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keeping grandchildren amused

(46 Posts)
Twostep Mon 13-Jul-15 16:00:56

I'll be looking after my grandchildren quite a lot over these summer hols and am struggling to think of activities for them to do! Anyone have some good ideas on how to keep them amused? So far we've done some painting and I've attempted to teach granddaughter how to knit (I might persevere with that one as I like the idea of teaching her a skill). I have a granddaughter (8) and grandson (6). Any ideas welcomed! Thanks flowers

shysal Mon 13-Jul-15 16:11:32

My GCs love science experiments, the messier the better. I always have a stock of white vinegar and bicarb.

shysal Mon 13-Jul-15 16:19:35

Also try Googling balloon powered car and rocket, lots of examples very simply made from household items.

merlotgran Mon 13-Jul-15 16:23:46

I painted an old wooden jewellery box and showed DD3 how to decoupage a pattern on the top using paper napkins. It's easy to do and a great rainy day activity.

There are lots of tutorials on YouTube.

You can do the same to glass storage jars for the kitchen so your grandson might enjoy doing the background painting bit!!

soontobe Mon 13-Jul-15 16:43:59

mumsnet's front page looked like it had loads of tried and tested ideas.

Twostep Mon 13-Jul-15 16:49:19

Thanks for your suggestions - I'll hvae a look at mumsnet too.

shysal - I love the look of those experiments! And I do like a spot of decoupage too... Hmm, two to go on the list I think.

aggie Mon 13-Jul-15 16:52:43

I feel really guilty , I have OH to "mind" as well . The grandsons end up helping him with his shoes , picking up his paper and watching him while I get on with things . We used to make waffles for lunch , do painting and have messy fun , but I am too tired nowadays . They emptied the dishwasher for me and helped hang out washing .......... really funny when pants are pulled out , they have ribald jokes and handle them with finger tips

Tegan Mon 13-Jul-15 17:02:08

Can't beat a huge cardboad box turned into a wendy house. Sometimes they even hide in it for ages and give you a bit of peace [or sleep in it if it's full of cushions]. Mind you, I guess at 6 and 8 it would have to be a massive box; perhaps turning the dining room table into a den using sheets would work. My two are 5 and 8 and they like board games [Market Day is a favourite if that's still around now].

Coolgran65 Mon 13-Jul-15 17:37:23

Today I bought a pack of supermarket fairy cakes for £1. Tomorrow the dgc can ice and decorate them.
Watering the garden is a favourite.
Two sheets and old cushions make a great den under the table.
Ham sandwiches for lunch become a picnic if eaten outdoors, or in the den.
Brushing the patio/drive is fun helping granny.
Bought Easter Bunny craft packs to make masks, reduced to 10p in Asda.
Dgc are 7and 4.

J52 Mon 13-Jul-15 17:59:53

Decoupage on old picture/ photo frames, goes down well. You could use magazine pictures, shells, fabric or glitter sequins.


annodomini Mon 13-Jul-15 19:08:05

BTW, twostep, why not also teach your GS to knit? It is not a skill that's exclusive to women. And he isn't too young; I learnt when I was 5. Otherwise, you can find a cheap tent on Ebay which they could use as their 'den' for as long as you have them. Don't go for the so-called 'play tents' which are unnecessarily fancy and probably not waterproof. A pop-up tent like festival-goers use is far better value.

Katek Mon 13-Jul-15 20:25:10

Dgd (8) and I love making finger puppets from scraps of felt and fabric glue. We've made sets of farmyard animals and jungle animals so far. Story cubes are good to kickstart story telling

vampirequeen Mon 13-Jul-15 21:09:40

Minibeast hunt in the garden.

glassortwo Mon 13-Jul-15 21:24:22

Apart from all the crafty things. We love, getting the wellies on and going searching for puddles to splash in.
Trips to the coast to go rock pooling.
Won a spy set last year on Gn (or it might have been the year before shock ) and we spent a good couple of weeks playing spies, I had all the kids in the street join in...great fun.
We spent a lovely day a couple of years ago following the river to the sea, the DGS wanted to know where the river went, we live not far from the River Tyne.
Go down onto the river with a net and see if we can catch tiddlers.
Visit the local National Trust houses as they have great play areas.
Make dens in the garden.
Play pirates.
Play princesses.
I do the day care for three of my DGC, they are now 9,7 and 18 months,
Bike ride into the woods, and a picnic.
Just a taster of what we get up to, I try to make each day a little different for them and my sanity.

