Keeping Grandkids Engaged
Are you a grandma who loves spending time with your grandchildren, but sometimes struggles to keep them entertained? Do you have a stash of activities that you plan to do with them, but end up doing them by yourself when they lose interest? If so, you’re not alone.
We spend the weekend with our son and his family frequently. I always try to think of things to do with each of my grandchildren, for that Special Grandma Time.
Asher, the 2-year-old, isn’t hard to please at all. He is usually interested in whatever I suggest. We’ll play with his cars and trains. Or he’ll spend time in his play kitchen and make me something to eat. He loves to hide and is usually quite difficult to find. 🙂 His favorite thing to do last weekend was “play ball.” We sat on the floor and rolled the ball back and forth to each other for I-don’t-know-how-long. Oh, I do know… until he got tired of it and asked me to bounce the ball off his head.
Ella is really easy to plan activities for. She’s all in for anything that is art or craft-related.. We’ve made bees out of styrofoam and houses out of cardboard boxes. We’ve made dreamcatchers from ribbon and yarn and bird houses from scrap pieces of wood. This weekend we worked on a windchime.
Owen, who is 10 and a boy, is a bit more of a challenge for me. He loves Roblox, which I can’t wrap my head around. He beats me at Chess (Okay, we played once and it was my first time; but I have a hard time remembering all the rules.) I really don’t want to have him practice his Taekwondo on me anymore. He’s too good at it. He’s definitely not interested in crafts. It wasn’t always this hard for me to find points of interest with Owen, but then he hasn’t always been 10 years old either.
As I was contemplating what I could do to connect with Owen this visit, I remembered how he enjoyed making fresh squeezed orange juice with me at Christmas. We only had a few oranges then, so this time I bought a 5-pound bag of oranges to bring with me.
Owen is a great Big Brother, and when Ella asked if she could help, he said, “Sure, of course!”
He lasted about 10 minutes before he was ready to move on to something else.
So now it was just Ella, who was excited to have the rest of the project to herself.
Until her hands started getting tired….. and then it was just me.
Sometimes my great ideas just don’t pan out as I expect them to.
But… When I asked Ella to take my picture, she started to do so and then stopped. She walked over and said, “Let’s put the Orange Juice and the knife right here, so people can see what you are doing.” Ah-ha! Now I have an idea for our next visit… a photo walk with Ella… or something photography related. I’ll have to think about that some more.
Being a Grandma is one of the Best Things Ever. But I’ve learned the key to getting the most out of my relationships with my grandkids is to be flexible and adaptable. I need to remember that just because I think something will be fun, it doesn’t mean they will be as invested as I am.
I want to make every moment with them count and to make memories that will last forever, for all of us.
Maybe I should practice my Chess game. Nah. I’ll just keep thinking.