes the kids to swim lessons or day camp. Plan a weekend or week-long Grandparent Camp experience complete with all sorts of fun activities. Work with your children to make their lives easier, and you’ll get all the quality time with the grandkids you can handle.
Make it Special, Make it Fun
You’ve probably spent hours reading to your grandkids or buying them toys to play with at your home. You may have used up all the ideas you have for doing fun activities. Now is the time to mix it up and find some new and fun things to do. Check with your local parks, libraries and recreation facilities and see what’s available. Take them rock climbing or swimming. Plan a scavenger hunt or make super bubbles. Create a new playhouse out of cardboard boxes or make up a new “holiday” such as magic day or homemade ice cream day. The internet is an endless resource for fun things to do with children. Find activities or projects that are fun for you as well.
Stay Inside/Go Outside
There are lots of fun activities to do indoors with the grandkids. You will play board games, play video games—it’s okay to beat them once in a while, and maybe do puzzles. You can make crafts, cook yummy treats and eat them and you can read chapter books out loud. You’ll look forward to seeing old movies from your childhood or new ones that the kids love.
But today’s children don’t play out of doors as much as they should. They only relate outdoors to sporting events. Show them how to build forts, go on nature walks, sleep outdoors, play kick the can or capture the flag. Plan outdoor events such as campfires, sing alongs, games of hide and seek and all the other games kids used to do when the parents said, “Go out and play.”
All in all, finding time with your grandchildren is all about scheduling and communicating with your children. What do they have on their schedules? How can you fill in and help them? What can you offer in the way of fun and surprises to enrich their summer months? Make the effort to coordinate summer fun and you’ll have great memories to share with the grandkids.