Need a day or two of grandkid duty that doesn’t involve lugging bags and tired children on and off public transport or having to explain to them the importance of holding your hand every time there’s a road to cross? Then it’s time for a back to basics approach to fun with these (mostly free) activities that will keep the grandkids entertained at home. No electronic device required.
Play hide and seek
Let’s face it, when it comes to playing hide and seek with kids, they have the advantage. They can squeeze into and under a number of hiding places; adults, not so much. So once you’ve exhausted hiding behind all the full length curtains and doors in your home and all that’s left are hiding places that could potentially put your back out, we suggest hiding a toy for the grandkids to find instead.
Go on a scavenger hunt
If you want to get the grandkids outdoors, the lure of a good ol’ scavenger hunt may just spark their curiosity. Write down a list of 8 or more items the grandkids have to find in the garden and have them tick them off as they find them. The items could be anything from beetles and geckos to dandelions and pine cones. If this fails to register any interest, swapping nature finds for hidden Fantales will do the trick. Every. Time.
Enjoy a picnic in the backyard
Make their favourite sandwiches, fill up their water bottles and roll out a picnic rug in the backyard and sit down to enjoy lunch outdoors. After meal time, take the opportunity to read them a book, play eye-spy or watch the clouds float by and make the most of a glorious afternoon where you don’t have to worry about crumbs on the floor.
Bake a cake
You can’t go wrong with cake or at least the promise of one, as long as the little ones help make it of course. Once sticky hands are washed and sleeves are rolled up, get them involved in measuring and mixing up the ingredients. The part they might not love so much is waiting for the cake to bake and then for it to cool before the decorating can begin, but it’s nothing a spatula covered in cake batter to lick won’t fix. If siblings are involved, avoid fights by baking cupcakes so each grandchild has a few to decorate the way they want. Then prepare to watch them devour their baked creations in all of 30 seconds while the clean up takes you a solid 30 minutes.
Start a veggie garden
Always wanted to grow your own veggies? Rope the grandkids in to help out and turn it into a shared project. Sure, you’ll reap the benefits of eating homegrown vegetables, but they’ll feel a sense of excitement and pride when the vegetables begin sprouting because of all their planting, watering and de-snailing efforts. The grandkids will learn lots, you’ll get to spend quality time together, and you never know, it might just convince them to eat their veggies too.
For those days when you want to get the grandkids out of the house, here are some activities for a fun day out: