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How to amuse an 8 year old grandson

(24 Posts)
vegasmags Fri 16-Mar-12 18:00:28

My 8 year old grandson, who is an only rather lonely child, is coming to stay with me on his own for the first time just before Easter. I live in south Manchester, so we are near museums and swimming pools, but I am really stuck for ideas to give him a good time without breaking the bank. Any suggestions from gransnetters would be really welcome.

JessM Fri 16-Mar-12 18:16:56

Hello there vegasmags

Gardening if you have one
Teach him some card games
Sometimes strange things are treats e.g. if they never go on buses or trains a trip on public transport can be a huge thrill.
Pond dipping
Lighting a fire outdoors and cooking something on it.
I used to take my son on the bus from Oldham into Manchester to see the huge snakes in the museum. (live ones) and then we used to go to a cafe - the eighth day was it. Last time i went to manchester it was still there.
Also Libraries etc may have free things going on.
I had a nice day out with an 8 year old boy before xmas. We went for lunch in the little chef. Then we went to the garden centre and looked at the tropical fish etc. I let him use a digital camera and take lots of photos.

Annobel Fri 16-Mar-12 18:18:18

Lyme Park has a very good playground, quite new and great fun. And the coffee shop is quite close by for you to warm up if the weather is chilly - or even if it isn't. Unfortunately the car park is free only to NT members.

Annobel Fri 16-Mar-12 18:20:26

On the 8th Day is still there - I haven't been there for ages. Great veggie food!

glammanana Fri 16-Mar-12 18:21:05

I would look at the reductions that you can get on the train ( train/bus passes take you so far) and take him to the Albert Dock in Liverpool,once there you can take in the Tate gallery and the World Life Museum,my DGCs love to go there it is full of every bug you can think of and little boys love it,you can take a packed lunch and "Dine Alfresco" by the dock and he can look at all the boats.Don't think that he will need taking out every day he may like some time with just the two of you.Oh and buy a football and go to the nearest park that is my DGSs favourite passtime.good luck.

Carol Fri 16-Mar-12 18:25:40

Wythenshawe Park has lots of amenities - all free. There's a great section with swings, slides etc., and a lovely farm with piglets, ponies, lambs, ducks, rabbits ad infinitum. There's lots of little paths that lead into mysterious places, woods, open space for football. Great place!

wisewoman Fri 16-Mar-12 19:24:48

I have an eight year old grandson and I would say that he will just have lots of fun being with you and having your undivided attention. The expensive outings never seem to be as successful as the "home made" ones. My grandson loves playing games and doing "arty" things with rubbish - cereal boxes etc - making space ships and space bases. As others have said going on public transport is usually a treat for modern children and taking a picnic to the park whatever the weather is considered a treat. Time and attention always beat expensive treats in my experience. Just enjoy him. It is a great age and the chat will be wonderful.

Carol Fri 16-Mar-12 19:38:45

So true wisewoman. A picnic with a tablecloth or blanket and plenty of space to charge round with frisbees and balls, and most children will remember that experience rather than what toy they got!

Annobel Fri 16-Mar-12 19:47:35

My senior GD, when she was younger, loved a picnic - Dunham Massey and Lyme Park were her favourites. When she was about 3, I was driving her and her half brother into Lyme Park when she spotted a group of deer. She suddenly yelled out, 'Bambi'! She was right!

Annobel Fri 16-Mar-12 20:32:06

PS if you go to a place with a lake or a pond, don't forget to take some crusts for the ducks and swans. Kids love to feed the birds.

Carol Fri 16-Mar-12 20:42:57

I love going to Dunham Massey, also Arley Hall has Stockley Farm, which kids love.

vegasmags Fri 16-Mar-12 21:20:21

Thank you so much, everyone - some brilliant ideas for me to put into action - and the reassurance that I don't have to take him out every day! You'd think I'd never had children of my own, wouldn't you? My own two used to play with one another a lot, and with friends in the street, but this little chap goes from school to after school clubs and a whole raft of organised activities. I suppose it shows how much the world has changed. Hopefully, he'll enjoy the change of pace when he stays with me. Many thanks for all the constructive suggestions.

nuttynorah Fri 16-Mar-12 22:11:50

Make a tent in the garden from canes and a blanket, then have a picnic inside.

