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Help with thinking of imaginative games for GC

(34 Posts)
JeannieB44 Sun 15-Dec-19 20:34:09

I love sending time with my two GC Aged 4 and 18 months but I am not very imaginative with ideas for games. Would be interested to know what other grandparents do. Any ideas much appreciated.

Esther1 Sun 15-Dec-19 21:15:35

Two of mine are exactly those ages. They love playing ‘shop’ - really easy to set up with stuff you have in the house. The little one happily rearranges the ‘stock’ and the older one plays at being the customer.

JeannieB44 Mon 16-Dec-19 13:15:06

Thank you Esther1 hadn't thought of using things from my cupboard sounds good fun.

SirChenjin Mon 16-Dec-19 13:23:01

Mine used to love shops - I would set up the ironing board as the shop counter and we would take it in turns to be the shopper and the shop keeper. If you can buy a little cash register it makes it quite fun actually!

Hide and seek - always a good one

Cafes - make up menus, set up the table like a cafe, take turns to be the waiting staff/customer

Treasure hunt - this can be indoors or outdoors. The clues can be very basic and they can help make them up, and the treasure can be simple items

Kim's game - items on a tray, a quick look, get them to close their eyes while you remove one and ask them which one is missing

Madgran77 Mon 16-Dec-19 14:04:15

One of the best games we play, especially good with such different ages some sticker sheets eg smiley faces. Each child has a large card with one of "their" colour stickers to collect. (Tgey might have 3 different colours to collect) Before they arrive, go round house putting stickers all round the place, door frames, skirting boards, cupboard door etc dont have to stick them down firmly, just the edge stuck on. Children go round collecting their colour stickers then counting how many etc. Another idea is buy animal stickers christmas stickers, Easter stickers to fo same thing. They love it

ElaineI Mon 16-Dec-19 14:29:00

DGD is 2 ½ and loves imaginative games - we go on holiday on planes, go in lifts (corner of living room) and a taxi - driving is "Wind the bobbin up" song, swimming in her play tent, she loves the shopping game - Tesco granny, now Aldi, now Asda - that can last for over an hour. Her cousin is only 20 months but follows on as long as he has a car in his hand. DD2 used to play at vets with all her toy animals and DD1 at schools with her dollies (she is now a teacher!). Outside games gathering acorns for food and leaves to make a den. Orchard games are very good board games with lots for younger children - shopping, counting, cafes etc maybe more for 3 to 4 year old but toddler can get their own board but probably not actively play. DGS2 at 20 months is very active but short attention span - he loves moving cars about, jumping on beds! going for walks round our housing estate and seeing real cars, chasing the cat, kicking balls, toy trains. All of them including 6 year old love helping with housework!!! and baking/cooking. So really not things needing a great deal of thought to set up - just ordinary activities but child directed.

Hetty58 Mon 16-Dec-19 14:32:51

Mine love anything to do with drawing. I stock up on paper, colouring books, crayons, (washable) felt tips, pencils, stencils etc. They head straight for the cupboard when they're here and get out the biscuit tins where all the pens are stored.

We do potato printing too (more supervision needed) and they never seem to get bored with it.

Canalboatgranma Mon 16-Dec-19 14:55:55

My GD loves playing tea party, which involves us sitting on the floor pouring pretend tea, adding milk and sugar, and pretending to drink; over and over again.

Sar53 Mon 16-Dec-19 16:30:01

My 4 year old DGD loves playing hide and seek. She gets so excited when I 'find' her. She also loves me reading to her, we can get through 4 or 5 short stories at a time.

Urmstongran Mon 16-Dec-19 16:34:58

Hide the Thimble (‘what’s a thimble grandma?’) is popular here. We use a small soft ball. Very popular - yes, getting warmer, no - going cooler now .... boiling hot!

notanan2 Mon 16-Dec-19 16:35:30

I think you dont have to "play" with them, but you can set up scenes:

A dinosaur forest
A shop
A carpet picnic for toys

Grannyknot Mon 16-Dec-19 18:53:22

Hi Jeannie have a look at this blog post from a Senior Infant teacher, it's full of ideas. I would sing the song "Let's Go Shopping" that she mentions to my grandson when he was little and now that he is almost six, he still stops in his tracks when he hears me singing it smile. (Unfortunately, the song is not available to learn the tune, I learnt it from my mother).

geekesse Tue 17-Dec-19 10:09:28

Singing in the kitchen, banging on pots and pans - inspired by the Bobby Bare song in the 70s. A couple of wooden spoons, a few different pans, and work though your entire repertoire of kids’ songs.