Deedaa Mon 13-Jul-15 22:11:22

Don't feel guilty about it aggie they are learning some valuable lessons and probably enjoying it too. There's a lot to be said for just learning about family life - the downs as well as the ups.

With littleys I find that a box of my old jewellery will keep them busy for ages.

vampirequeen Tue 14-Jul-15 08:00:49

Have times when you're not part of the play. Let them get bored then they'll come up with things to do themselves given a few toys or boxes or space.

The last time we went camping it rained and the children were in the awning playing with the counters from the Frustration game. Each piece was a character in the game.

Gagagran Tue 14-Jul-15 08:40:12

We used to play "Consequences" with two of ours. You know the one where you write down a male name then fold it over and pass it on and the next person writes "met female name" etc etc. They loved it and we had some really interesting and funny lists to read out.

Another one we did with pencils and paper was to draw a hotel ie. a big oblong with lots of "rooms" i.e squares and labelling fantasy uses like "pink ice cream cafe". They got amazingly creative, designing furniture etc. and came up with names for their hotels. They still talk about what fun that was.

A verbal one was popular also where one person starts a story off and stops at a crucial bit e.g. " .....came round the corner and saw........." and the next person takes it up.

Twostep Tue 14-Jul-15 09:34:06

annodomini - you make a very good point. I shall collar the grandson and get him started on knitting too!

Thanks to everyone, I feel much more inspired now and able to make sure they have a lovely time when they're next here (Thursday).

annodomini Tue 14-Jul-15 09:55:20

My DS1, aged about 5, knitted a scarf for his teddy. I have the bear (bare bear!) still clad in his scarf. Sad to say, at 44, he wouldn't know one end of a knitting needle from the other, but don't tell your GS that! He is thoroughly domesticated and a wonderful cook.

annodomini Tue 14-Jul-15 09:59:14

In the car with my GC, I used to instigate a game of the alphabetical cat. The first person says 'my cat is an a...... cat. And it goes round and round ad infinitum. X and Z are the usual problems but it's a great game for extending their vocabulary. In Scotland we called it 'The Minister's Cat' and in our OU French tutorials it was 'Le Chat du Curé'.

cangran Tue 14-Jul-15 12:31:02

Thanks for the tip, annodomini - I was just looking at the cheapest pop-up tents yesterday, thinking it would be fun for my 4 yo GS when he comes. He lives in a second floor flat without a garden and loves to play in our garden when here (not very often). Any more ideas for things to do in a garden (hoping it won't rain!)?

Luckygirl Tue 14-Jul-15 12:46:46

Never too old for a tray of old flour and some cars to push around in it!

aggie Tue 14-Jul-15 12:47:38

Youngest , 8yrs , pulled out the paints and has a pic of Dalecks done for his mum . Eldest 12 yrs , is stuck on his laptop , OH is flat out on his recliner , I am breathing before making lunch ............ menu is Bagel for 8yr old cops he found them in the freezer and cheese toastie for eldest cos he can do it and I will have the left overs lol

beekeeper Tue 14-Jul-15 14:50:24

How about the National Trust challenge? "50 things to do before you are 11 3/4"

Here is the full list as a poster:

I'm off to find my first geocache with 4 yr old GD tomorrow, she's very excited - just hope we find it!

Luckygirl Tue 14-Jul-15 16:12:58

We found one with our DGS - he was ecstatic!