Whenever I settle in to read Grandma Connie's http://www.familyhomeandlife.com/ blog, I feel as if I am right at home. We share the same love of sewing and crafting with our grandchildren, however she manages to keep nine kids happy! The Family Harvest Day Connie hosts every year will delight you and guide you toward planning one of your own. This family bonding experience features a scarecrow making session and lots more wholesome fun. Clever everyday ideas, however, are the mainstay of this site. For example, make a set of Connie's scavenger hunt chore cards and watch kids beg to clean up after themselves. Really!
Heartwarming. That's my one word description of Grandma Shelley's http://www.grandmaslittlepearls.com/ lifestyle. Observe her deftly entertain up to ten grandchildren at a time with events such as Grandkids' Christmas Day Camp. Click on Craft Ideas for Kids for an amazing array of easy-to-make, very cute designs that include my favorites, a marshmallow launcher and a Haunted Halloween Village! What I love about this section is that not one single idea is a junky "space-filler" that you'd never dream of wasting your time on!
But the "great-grandmother-of-us-all" has got to be Susan Adcox at http://www.grandparents.about.com/ While Susan is, herself, a fun-loving, family-enjoying, bursting-with-energy grandma, she acknowledges that everything about grandparenthood is not always "fun and games." Sometimes family conflicts arise, and this professional site is where the wise go for advice, solace and information on a wide variety of topics that include diverse opinions and suggested resources. Sign up for Susan's email newsletter and join in to read and comment on the discussion questions she periodically poses. And yes, there are also sections on the "fun stuff," a wealth of ideas gleaned from other grandparents with photos and detailed instructions to follow.
Okay! My turn! I have found some luck keeping my grand kids entertained using three small household mechanical devices.
All three of the kids really enjoy chasing streams of bubbles spewed by a battery operated machine that even produces "baby bubbles" - sometimes 4 or 5 of them! - inside of huge "monster" ones! These machines can be tricky though. The one I bought, Vertical Mega Bubbles Generator ($20) is wonderful, but I had to return the first one because it abruptly stopped working after only four uses. Online reviews for all toy bubble machines aren't that great, so save the packaging and receipt and buy locally from a store that is nice about returns - just in case! Other than that, pull up your lawn chair and watch the kiddos wear themselves out right before nap time...like Brielle does, below.
In this age of microwave-everything, the twins are as fascinated with my little air-popper machine as if it were a rotary dial telephone! I am glad their mommy has never introduced buttered and salted popcorn to them. They happily eat it plain and share some of it with the birds. Then, while they nap grandma polishes off the leftovers with her own layers of custom seasonings!
I started filling my "Grandma's Crafty Jar" the second I knew I would become a grandma! Use a large, clear plastic jar. Fill it with "pipe cleaners" (now known as "chenille stems" I guess!), pom poms, glitter, crayon and paint boxes, glue sticks, kid scissors, and any cute crafty items you find on sale. Make sure, of course, that contents are always age appropriate. Then let it be known to the kids that they are welcome to it whenever the "crafting bug" bites! I also offer three little plastic totes, identified by color and filled with paper, kid scissors, stickers, and glue sticks.
|LOOK at me! Can't you SEE that crafting is contagious?|
Every crafting session does not need to be structured. The best results often come from free play using the supplies children see before them. Like, for example, when Iggy showed up unexpectedly to make himself a purr-fect pair of yellow pipe cleaner eyeglasses and then hung around to model them for the camera!
There! Have I been helpful to grandmas who seek "normal" ideas for "normal" people? I hope so, even though I remain puzzled about one thing. Usually people who seek "normal" ideas go to "normal" people for answers! Here, after all, we are a family that sharpens pencils for fun and owns a cat who makes and wears his own pipe cleaner eyeglasses. Now really. Be honest! Does any of that sound "normal" to you?
Great post and some wonderful ideas! I'm like you and very lucky to have my granddaughter close by so that we can grow things together. My sister is not so lucky. She is in Michigan and her Grandchildren are in Virginia so I sent her your idea for growing things together in different places! I think that would be so much fun! And if I'm lucky I will get to see the pictures from both! Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
Oh my, I'm sitting here all choked up! Thank you for that wonderful review of my blog! That was very sweet of you to do and a much needed encouragement to me. I always enjoy reading your post, and your excitement over grand parenting is contagious. I love all your ideas today, and can't wait to see many many more.ReplyDelete
I'm in total agreement on the awesomeness of the grandma blogs you mentioned. There's so much to learn from the other grandmas with older (and MORE) grandkids.ReplyDelete
My grandson LOVES the air popcorn popper I got the family for Christmas. :D
Hi I'mvisiting from GRAND Social linky and I'm so glad I found your blog although my granddaughter is only 9mths I am so looking forward to doing lots of crafty stuff with her. I look after my friend's grandson who's 20mths and have bubbles and water pistles, playdough and chunky crayons and have a great time with them.ReplyDelete
Welcome, Anne! Congratulations on your little granddaughter! You have many years of fun ahead of you. Crafting is so valuable because it teaches so many things besides creativity. But the best part for both of you will be that you are making things together! Best wishes!ReplyDelete
Hi, I'm visiting from The Grand Social. Love your "normal" ideas. I appreciate simple ideas like these. What child doesn't like bubbles? Love the little machine. Your grand babies are beautiful.ReplyDelete
I'm laughing out loud at your honest friend! I admit that I've occasionally had a bit of that feeling when visiting your blog. While I don't sit in front of the TV with my grandchildren (ugh!), I'm not as talented and creative as you are. Our crafts don't always turn out picture perfect, but we still have fun. Thanks for the wonderful mention!ReplyDelete
hahaha... I would like to say that air-popper machine have really saved you from trouble... anyways I am using it too and I feel so convenient while making popcorn.ReplyDelete