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Grandparenting

How to make first visit of grandchildren special.

(33 Posts)
KateCan2015 Wed 28-Jul-21 11:06:08

I have a grandson 7 and granddaughter 10 coming to stay for the first time in 6 years (long story). I would like to leave a gift or something to welcome them and make their visit memorable. Any suggestions?

Daisymae Wed 28-Jul-21 11:11:22

Take some photos of their stay and make it into a little photo book for them to keep. Maybe one each? You could send to them after their stay.

Lucca Wed 28-Jul-21 11:11:59

Maybe book a meal out on the first day ? A trip to a theme park ? Some new trainers ? (Or voucher for shoe shop/sports shop )
Make their bedrooms special ?

greenlady102 Wed 28-Jul-21 11:13:18

That's a lovely idea but can i suggest you dial it back? how well do you know them? If, as I suspect, its not very well, then maybe be a bit lower key in your welcome and behaviour? Once you know them better and they know you then you can choose something appropriate, maybe choose together with them?

Cabbie21 Wed 28-Jul-21 11:16:58

Maybe a soft toy or other bedtime gift on their beds?
It will all be novel to them so no need to go overboard at the arrival stage.

aonk Wed 28-Jul-21 11:20:25

Maybe a choice of board games, card games colouring books etc just left casually around for them to choose? Charity shops are good for this kind of thing and The Works is a good place too. Maybe ask them what they like to eat and shop and cook together?

Cabbie21 Wed 28-Jul-21 11:25:51

How long are they staying?
A welcome gift on their bed, as above, then later in the day , or on day 2, take them shopping to buy their chosen cereals / fruit / snack / sweets, and later another shopping trip for something appropriate to what you know about their interests.
But emphasis need not be on spending money. They will love being with you, in a home with different things to do, different rules, outings etc.
I miss having my grandchildren to stay as we moved nearer to them so there is no need.

KateCan2015 Wed 28-Jul-21 15:29:29

They are staying 3 nights and we have kept in touch via Zoom fairly regularly. DIL not the easiest person,!

Esspee Wed 28-Jul-21 17:57:57

In that case OP I suggest you ask her advice. Otherwise you’ll be sure to get it wrong.🙄

Esspee Wed 28-Jul-21 18:00:28

Under no circumstances should you buy them sweets, d-i-l will undoubtedly object.

Scentia Wed 28-Jul-21 18:05:33

I would think the first visit in such a long time will be special anyway. Just be yourselves and don’t try too hard❤️

Lolo81 Wed 28-Jul-21 18:12:17

Agree with Espee, if there are issues, then always err on the side of caution when it comes to someone else’s children and consult them.
Also planning too much might be overwhelming when the children are getting used to you as a real person instead of a voice on a screen.
Slow and steady here IMO.

Nacky Wed 28-Jul-21 18:31:35

I have found a book of photos is really appreciated and treasured after the visit. I make one each time my grandson comes to stay, taking pictures of places and adventures and getting these printed the last day of his visit. Once he is in bed that night I do a scrapbook using an 'activity pack' from Poundland, sticking in photos and adding detail about where we went, what we ate and so on. These packs come with bright stickers and I add relevant tickets and leaflets too and make sure I date each page. I also try to have a new carefully chosen book waiting for him by his bed, maybe the next in a series he is reading (good to check with parents on this). A box with puzzles, more books, basic art stuff and little toys and small Lego packs goes down well too and needn't be pricey (charity shops, The Works). An advance list of and shop for favourite foods will help them feel at home. Hope you all have a lovely time!

LovelyCuppa Wed 28-Jul-21 18:48:53

I know you mean well but I really wouldn't worry about too many gifts. They have come to get to know you smile . I don't remember many of the things my gran gave me but I do remember the day to day things we did together - walking her dog, playing in the garden, going to the shop, playing old games, cooking, learning her hobbies...

Hithere Wed 28-Jul-21 19:05:16

1. Respect the rules given by the parents
" what happens at grandma stays in grandmas" may not be what the parents want
2. Go with the flow.

You havent seen them in 6 years, how well do you know them?
Give them time to warm up, ask them what they want to do

3. Quality time means more than material things.

4. Why isnt dil the easiest person? What has happened in the past?

KateCan2015 Wed 28-Jul-21 19:27:46

Thanks for all your great suggestions. I'm asking my DS what their current book reading is. Then I could maybe read it with them at bedtime. I'm going to browse Poundland and The Works for a couple of small items. I like the idea of making a scrapbook including photos of their visit as long as DIL likes the idea. I smiled when I read your thoughts about DIL. I think some of you must have met her! She's quite possessive for a start .....! But I will take my cue from the children.

