For grandparents, the summer holidays are all about creating precious memories with their grandchildren.
The long break is chance to spend quality time together, watch your grandchildren grow, and teach them new skills.
Yet no matter how much you love them, if you're on childcare duty, it can be a challenge coming up with new ways to occupy them week after week.
To save you tearing your hair out, we’ve put together a list of activities that will keep you all busy this summer. Just keep your fingers crossed for good weather!
Teach them to bake
Many of us have fond memories of baking cakes and biscuits with our grandparents – and for some reason, they always tasted better than the ones we made with our parents! The baking process offers a fantastic opportunity to pass on your treasured family recipes. It also helps children understand where our food comes from, teaches them how to follow instructions, and gets them to appreciate the importance of being patient.
If you aren’t the world’s greatest cook, don’t despair. You can find a wealth of simple recipes online. For the days that it's too warm to turn the oven on, try a no-bake recipe like these mini Angel Delight cheesecakes. And if it all goes wrong, just remember that sometimes the best part is the decorating!
Go for a picnic
Picnics are always exciting! Get your grandchild involved by encouraging them to choose their favourite fun finger foods and getting them to help you make and pack the picnic. You don’t need to go far – the local park or even your back garden will do! If it’s raining, spread your picnic blanket out in your living room and have an indoor picnic. It’s still more fun than sitting at a table – and it’s a great excuse to indulge in some of your own favourite picnic foods. Cheese and pineapple on a stick, anyone?
Introduce them to a new board or card game
You can’t go wrong with a classic board game or card game. They’re a great way to improve memory, build concentration, and learn about strategy – things that will benefit you as well as your grandchildren! Don’t save board games for when you’re stuck inside on a rainy day. When the weather is nice, play outside or have a board game tournament in the garden.
If you’ve got particularly energetic grandchildren, pick up a more active game like Twister from your local supermarket or charity shop. They’ll have a great time and it’ll tire them out. All you need to do is call out the instructions!
Play the number plate game
If you need to go on a long car or bus journey, keep the grandkids entertained by playing a game using number plates. Trying using the last three letters of a number plate to make a word. When they get stuck, use the opportunity to broaden their vocabulary and teach them a new word.
Press leaves or flowers
Although it may seem old fashioned, showing your grandchildren how to press leaves and flowers is a great way to teach them about nature. Make a day of it, and head off to your local green space to collect the items you want to press. All you need are some heavy books! Once they’ve dried, use the petals and leaves to create a collage, or decorate them using sequins and glitter.
Embrace video games
As the old saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them. If your grandchild loves video games and wants nothing more than to switch on and play for a few hours, get involved yourself! Ask them to show you how to play and challenge them to a game or two. You might be terrible, but they’ll love watching you trying to figure it out. What child doesn’t love competing against someone older than them and winning? It doesn’t matter if you can’t get to grips with it. You’ll both have a laugh and you might even learn a new skill in the process!
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