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Entertaining kids now

(37 Posts)
watermeadow Fri 19-Jun-20 07:39:48

I’ve enbubbled with one daughter’s family so I can look after one grandchild. Her parents are working full time (mother working from home) and elder brother now back at school. Without me she would be left entirely alone for most of every day.
After one week I’ve run out of things to do to keep her away from her iPad addiction.
She’s 8 but very young and behind for her age. We haven’t tackled any school work yet, I just want to keep her occupied and happy. Ideas please!

Lucca Fri 19-Jun-20 07:47:46

Be outdoors as much as you can. On a nice day plan where to go and get her involved in preparing a picnic, add in a little task of drawing the picnic items and writing a description, Copying your words if necessary.
Outdoors play with a ball a frisbee etc take a bike ? Scooter ?
Do some kind of task eg find different kinds of leaf etc. I’m sure many grans will come up with brilliant ideas.

Witzend Fri 19-Jun-20 07:56:14

Making fairy cakes always goes down well with my Gdcs. To make it easier I melt the butter and add a little baking powder - no need for creaming, just mixing up. They always turn out fine. They particularly enjoy putting the paper cake cases into the tins! I have to let them do half each.

Witzend Fri 19-Jun-20 08:12:26

It wasn’t with me, they did it at home, but Gdcs made pictures with various different leaves they’d collected from their garden, sticking them on paper.

Anything craft goes down well with ours, particularly with Gdd 5, but Gds nearly 4 enjoys them too. I’ve found very cheap supplies in pound shops - gel pens, glitter pens, glitter- glue pens, multicoloured pipe cleaners, paint sticks (as opposed to paintbox and brush), paper shapes, all sorts.
Last Christmas one present I gave them was a big box (covered with Chr. paper) - full of such things, and a good supply of paper.

travelsafar Fri 19-Jun-20 08:13:20

If it were me i think i would have some time doing some kind of school work.

Then get her to follow one of the exercise routines that are available at the moment, you could do it with her if you able to.

Then a walk taking a little picnic if weather suitable, is there a local park where she could ride a bike or scooter if she has one. Take a skipping rope or ball for her, once home she could then play on her Ipad while you have a rest.

Cooking, painting or drawing, teaching her to crochet or knit if you know how, are all things children enjoy too.

Oopsadaisy3 Fri 19-Jun-20 08:16:23

Nature walks, any plants you don’t recognise she can use the iPad to look it up. There are lots of apps for young children with educational work on them.
At 8 she should really be doing some schooling and you could use the time to help her catch up as you will be her personal tutor.
Cooking is good for Maths, writing recipes down, good for her English, try to make her games a bit more educational, it’s a great opportunity for you both.

LullyDully Fri 19-Jun-20 08:16:25

You should negotiate time on her computer. Make time on her iPad a reward and part of the routine. Turn off the Wi-Fi .

Read her something she enjoys and let her read every other page or even an odd paragraph.

She must keep up with her school work. Sing the times tables; ideas on google.of
Work first then play in small doses to start. Lots of praise and some stickers should help. She needs to learn to value her schooling and be proud of her successes. Her childhood is a fleeting thing.

Maggiemaybe Fri 19-Jun-20 08:23:17

Getting in the fresh air as much as possible. The old I Spy books are good for ideas on what to do while you’re out and about. Crafting, Lego, treasure and scavenger hunts (there are lots online), baking, playing shops, writing stories, puzzle books and endless reading when you’re stuck in. You do need to tackle the schoolwork though. My DGS’s schools seem to have managed to make a lot of it fun and interesting, with online projects and challenges that keep them interested.

Having a cosy home cinema afternoon together when all else fails, with popcorn or ice cream.

Maggiemaybe Fri 19-Jun-20 08:26:06

I love your word enbubbled, btw! smile I’m going to use that.

constance Fri 19-Jun-20 09:46:52

I wish I were enbubbled with my grandkids - they are in London and Edam and I haven't seen them since Xmas. Watching the newest baby grow up via photos is hard. Anyway, a friend of mine has created a website packed with fab and simple ideas for art and crafts activities that she has tested out with her own children:

And if you want to try playing a game WITH her @watermeadow I made one about my grandchildren running away from my kisses - it is very easy to play on a laptop, is about being co-operative and making dens to hide from unwanted kisses. When I say easy, I made it so grandparents can play even if they haven't played a game before. There is a free download of level 1 for pc or mac here:

constance Fri 19-Jun-20 09:48:13

I-SPy books are a good shout, my friend who just turned 60 is out and about with her wildflowers one and has just earnt her first certificate smile

dizzygran Fri 19-Jun-20 10:05:14

My bright 7 year old GDs love colouring in and drawing. Making up stories, jig saws, etc. Amazon have loads = they don't mind doing the same jigsaws again. Make some cards to keep for birthdays, etc. Craft is ok for a while - puppets from socks lavender bags - lavender in a largish circle of fabric sealed in with an elastic band and a piece of ribbon tied around. Try some old fashioned "French knitting. Nails in a wooden cotton reel different coloured wool woven to make a long strand - makes a coaster. fold paper to open up and put horoscopes inside. Have fun

Shandy3 Fri 19-Jun-20 10:19:21

Get work books online for her age, reading and maths. Make them fun, most give rewards, stickers etc or baking/playing afterwards can be the reward!
Board games too where they have to think/plan gets brains working!

