I remember spending several weeks every summer with my grandmother. My grandfather passed away when I was 3 months old, so I never had a chance to get to know him.
I would always look forward to school letting out for summer vacation. We didn’t travel much, or take vacations when I was a child, but going to my grandmother’s was the perfect way to spend my summers.
I lived on a farm and my grandmother lived in Dallas, Texas. It was quite different from my day to day life. It was a refreshing and welcome change. I was always excited to spend as much time as I could with my grandmother.
I believe grandparents play an important role in a grandchild’s life. We can feel like “home”, and also give them a sense of “vacation”. We may keep some rules that mom and dad request, but we also like to bend the rules a bit….and there’s nothing wrong with that!
With our grandchildren coming to spend summer with us, we have a few things planned that hopefully will create a wonderful summer, with long-lasting memories for our grandchildren.
Our goal is to make sure we have plenty of activities planned, so they don’t just automatically turn to their iPads or video games for their entertainment. Don’t get me wrong, we love to play video games with my grandkids, but we need to create some balance.
I’ve created a calendar with daily activities, but also allowed some free-time to just relax and let the day happen. I used to own a daycare and this is how I planned for our summer activities that were great for all ages. Kids like to have a little structure, something to look forward to. That’s why I believe “scheduling” activities is a great way to get the most out of summer vacation!
Sometimes you may have to switch things around a bit to accommodate for weather, or just change of mood.
Here are some of my favorite activities I have planned for the grandbabies this summer!
Bowling! Most towns have a local bowling alley, and some have times for cosmic bowling (lights turned down and glow in the dark fun). You can also get a bowling set online and play at home if you like!
Movies! (at the theater or at home) Make popcorn and special treats. Check out special summer, and matinee pricing at your local theater!
Sidewalk chalk! ( make a “quilt”, everyone can contribute their artwork to one area) I also like to add a little learning in with sidewalk chalk! I create a “blueprint” of a house on a sheet of paper. Write measurements for the walls, and give my grandkids a tape measure. They have to measure and draw out the blueprint to scale on the driveway. Then, if they are old enough, I have them figure out the square footage of each room and the entire “house”. You can make this as easy, or complex according to their age and ability.
Plant a tree or garden! It’s always fun to plant some seeds, plants or a tree and watch them grow! This helps teach children about being good stewards of the Earth. It gives them a reality of where there food comes from and how to sustain the planet.
Water play day! This is always fun, whether it be a pool, slip ’n slide, water balloons, water guns or a sprinkler! Also add in blowing bubbles! Plastic pools filled with dish soap and water, then use a small hula hoop, bubble wands. kitchen strainers, etc. to make bubbles!
Visit your local museum, or place of history in your area! It’s a great way to learn while having fun!
“Camp Nana’s”! Make s’mores, go hiking, build a tent in the backyard (or living room), learn the names of your local trees and plants and how to recognize them. Have archery games ( Nerf has a great archery set I’ll link below), horseshoe toss, corn hole, sack races (pillow cases are great for these).
Paint rocks! (especially fun with glow-in-the dark paint) You can use these to decorate your garden, or hide in places where someone else can find and enjoy them!
Go on a picnic! Either in your backyard or a local park. This is always fun! Lay a blanket out, find the “perfect” spot, enjoy your favorite picnic foods and great conversation with your favorite little ones! Another great idea is to bring a book, this is a great time to relax in the shade and read a story aloud to your grandkids!
Visit a Factory! This is so much fun! It could be a local factory that makes something interesting, a chocolate factory, a bakery, or one of my favorites, Krispy Kreme donuts! You may have to call ahead for a tour, but they are usually pretty happy to accommodate and give free samples along the way!
Crafting! The only limit is your imagination! I love to have a lot of crafting supplies on hand, but if you’re limited on space, you can get crafting kits online or at your local craft store. I also like to do “recycling” crafts. You can find tons of “how-to’s” online or Youtube. I like making paper bowls from old magazines or newspapers. Click the link below for instructions.
Time Machine Day! Take a journey back in time! This can be a day of doing the things you loved as a child. Show them how you would spend your summers when you were young. Make homemade ice-cream, play games like Jacks, send a slinky down a flight of stairs, ride bikes, play hide-and-go seek, or whatever your favorite memory of childhood was, share this with your grandkids!
Another variation of Time Machine Day! Dress, Act, Create and eat from another time in History! This can be a fun way to learn and also entertain the grandkids! The internet is quite helpful in researching everything from recipes, clothing and daily routines from any time in History.
Needless to say, there are endless possibilities of things to do with the grandchildren this summer! Remember even just sitting with them quietly, snuggling or chatting is important too. All of these things will create beautiful memories that will last a lifetime!
I’ve linked below a few of my favorite items mentioned. I hope you all have a beautiful and glorious Summer!