As lockdown continues to ease we’re now allowed to meet up with those closest to us, at a socially acceptable distance of course! If you’re a grandparent that doesn’t live with your grandchildren, this must have been an especially difficult time as we all know just how joyful it is to be in the company of your grandchildren, watching them grow up and hearing them laugh. There’s also that welcome time when you can relax at the end of the day knowing they’re back home!
During the summer holidays, as some parents start going back in to the office, your babysitting services might be more in demand than at other times of the year, so it pays to have a few tricks up your sleeve to keep your grandchildren entertained…
Become Nature Detectives
Children love bug hunting, whether it’s looking for creepy crawlies in the garden or going rock pooling at the local beach. Finding and identifying insects can be educational as well as fun and easily adaptable for different ages, like counting spots on ladybirds or identifying butterfly species for example.
If your grandchildren are visiting, you could simply shake a large plant or bush in your garden over an old ice cream tub, this is an excellent way to reveal some of the species living within. This minibeast spotter sheet from the Woodland Trust will help them identify what they’ve found, and is a great start on our list of fun things to do with your grandchildren.
Take A Train Ride
There are still a number of steam trains in operation around the UK that will take you and the grandchildren on an exciting and nostalgic ride. If you’re not within easy reach of any of the steam trains, you can take a trip on one of the many miniature railways for kids instead.
Go To The Cinema
As all great British summer’s go, we may get a bit of sunshine but it never lasts all summer. When the inevitable rain clouds are upon us and with cinemas now starting to open back up, Odeon Cinemas are running Odeon Kids screenings with reduced ticket prices so you can stay dry and keep the kids entertained. This is one fun thing to do with your grandchildren that won’t be affected by the weather!
Join Free Sports Activities
These days, your idea of a good time might not be dashing around a football pitch with the grandkids, so why not let the professionals do it instead? There’s summer holiday football coaching available in England and free tennis coaching on offer across the UK. Follow the links to find the closest training sessions to you.
Have you heard of geocaching? It’s a treasure hunt for adults but is a fun thing to do for the grandkids too! You simply head out with a GPS in hand to locate a ‘cache’ that has been left by another user. The cache will usually contain small trinkets that you can take but must replace with a small gift of your own. You can also leave a message as well. Here’s a guide to some of the UK’s best geocaching sites near you.
There have been many studies highlighting the importance of grandparent and grandchildren doing activities together.
One particular study from Oxford University also broke down the roles each grandparent takes in their grandchild’s development. It showed that whereas grandmothers traditionally are more involved in nurturing, grandfathers get involved in activities and mentoring.
As grandchildren grow up they are more likely to open up to grandparents they trust and are emotionally connected to, especially if they find it tough to talk to their parents. So, keep doing those activities together, not only are they lots of fun, they’ll help develop that special bond between grandparents and grandchildren.
What activities do you enjoy doing with your grandkids? We’d love to get some more ideas! Please do let us know via any of our social media channels.