Flossieturner Tue 17-Dec-19 10:11:46

ours love a camp with a blanket fixed over chairs. They have cushions in there and a tea party.

Kim19 Tue 17-Dec-19 10:13:25

Mine love to make 'things' from cardboard boxes. I simply collect a few of varying sizes from the local supermarket when I know they're coming. Scissors, felt tips, string and sellotape - sorted! Quite amazing what they come up with. We also have great fun with inflatable beach balls (one each) in the garden. Had the same balls for six years now without replacement. Amazing.

Disgruntled Tue 17-Dec-19 10:15:57

All of the above. And I love it when they make up games. On Sunday they thought it was hilarious to take turns hiding in the loo while the other one switched on a light in the kitchen, then the other one had to guess which light. They're 9 and 5.

Daisymae Tue 17-Dec-19 10:22:03

A variation of hide the thimble. Hide anything. Takes turns to be the hider or finder. Great fun

Davida1968 Tue 17-Dec-19 10:39:23

Any easy game with young DGC is to hide a small item (e.g. coin, hair scrunchie, tiny toy) in one of your hands, put both hands behind your back and they have to guess "which hand?" This is a simple game which my two would play for ages: it's useful if you are waiting around anywhere, such as a cafe. (Your 4yr old DCC might like being the "hider" of the item, too - this puts them "in charge", which they usually enjoy.)

4allweknow Tue 17-Dec-19 10:47:01

Painting even with hands /feet ( plastic table cover on the floor and basin of water and towel ready to clean feet!), making food, places etc out of plasticine/playdough . Shops with stuff from the cupboards. I used the bottom stairs as shelves a d if course money. Find the stickers hidden all over the house, hide and seek, making a picture from bits cut from magazines. Laying out an obstacle course from cushions, soft toys, wooden spoons, cardboard boxes, basically anything that won't hurt if fallen on and "time" them racing round. Dressing up in adult clothing, shoes. Playing at the kitchen sink giving them plastic items to wash up. I found children would make a game out of anything really with a tiny bit of prompting.

Willow500 Tue 17-Dec-19 10:47:56

Great ideas - my grandsons (6 & 4) are coming on Friday for 6 weeks tchgrin so I'm looking for all sorts of things to do with them. As we haven't seen them for 2 years I don't really know what sort of games they play but watched a video yesterday of a mum hiding little Christmas ornaments about in a barn for her children to hunt. When they got them all they got a prize which was a fishing game so I thought this might be a good one (don't have a barn unfortunately so it will have to be the garden).

felice Tue 17-Dec-19 10:48:09

I have an Ikea Tombola wheel, like a standing up dart board which you spin around and it stops at a number.
I have white floor tiles but sheets of paper work just as well.
Make a grid of numbers 1 to 16, then have different prizes when they spin the wheel, I use half grapes, orange segments, cucumber sticks etc, also a selection of forfeits sing a song, dance, draw a picture.
DGS and his little friends love it and DGS and I sometimes play on our own.

felice Tue 17-Dec-19 10:49:49

Sorry there are 24or5 numbers on the wheel so they do not always win.

patricia1958 Tue 17-Dec-19 10:55:16

What about just before they come you hide little things in your living room and you could play hunt the treasure

Craftycat Tue 17-Dec-19 10:55:40

When my DGS was about 3 his Mum was expecting again & I used to have him on the mornings she had ante natal. We used to get all the cushions on the floor & make 'train' then we would get on it & decide where we were going that day= the zoo, the park , the moon etc. It was a wonderful imagination game & we could play it for hours. He loved it & I think it was good for him to use his imagination rather than play with his toys too. When we heard Mum's car drawing up we would put all the cushions back & act as if we had been playing with his Lego all morning! She knew of course & played along but he always thought is was our secret game. He's 10 now but he still remembers our train game.

HettyMaud Tue 17-Dec-19 11:46:01

If you wrap up some very ordinary household items such as a spoon, a carrot, an apple, a pack of tissues, bar of chocolate, a key - anything really ..then make them feel the parcels and guess what’s inside. Mum used to do this and we loved it.