Monthly Archives: July 2009

Strengthening Your Relationship with Your Grandchild

Here are some clever themes for celebrating a child's birthday.I ride public transportation to work. At times, it has its good points.

Yesterday while riding the bus, the lady who sat by me shared what she was doing this week with a grandchild.

She and her husband were doing an ‘Eleven is Heaven’ birthday activity with a grandson.

Eleven is heaven. What a catchy phrase! Continue reading

Roars, S’mores, and Snores

Have a roar and s'mores activity with your kids!The other day, I went to the San Diego Zoo.  Not physically.  Just to the website.  (Much cheaper than paying for the airplane and zoo entrance tickets.)

They have a program called ‘Roar and Snore.’ It’s a sleep-over program where kids and their families can pack their pillows and sleeping bags and spend the night at the zoo with exotic bed mates — at a distance.

(Whew!  I was worried there for a moment . . .) Continue reading

Share This With Your Grandchildren

Do you have any grandchildren that have taken classes in school where they have used Photoshop?  And then your grandchild wants to buy it but can’t because Photoshop is so outta this world expensive?  If so, there’s an alternative.  It’s free, easy to use, has many of the same options as Photoshop, and is web-based.  And, did I mention it’s FREE?!?!!

This alternative is called SUMO Paint and you can find information about it at This is a program that you use through your Internet browser.  As someone who owns and uses Photoshop, I’m impressed with this program.

It has many of your typical Photoshop tools (lasso, brush, pencil, paint bucket, eraser, clone, text, blur, smudge, crop, eyedropper). There is one different tool — the symmetry tool.  When you draw something, it will draw the exact same thing in five other spots in your blank graphic. Kinda fun.

I made this with the geosphere tool.

It has basic brushes and then some basic brush shapes: heart, cube, moon, various flowers and leaves, sumo, sumo cat. It has a few 3-D brushes: geosphere, heart, tube cone, teapot, glass sumo. And then there’s the animated brushes: car, squidy, explosion, snow, and ghost to name a few.

I did this with the star brush.  (I held the mouse down as I moved it to the right which made it ‘fatter’.)

This is what I got when I used the star tool and moved the mouse to the left and had the shape trails feature turned on.

Watch this short video to see how it works.

Tell your grandchild (who wants Photoshop) about SUMO Paint and you will instantly win tons of brownie points with her!  And then you ought to try it out, too.  Play with it, have fun with it, create with it.  Let your inner child go wild.  Then, share your creation with your grandchild.  It will be fun to see what you each create.

An Activity to Do with Teenage Grandchildren

I know that many of the ideas that I share are not ones that work well with teenagers. (They tend to think that they are too grown up for what they perceive as childish activities!)

Well,  just today (as my grandson was napping) I came across a fabulously fun and free program that I think your teenage grandchildren would enjoy.  The program is Shape Collage.  It is a free download for Windows, Mac, and Linux.  (Are any of you grandmas running a machine with Linux?  Do any of you even KNOW what a Linux computer is???)

This program takes a collection of photos and makes a collage.  Once  you have made your collage, you can either print it on your home printer or send it to an online service such as Shutterfly to be printed.

It is very simple to use.  Drag your photos into the application.  Select the shape you want your collage.  Click preview to make sure the end shape is how you really want it.  Then click create to save your collage.  It’s that simple.  Here are some examples:

a rectangle collage

rectangle collage on Grandma Ideas dot com

a circle collage
circle collage on Grandma Ideas dot com

a heart shape collage

Make a heart-shaped photo collage with this free software.

a smiley face collage

Make a shape collage with tweens and teens. Great fun!

a collage of our last name

Lewis collage

If your teenage grandchild lives close by, you could get together to collaborate on making a collage. Or, if your grandchild lives too far away, she could create something and then snail mail or e-mail it to you.  And you could make one to send to her.

The collage that you make could be given to another family member as a birthday, Mother’s Day, or Christmas gift.  Or, a granddaughter could make a collage of pictures of her friends and give a copy to each one.  A grandson could make a collage using pictures of him playing sports.  You could make a collage of a family reunion and give to families as a memento.  You could make a collage of a trip that you took with your grandchildren.

Or make one just for the fun of it and hang on your family room wall.

Grandma Camp — On TV!

Do you remember that last summer I mentioned how my friend, Denise, holds a Grandma Camp for her grandchildren?

She was recently on a local TV program discussing her different camps.

You can get a good idea of some of the great things that she has done by watching this segment.

Someday, I want to be a grandma like her when I grow up!

Congratulations, Denise, for getting on TV! You’re famous now . . .

I’m Back — But Busy

So now that I’m back from Washington, D.C. (which was a fabulous trip and a great conference!), life seems to have swept me downstream in a maelstrom.  Grocery shop to fill an empty fridge.  Wash laundry. Party on the 4th.

And, now we’re in the process of painting one of our bedrooms that will also be my exercise room.  Then, next week, I’ll be baby sitting our wonderful grandson.  Will someone please tell me when I’ll have time to write another post???