Chardy Fri 19-Jun-20 10:25:04


NotSpaghetti Fri 19-Jun-20 10:26:13

If you can afford it, Hama beads and Crayola modeling paste (think it's maybe called paste) are always loved in our house ages 5-55 too!

B9exchange Fri 19-Jun-20 10:26:42

If she is addicted to her iPad, then you can help her by downloading maths, English, geography, history and science programmes and doing them with her, if her school isn't doing this already. If she is behind, then this would be an excellent chance to help her catch up with one to one help.

NotSpaghetti Fri 19-Jun-20 10:31:00

This is it:
Model Magic.

mimismo Fri 19-Jun-20 10:34:48

Card games, clock patience, Whot or Uno, 3s and 5s dominoes, ummm

mimismo Fri 19-Jun-20 10:38:34

Audio books

BluePizzaWalking Fri 19-Jun-20 11:18:04

Yes I agree this is a great chance to do some work to boost the child's confidence with school work. If you want to make art work with nature a bit more educational and focused you can link it to the work of Andrew Goldsworthy, look images of his work up on Google. You can then collect sticks stones leaves etc and arrange them in patterns on the ground. Try taking photos of your finished pieces. When back at home look at your photos and describe orally or make up stories about your images. You could then both write up your stories/ descriptions and maybe print out your images and commentaries to make your own art gallery.
There's a website called something like once upon a picture that has some lovely images to talk about with children and to use as stimulus for making up stories. Again encourage children to do this orally them in writing. You can both write your own story or you can write it collaborativly, each taking turns to write the next sentence after you have rehearsed it orally. Use as many describing words (adjectives and adverbs as you can) Websites can provide wordbanks to help you choose good story vocab, try Twinkl. Twinkl also has educational powepoints and worksheets and games for all subjects ages and abilities. Check out BBC bitesize and YouTube for short educational videos on any subject children are interested in. Play games to practise times tables facts, number bonds facts(pairs of numbers that add to make 10 or 20 or 100eg 7+3=10, 17+3= 20, 70+30=100) and look for links patterns between the facts, aim is to instantly recall these facts. YouTube has lots of times tables facts linked to popsongs that are fun to sing a long to. You can practise times tables facts or spelling words by making the letters/ numbers out of playdough, or in lots of different coloured felt pens or paint.
Do lots of short educational activities spread through the day and do them together. And find things to read together. Ask the child what they find hard and would like to work on or what they enjoy and would like to do. Contact their school for ideas.
Good luck and enjoy yourselves

vickya Fri 19-Jun-20 11:18:46

Teaching literacy to those with learning difficulties I used to take lots of photos of them and where we went when we took them on outings and then put simple sentences on each photo and make them into a book. They were very incentivised to read as it was about them; I this in teaching 5 year old granddaughter over zoom until she went back to school and she liked reading pages about herself too.

You could get granddaughter to take photos and make a book from them putting the sentences on the pages. They could be printed out, as I did for the college learners, or online, as I did for granddaughter.

I used fole cards in different colours too to make games. You write words that are opposites on a half card like laugh and cry, black and white and suit the vocabulary to the ability of granddaughter. My grandson, now much older, loved playing pelmanism with cards like that. You turn them all over face down and mix them up. First player turns over two and if they are opposites they keep them and have a second go., If not turn then back face down in the same place and other person's go. By the end you are trying to rememebr where the other opposite was.

Granddaughter didn't want to do that but took cards and drew on each one and said she had made a story and then put them in order and told me the story smile. 5 times the first day and a few times since. And she knows the cards and story.

Others have said cooking is fun and you need to read recipes and maybe write them in her own recipe book. Keep one?

Reading a longer book, a chapter each day as a serial, might be fun.

Carol54 Fri 19-Jun-20 11:20:29

Scavenger hunts can be fun, take photos rather than collect item. Good for walks I either use colours IE. Find something begining with... I've even played this virtually with my grandchildren cousins.

vickya Fri 19-Jun-20 11:21:42

I didn't take granddaughter out, I used photos I had been sent by mum over the last few years.

vickya Fri 19-Jun-20 11:22:46

Not fole cards, file cards smile

Gwenisgreat1 Fri 19-Jun-20 11:27:38

I saw a great idea for encouraging the children to look at flowers. Get a piece of cardboard, Draw a simple figure (about 1 ft high) wearing a skirt. Cut the figure out, then take the remaining cardboard out to the garden and hold it against some flowers and see the different outfits the figure can be wearing - a green outfit held over grass (or brown depending on the grass), or roses, primula etc.? Enjoy!