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Spending the day in town with your grandchildren offers a wealth of activities and projects.
Museums often have special interactive projects to entertain children; some local sports and leisure centres are equipped for pre-school play; and most libraries have a children’s corner where you can spend an hour or so looking at books and reading to your grandchildren. On certain days, some have ‘Story time’, with further entertainment laid on. Then there are seasonal events like Easter egg hunts, summer fêtes and Guy Fawkes bonfires.
Pottery painting centres are a relatively new concept, expensive but popular with grown-ups and children. You are given a plain plate, mug, jug or other piece, and a selection of colours, brushes and sponges with which to decorate your pottery. When you have finished, you leave it to be fired and collect it later. It makes a good outing if the children want to make a present for their parents. Even babies can participate, with your help, by making a hand or footprint on a plate.
When planning the day out with your grandchildren, there is no need to cast yourself in the role of Saint Granny the Blessed Martyr. The children will have more fun if you are having fun too, so choose what you enjoy. But do also be aware that you may enjoy doing something you wouldn’t normally dream of doing, like going swimming, or to the steam museum.
The local newspaper, the ads in your newsagent’s window or the notice board at the library will show you what entertainment is available. Useful headings to look under in Yellow Pages include ‘Adventure and Activity Centres – children’s’ and ‘Leisure Centres'.
Children love visiting indoor soft-play centres - large open spaces, for example a warehouse, equipped with such apparatus as slides, giant foam rubber building blocks and huge balls. There is usually a café and sometimes a restaurant (always a bonus).