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The holidays are over and it’s back to normal routines. That may include visits from your grandchildren. Are you grandparents running out of ideas for fun things to do with them? Sometimes it’s wise to go back to basics and realize that young children enjoy doing simple and familiar activities. So let’s take a look at some free and easy things to do next time the little ones show up at your door.


Easy arts and crafts projects


Gather up paper, pens, markers and the like and get ready to create. Some projects might include creating a shoebox dollhouse, a pinhole camera, or get a little messy and do a papier mache project. Papier mache, literally “chewed paper” is done with strips of newspaper over some shape and pasted together with a paste made of two parts flour to one part water. Let the creation dry and then paint it.




Gather together your drama kings and queens and act out a favorite story. Add    costumes if you wish. You can make simple costumes by cutting head and arm holes in old pillow cases and embellishing with glued on felt pieces. Children love to act out the parts in nursery rhymes, children’s songs and fairy tales.


Go Outdoors

Get outside and take some walks. You might try an alphabet walk in which everyone competes to find objects a-z the fastest. Or do a nature scavenger hunt with a pre-made list of outdoorsy things to discover. You might look for tracks in the snow, pine cones or acorns, or try to spot certain birds. Or, explore a different part of your city and visit a park you’ve never played in before.


Do the City

Take a tour of a city building. Call ahead and visit the nearest fire station, or ask for a tour of the children’s section of the library. Ask the local animal shelter is they allow volunteers to walk the dogs or feed the kittens. See what’s on display at the local museum and then read about the showing before visiting. See how much you’ll learn!


Get Goofy


Get a little goofy. Have a backwards day in which everyone wears their clothing backwards and says their sentences backwards. Have dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. Or, try a silent day or part of a day where everyone has to mime and write, but not talk. Or have a joke day and give everyone a chance to

tell their favorite jokes.


Simple fun is the best fun and it’s also the cheapest! Don’t fall into the trap of spending large sums of money to entertain the grandkids. Most of the time you can have the best times in the world simply enjoying these or other “back to basic” ideas.