Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Ideas please?

(56 Posts)
LyndaW Fri 23-Jun-17 15:03:17

Three of my grandkids (age range 4-8) are coming to visit this weekend. I'm unable to drive at the moment so we'll be at home. I feel I've exhausted ideas of what to do with them. Does anybody have any good ideas? We have a small garden so some outside space.

tanith Fri 23-Jun-17 15:13:41

Make a camp/den in the garden they can have picnics and play all sorts of fun games it will keep them occupied for hours.

Teetime Fri 23-Jun-17 15:19:04

I think Taniths idea is great that's what we used to do and let them sleep out if the weather is good.

hulahoop Fri 23-Jun-17 15:20:23

Me ne love " camping" picnics if hot paddling pool sometimes I hide things and they enjoy looking for them .

shysal Fri 23-Jun-17 15:23:20

My GCs used to love the science experiments we did. A lot involved mess, but done outdoors on a tray it didn't matter. If you have a supply of bicarb, vinegar, balloons and straws you will have a head start.
Another thing they enjoyed was a giant bubble kit, which didn't cost much, and the liquid can be home-made.
I really miss those fun times with them, they are now growing up and prefer to be glued to their technology! sad

mumofmadboys Fri 23-Jun-17 15:36:26

I used to wrap pebbles in silver foil and hide them around the garden. What about cooking together? Messy but fun!!

LyndaW Fri 23-Jun-17 15:37:32

Thank you. I haven't done a treasure hunt for a while and there are loads of nooks and crannies in our garden. I love that website Shysal. I think I have a few of the necessary 'ingredients' too. Perfect.
Keep them coming, anyone else?

Jane10 Fri 23-Jun-17 16:10:24

Boring old board games such as Snakes and Ladders can keep kids happily occupied when you play too.

ninathenana Fri 23-Jun-17 16:17:06

Agreed Jane GS aged 8 was obsessed with playing junior monopoly when he came to our house.

emmasnan Fri 23-Jun-17 16:30:16

Making miniature gardens in seed trays keeps them occupied. Use twigs, small flowers, gravel etc. Use a tiny dish in it for a pond.

PoshGran Fri 23-Jun-17 17:08:58

If fine, have competition to make hanging decorations for a tree or bush made from household "bits & bobs",(string , wool, foil, stripped blue kitchen cloth, buttons, paper, straws, lolly sticks, spoons etc. etc)
If wet, the same but decorate a dining chair. Paper cutting or weaving (make "placemats"), dressing up, be pirates for an hour. Download a line drawing for colouring in (patchwork Elmer's are lovely)
Have fun grin

Moneyboss Fri 23-Jun-17 17:28:28

If it's raining you could do some baking with them. When I was little we used to get sheets and blankets and position stand chairs so that we could throw them over and make an indoors den and have a picnic, seemed like fun at the time.

NanaandGrampy Fri 23-Jun-17 18:25:13

If it's fine, have a sports day in the garden. Make a list of sports , add in a few things like best roly poly, etc. Let them make certificates before you start. You sit on a chair in a shady spot and say 'ready steady go' 5 million times. Reward everyone with an ice lolly .

Indoors - pick up a roll of brown paper, pound shop do them , and get everyone to help draw a town, add shops, cars, people , even little ones can help and you can add toy cars or Lego to it if you have some. Then roll it up and store it for next time.

Or make some salt dough and let them make models you can bake and paint. Ours also will sit happily for a movie providing there are snacks.

Good luck!

trisher Fri 23-Jun-17 18:32:44

Make a bug catcher and find garden bugs- how to do it and loads of other ideas for activities here

gillybob Fri 23-Jun-17 18:43:17

We bought a really cheap tent from Argos and the children gave it up almost all summer . They have a few old cushions and a fleece blanket in there too. They are 7,9 and 11. Everything is better fun in that tent ! They have picnics, do their colouring, play lego etc. In the tent.
Also take some old trays and create fairy gardens or pretend beaches using small stones ( painting stones is good fun too) grass seed or sand. Fill little shells or lids with water for ponds or the sea .

KatyK Fri 23-Jun-17 18:50:00

I used to bake cakes with my granddaughter when she was small. We would both get in a right old mess (and so did the kitchen) but she loved it. I used to let her put the icind and sweeties on the cakes. Also, if you have a pack of cards, children love to play snap.

silverlining48 Fri 23-Jun-17 21:27:20

We play cards with our granddaughter 7, she loves snap, but also donkey, then dominoes, hide the peg (grandson 4 always tells where he has hidden, as he has yet to get the hang of what its about). make fairy doors with lolly sticks. we make up a tent with old curtains and giant pegs, cushions and a beach mat for a carpet. they spend ages in there. how about a bit of gardening? watering, planting something which they can watch as it grows. i often buy seeds earlier on, or a small tomato plant, beans or sunflower for them to take back and look after. trouble is they often forget to water, so not generally successful, but they do get the idea. cooking of course, but i think your grandchildren will just enjoy being with you.

Coolgran65 Fri 23-Jun-17 21:34:45

If they bring old clothes including shoes it's great fun to water the garden.

Anniebach Fri 23-Jun-17 21:38:57

If possible camp in the garden, my daughters and grandchildren loved it

Welshwife Fri 23-Jun-17 22:17:43

If you have a wall along a garage or similar - a bucket of water and a paint brush each can occupy them for hours as their pictures dry quickly and they can do another one- they also love using the big brushes.

I agree with the tent ideas - they all love tents even if it is a blanket over the line or the garden table. All the normal activities such as eating their meals can go on in there.

Flossieturner Sat 24-Jun-17 08:04:00

The only way I cope with all three at once is to have a plan.

Mostly they will amuse themselves but when they get bored or arguments break out and then I need to step in with my divergence plan.

Cooking. Usually I will ask one of them to do some 'cooking'. This might be helping with sandwiches, cooking sausages, making pancakes, Icing plain biscuits or making fairy cakes.

Mini Olympics. Get them to draw up a sheet with their names and 5 sports. Throwing a ball. In to a bucket. Balance on a chalk line. Simple things which can be adjusted for age.

Movie night. I pull the sofa or armchairs around the tv. And we have a big bowl of snacks.

Make a camp competion. Done as individuals around the house. DH judges does a blind test o. The best camp.

The important thing I find is not to force them into,activities. Who wants to? Rather than we are going g to. I also make them tidy up after themselves and help with chores. It is exhausting otherwise.

silverlining48 Sat 24-Jun-17 08:48:54

I am still working on promoting the tidying up game....

Disgruntled Sat 24-Jun-17 09:05:51

What's the bus service like in your area? Kids can make an ordinary bus ride interesting/exciting/entertaining. GOOD LUCK. flowers

moxeyns Sat 24-Jun-17 09:21:45

Pavement chalks.
Mine also used to love cornflour slime.

radicalnan Sat 24-Jun-17 09:29:37

Making box theatres, writing the script and putting on the show can while away the time, save cereal boxes or get a huge box and make a proper Punch and Judy type of stage. Old socks for puppets or make Teddy take a turn.....little figures made of card can be made to play the parts in toy theatres, or old wooden spoons with faces on, designing scenery etc all good fun.

Home made popcorn in the interval........

Be prepared to watch a lot of shows!!!

My gran used to let me clean all the brass, she wasn't silly made it seem like a privilege and a treat.