Jul 27, 2011

Sending Kids to Visit Their Grandparents? Ideas for Activities

How many of you are sending your children off to visit grandparents before school begins, or, if you are grandparents, anxiously awaiting the arrival of your favorite little people? Maybe your family is the highly active type that plans outings, maybe hiking or visiting museums. Or, maybe you like more low-key amusements like going to the movies or out for a bite to eat. Sometimes grandparents feel like they have to entertain grandchildren (or grandchildren expect it), so visits become chock filled with moving from one programmed activity to the next. Finding activities that have real value and can deepen relationships can be difficult, and yet another trip to the pizza-token-arcade place might not be it. On the other hand, some families are the exact opposite, where children need to entertain themselves when visiting grandparents.

If you have the opportunity to spend time with grandchildren, especially with kids in that tricky tween age range, a terrific project is creating a memory book. Grandparents and grandchildren can work together to complete the book’s thoughtful questionnaires and to fill in the family tree. You might talk about what your bar or mat mitzvah was like and what your grandchild hopes his or hers is like. You might explain where special Rosh Hashanah recipes were handed down from, and what your own favorite parts of holidays are. Learn more about the Grandparent's Memory Book for Jewish Families.
If your grandchild doesn’t have the attention for project that requires writing, try doing an interview and recording it. If you have smaller grandchildren, videotape yourself reading books with them. I highly recommend A Grandma Like Yours/A Grandpa Like Yours, in which a whimsical collection of animal grandparents illustrate the characteristics of Jewish grandparents. Then, talk about what kind of grandparent your grandchild thinks you are!

Are you off to grandma’s this summer?

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