V3ra Wed 28-Jul-21 19:44:47

I certainly wouldn't buy them clothes or trainers.
Keep it low-key and personal to each child: the scrap book is a perfect idea.
Enjoy your visit but don't try too hard. We only see our granddaughter every few weeks as they live a distance away, and she can take time to "warm up" when she actually sees us despite being highly excited about the visit beforehand!

Hithere Wed 28-Jul-21 19:54:23

They could be too old to read it for them at bedtime, given their ages.

How was dil possessive?

KateCan2015 Wed 28-Jul-21 21:41:16

She is always reluctant to see us and never joins in on Zoom even to sing Happy birthday to us.

Hithere Wed 28-Jul-21 22:47:49

How else is she difficult? The example you gave doesnt represent that

Does your son visit you, without her? Does he congratulate you via Zoom?
If so, that's good, he represents his family.

If your dil was difficult, would she allow this visit to happen?

JackyB Thu 29-Jul-21 06:06:43

Regardless of what their mother is like, you can't go wrong by just listening to the children, spending time with them. So to avoid spending your time in the kitchen or clearing up, prepare meals in advance or get ready made stuff even if you normally disapprove.

E. g. Fish fingers and pizzas which you just have to bung in the oven.

Gently involve them in any immediate clearing up that needs doing so that you are spending time with them. Leave any other housework until they're gone.

Time and our full attention is the most precious thing we can give them and they will remember us for.

Give them a gift when they leave, if you want to do that, so that as others have said, you can get to know them first.

NanKate Thu 29-Jul-21 07:17:04

DH prepared a box with a variety of toys, games etc all bought from the local charity shops and left it open on the floor for our boys to rummage through. He also left plain paper and colouring pens on the table and some pictures, shapes to colour in. They enjoyed playing a Ludo type game. We just let the discover the toys themselves.

DH who is a whizz with kids one time got all the ingredients for chocolate buns and he made them with our youngest, who has allergies, so it was great when he could eat a bun or two at the end as it was nut and egg free.

I recorded some Sooty programmes and even now they are 8 and 10 they still ask to watch them and fall about laughing.

I bought a sponge and men’s body wash for our eldest to use in the shower. The youngest likes baths and we put ping pong balls in the bath and he had ping pong fights all over the bathroom, with DH retrieving them and throwing them back in.

Best of luck and have fun.

vegansrock Thu 29-Jul-21 07:30:28

A new pair of pyjamas each, which you can keep at yours. But think of what you are actually going to do with them - book up some days out , plan picnics, where are the good parks/ playgrounds / museums / cinemas etc they might enjoy? Mine quite like a visit to a charity shop with a couple of pounds each to spend - there’s usually a book or game they like, they don’t have to take them home.

Lucca Thu 29-Jul-21 07:40:44

“ But think of what you are actually going to do with them - book up some days out , plan picnics, where are the good parks/ playgrounds / museums / cinemas etc they might enjoy”
I agree with this. Even if you don’t book things you need some ideas !

Nansnet Fri 30-Jul-21 10:53:37

I could be wrong, but I'm assuming you've not seen them for 6 years because they live overseas, and I'm guessing your DS & DiL will be staying with you too?

As others have suggested, I'd have a few little things around the house to keep them occupied when you're in home ... a pack of cards are usually a big hit, and can be enjoyed by all the family, or monopoly/books/comics, etc. Have a few ideas about where you can go with them before they arrive, so that you're not left thinking what to do with them. It's probably a good idea to speak with your DS/DiL before they arrive, to ask what type of things they'd all like to do, then you can make plans in advance.

As far as a gift is concerned, you could get them each a little welcome goodie bag for when they arrive, including stuff like a little lego set/comic/colouring pens/etc., for you grandson. And perhaps some girlie things from Accessorize for your granddaughter, or nail polish/little mini toiletries from The Body Shop, or similar.

Towards the end of their stay, when you've got to know them a little better, you could give them each a budget, and ask them to choose a little gift from you, to remember the time they spent with you.

I hope you all enjoy your special time together!