Annika Fri 16-Mar-12 23:16:09

on a rainy day my two boys made a tent in the kitchen, they threw an old sheet over the table and spent most of the afternoon under there,they even had their tea under there refusing to come out even for food !

JessM Sat 17-Mar-12 08:17:04

always a winner that one annika

wisewoman Sat 17-Mar-12 09:46:28

VEGASMAGS: I am sure he will enjoy the change of pace. It is certainly a different world from the one we brought our children up in. Children lead such busy and organised lives these days and I think they really appreciate stepping off the treadmill. Just pottering and chatting with all the time in the world is a gift for them and for you. As I said before, eight year old chat is brilliant!! I love it. (So is three year old chat and four year old chat)

PS Can someone tell me how to make the name of the person I am "talking" to bold?

Hunt Sat 17-Mar-12 10:19:21

eight year old chat is great ,as are three year and four year. I'm really enjoying twenty three year old chat too! Teach him your favourite game of patience, it will be something he can do when he gets home. Go on a shopping trip and buy him his own pack of cards. Above all ,have great fun.

JessM Sat 17-Mar-12 10:34:43

hey wisewoman you have to put a * at the beginning and another one at the end.
I had another idea - has he read the Tintin books? If not most boys of 6-9 age group seem to love reading them. So worth finding out.

Carol Sat 17-Mar-12 10:44:14

When my grandson was 7 and 8 he loved games like dominoes, drafts and chess, as he gradually learned strategy and would whoop with delight when he outwitted me. I have no need to pretend to lose to him - it takes all my skill to win at these games now. It's a great way to be able to sit and chat, too, without them feeling they are being interrogated by grandmother. Even asking 'do you want gravy with this' becomes the Spanish Inquisition from that age. Now, we're getting the occasional 'uggh' which can mean 'yes, no, I don't mind, or stop asking me questions.' smile

nanapug Sat 17-Mar-12 11:19:12

Check out the films available on telly beforehand and video something so you can have a quiet cuppa while he watches for a while. My seven year old GS loves playing mindjolt games with me on FB. Both a bit "techy" but it will give you time to take a breath!!

dorsetpennt Sat 17-Mar-12 13:40:55

I'm looking forward to my 2 GD being old enough to come and stay with Granny. I'm lucky I live in a tourist area so there are heaps of things to do in rainy weather and we also have the beach and the New Forest in sunny weather. I remember staying with my Granny and being allowed all sorts of funny treats that weren't permitted at home. Like beans on toast EVERYDAY for lunch and Sugarpuffs for breakfast the latter considered too expensive not to mention not very healthy. This was the 50's when people went to the cinema far more then now - my Grandmother took me to the pictures twice to see my first crush Stewart Granger.[ In my early teens it was Dirk Bogarde - I had a poster from Girl magazine on my wall]. I was allowed to relax more, read all day if I wanted to - maybe your grandson in between treats would like to relax in his own way. Even if it's vegging out in front of the box for awhile. What ever you do he will always treasure that time with you.

vegasmags Sat 17-Mar-12 16:34:15

Thanks for all the great ideas. I'll be off to the library on Monday for books and DVDs! That mention of Sugar Puffs has really got my taste buds going, as I haven't had those for years.

Stansgran Sat 17-Mar-12 18:50:50

Check the local golf club-they often have free lessons for 6+ with junior golf clubs included-and he will have a chance to meet other young people and you can have a cup of tea in theclubhouse/car park

Humbertbear Tue 10-Apr-12 17:08:48

Why not set a matchbox challenge? How many items can he get in one? He will have to find them first. I was recently recommended Triominos and junior scrabble is very popular.
I don't believe in expensive outings. I find they like to have the time to relax and potter about and do their own thing.
DAS is very good - you mould/ model it and it dries and then you paint it.